Guest Post

Compassion and Climate Change

Image courtesy of

Image courtesy of

As I started to post an entry on this blog about ONE EARTH SANGHA, I went to the web site and found that their language is far clearer than mine, so much of what I will post is from that site.  As an introduction, my understanding is that members of the Buddhist community have come together in response to the crisis our world faces. My heart is deeply immersed in both these worlds: the Buddhist community and the challenge to our home, planet Earth, and to all beings affected by climate change. One Earth Sangha connects the two. I feel so heartened that leaders of the Buddhist community (among others) have organized to do their part in response to the crisis.

 We have a brief window of opportunity to take action, to preserve humanity from imminent disaster and to assist the survival of the many diverse and beautiful forms of life on Earth. Future generations, and the other species that share the biosphere with us, have no voice to ask for our compassion, wisdom, and leadership. We must listen to their silence. We must be their voice, too, and act on their behalf. 

- The Buddhist Declaration on Climate Change

“The mission of the One Earth Sangha is to support awakening and responding to climate change and other threats to our shared home through education, sustainable living and advocacy. We explore the teachings of the Buddhist path and how they can inform, support and motivate this work. We also recognize the critical role that Sangha (spiritual community) plays in this work. We need each other. Therefore, we are committed to making connections that bring together a variety of environmental, Buddhist lineage, cultural, racial and faith voices in order to deepen our practice of responding to the call of our home.” One Earth Sangha website.

There is a great deal on the site, well worth exploring. One thing that stands out is a series of discussions by respected and committed dharma leaders that is happening soon:

“We invite you to join a conversation as we explore the impact of climate change, its underlying causes, and how Dharma practice can inform our personal and collective response. Climate change, the greatest crisis of our civilization, threatens a sustainable environment that can support life on Earth. We have a short window of opportunity to shift this unprecedented challenge into a radically new way of being and living. To meet this task requires a profound reorientation of our relationship to the earth and its resources, including a move from our fossil fuel economy to renewable energy. Underpinning this shift is a transformation of consciousness from seeing the world as an object to exploit, to knowing and living our profound interconnection with all things.  As part of Earth Care Week this October, the Dharma Teachers International Collaborative on Climate Change and One Earth Sangha will launch a set of five online conversations with leading Dharma and mindfulness teachers, listed below.” One Earth Sangha website.

Rather than go into the details, I hope you’ll go to the site and see if this is something that appeals to you. As a teaser, the first discussion, on October 5th, will be with Jack Kornfield and Tara Brach.

-Alby Quinlan