Hemlock trees native to the Monastery region of the northeast have been greatly threatened by an invasive insect known as HWA (Hemlock Wooly Adelgid). Sangha members in the MRO Earth Initiative’s “citizen science” project have been assessing and monitoring HWA on the Monastery property this past year and offer this update on protecting our trees.
Oh my gosh! How did the high privilege ever come to me to review this book? I am lost in it and continually astonished. Margaret Gibson’s newest book of poems, Not Hearing the Wood Thrush, is ripe and full and endlessly transcendent. Not hearing the wood thrush is a fine art that we would all do well to learn
She makes her way and takes us with her through the dozen doors and windows of her poems into the woods, the river, and the star fields.
Technology and Morality in the Age of Climate Change, Overpopulation, and Biodiversity Loss
by Richard Heinberg
Technology has grown with us, side by side, since the dawn of human society. Each time that we’ve turned to technology to solve a problem or make us more comfortable, we’ve been granted a solution. But it turns out that all of the gifts technology has bestowed on us have come with costs. And now we are facing some of our biggest challenges: climate change, overpopulation, and biodiversity loss. Naturally, we’ve turned to our longtime friend and ally—technology—to get us out of this mess. But are we asking too much this time?
Today, the Monastery Store takes a big step in increasing its offerings of sangha-made items. For several years we’ve featured bird house gourds, incense holders, beeswax candles and of course honey from our own hives. All of these products and more have celebrated age-old traditions of handcraft using resources cultivated and harvested from our own grounds. As you’ll see and read below, a number of these endeavors have been fermenting and evolving behind the scenes and we’re very excited to now share them with the wider world. (For now, most of these items will only be available at our in-person store, but we’ll expand to offering them online as quantities become available.)
This week, Zen Mountain Monastery welcomed the Woodstock Interfaith Council and community members to celebrate a common vision of respect and identification with the Earth. The Council is a volunteer body of clergy and leaders of spiritual communities in the greater Woodstock region who meet regularly to discuss a range of issues, from administrative challenges to theological points of interest.
An Annotated List of Digital Resources for Informed Community Action, Resistance, and Renewal
I have never been one to get involved in politics. As a journalist I definitively steer clear of anything that could be construed as activism or partisanship. In Buddhism, taking action in the face of injustice can pose a similar question: how to do this in keeping with one’s bodhisattva vows of non-harming, yet without being partisan?
“When we engage with worldly politics, we try not to take sides,” Phap Dung, a Thich Nhat Hanh disciple, said in a recent interview. “It’s easy to choose a side, but as Buddhist practitioners we try to have more inclusiveness.”
Social justice has long been a focal point for the Mountains & Rivers Order. While Shugen Sensei was based at the Brooklyn Temple, the Beyond Fear of Differences Initiative was formed, initially holding retreats and study groups for the sangha. Since May 2016, a planning committee of nine MRO practitioners have been meeting to help build the newest iteration of the Initiative: a monastery-based program to study oppression and privilege as it manifests both in the sangha and the world at large.
For many years the Monastery garden has shared space with a trove of bee hives, growing to a whopping six active, thriving hives this summer. In addition to providing pollination for the gardens and beyond, the bees have shared the surplus of their delicious raw honey, which we have been selling at the Monastery Store.