Earth Initiative

Earth Initiative: Global Action

· Earth Initiative

United Nations Global Compact Takes Action on Climate Change

In September 2015, the United Nations launched the Sustainable Development Goals, also known as the Global Goals: seventeen ambitious, all-encompassing goals to transform our world by 2030, ending poverty, fighting injustice and inequality, and combating climate change. Progress on these goals is being marshalled by an initiative called the UN Global Compact which is engaging corporations and governments to make significant progress in meeting the Global Goals.

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Image Courtesy of How to Let Go of the World and Love All the Things Climate Can’t Change

How to Let Go of the World

· Earth Initiative, Reviews · ,

Media Review: How to Let Go of the World and Love All the Things Climate Can’t Change

Directed by Josh Fox
Premiering on HBO, June 2016

In the beginning there was dancing. But before we get to that, we need to go back even further: In the beginning there was the Marcellus, a geologic formation of black shale that dates back to the mid-Devonian age and undergirds a wide swath of mid-Atlantic Appalachian terrain. Shale traps deposits of natural gas deep underground and it was this resource that in 2008 brought energy speculators to the rural homestead of Josh Fox. Eight years later, one can only wonder if the investors now regret having knocked on that particular door.

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Photo by Martin Mutch

Born As The Earth

· Earth Initiative, Teachings · ,

by Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Roshi

Koans of the Way of Reality, Case 8

Main Case
A visiting student began to ask, “The truths of the Earth continually wait. They are not so concealed either. They’re calm, subtle, untransmissible by print.”
The teacher interrupted, saying, “Stop, stop! Is that Walt Whitman’s poem?”
The student said, “Yes it is.”
The teacher said, “Those are the words that describe his reality. What is the reality itself? Show me.”

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Photo by Dean Morley

Bright, Dancing Aliveness

· Earth Initiative, Editorial · ,

by Suzanne Taikyo Gilman, Mountain Record Editor

Fire draws our attention with its light. The aliveness dancing in a candle flame is made from the cotton in its wick, the moisture in the candle wax, oxygen feeding its burning. I name the different parts and feel their separateness, grasping at difference. As I return to the experience of the flickering flame, I return to warmth, the light, the aliveness.

While we understand that all the elements combine to create the life of our magnificent planet, we tend to focus on the separation— between candle, wick, wax—as between what we want and what we have, between the human and the natural world. Separating our self-consciousness and our disregard for other perspectives—of people, animals, insects and even protozoa—ultimately justifies destructive acts against living beings. Feeling the distress of the earth and its creatures as deeply personal, this awareness can open up the heart to respond with genuine caring actions which are of benefit to all.

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Photo by Olli Henze

River Seeing River

· Earth Initiative, Teachings · ,

by John Daido Loori, Roshi

from Master Dogen’s Mountains and Rivers Sutra

The river is neither strong nor weak, neither wet nor dry, neither moving nor still,neither cold nor hot, neither being nor non-being, neither delusion nor enlightenment. Solidified, it is harder than diamond: who could break it? Melted, it is softer than milk: who could break it? This being the case we cannot doubt the many virtues realized by the river. We should then study that occasion when the rivers of the ten directions are seen in the ten directions. This is not a study only of the time when humans and gods see the river: there is a study of the river seeing the river. The river practices and verifies the river; hence, there is a study of the river speaking river. We must bring to realization the path on which the self encounters the self. We must move back and forth along, and spring off from, the vital path on which the other studies and fully comprehends the other.

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Outdoor Earth Day Service

Outdoor Earth Day Service at the Monastery & Dharma Encounter

· Earth Initiative, Sangha News

post by Charla Koren Malamed, MRO

Sesshin had just ended, and to celebrate Earth day, we held our morning service outside in the meadow—Tremper mountain our Buddha, an oval stone our Mahapajapatti, a pile of dirt our incense ash. Shugen invited us to offer ourselves, in addition to the usual offerings of incense, water, and candlelight.

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Born as the Earth: Spring Ango Intensive 2016

Born as the Earth: Spring Ango Intensive 2016

· Earth Initiative, Retreats, Sangha News, Zen Training

post by Chris Tyler, MRO

From April 7th through the 10th, more than 60 sangha members gathered to sit, study, practice, and support each other in exploring the theme of this spring ango intensive, Being Born as the Earth. True to Shugen Sensei’s words from the opening sesshin, “the Earth is our chief disciple.”

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Opening Spring 2016 Ango: Born as the Earth

Opening Spring 2016 Ango: Born as the Earth

· Earth Initiative, Retreats, Sangha News, Zen Training

by Karen Spicher, MRO

On Sunday, February 28, we began Spring Ango, a period of intensified practice during the months of March, April, and May. An Ango Opening Sesshin extended from Friday evening through Sunday morning, when sangha members and visitors filled the zendo for the Sunday program. Hojin Osho officiated service, followed by a period of zazen and the Ango Entering Ceremony. Shoan served as liturgist, voicing formal ango participants’ commitment to practice for this training period and request for guidance in our training. As Kyosho sounded the densho, Shoan read the name of each Ango participant, while those present offered incense and entered the zendo with clear intention.

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Monastery Residents Travel to Albany for Climate Rally

· Earth Initiative, Sangha News

On Wednesday January 13th, a dozen monastery residents and local sangha joined several hundred state-wide protesters in Albany, NY to urge New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo, state senators and legislators to stay focused on renewable energy and to discontinue reliance on coal, oil, nuclear and “fracked” natural gas. Rally participants traveled to Albany from the downstate metro area as well as from the Western Tier, Finger Lakes and Hudson Valley regions.

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Sangha Reflections: On Wildness

· Earth Initiative, Reflections · ,

AS A KID I TRIED TO IMAGINE the rural landscapes around me without telephone poles and electric wires—how the rivers and hills might have looked to the Native Americans or the first European settlers or the deer and raccoons. Even then I was yearning for wilderness and an unobstructed aliveness.

Drawn to Buddhism through Daido Roshi’s teachings of sacred wild, it wasn’t enlightenment I was seeking so much as a fuller, more awake intimacy with the natural world and myself within it.

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