Through the dharma we awaken to the fact that we are not separate from the matrix of all things, including the life of this planet, which produces the causes and conditions for our current incarnation. Does that realization lead Buddhists to become environmentalists, and if not, why not? How does meditation practice affect our relationship to the Earth—to its waters and atmosphere and creatures of all species?
We begin with a conversation between forest monk Ajahn Pasanno and forest activist Julia Butterfly Hill. We include an essay by Buddhist and ecological visionary Joanna Macy. A poetic piece by Zen student and mountain walker Patrick McMahon interweaves the path of a Mountains and Rivers Retreat with the story of the Buddha.
What can we learn from the Earth-based spiritual traditions such as those of the Native Americans? We present three Native American teachers—Eduardo Duran, Lorain Fox Davis and Fred Wahpepah—and three Buddhists who lead retreats with indigenous teachers—Susan Murphy, Tsultrim Allione and John Travis.
What can we learn from the Earth-based teachings within Buddhism itself? China Galland inspires us with stories and practices of the Goddess, and in particular Green Tara.
What impact does the new global economy have on other societies and other species of life? We present a conversation between Paul Hawken and Joseph Goldstein as well as a piece by Helena Norberg Hodge. We include a reflective essay by professor of media studies Andrew Goodwin on time, modernity and dharma and an elegy for a Nepalese glacier by environmental reporter Cheryl Colopy.
On our poetry page, we reprint Gary Snyder’s “Smokey the Bear Sutra,” a classic in Buddhist environmentalism.
In this issue of Inquiring Mind we explore this theme in the interest of our collective awakening, and for the benefit of all Earthly beings.