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Exploring Dharma Practice and Right Action in an Age of Climate Change

Online Program
Dates: Jun 05, 2022

Instructor(s): Thanissara, William Edelglass

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Program Description:
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UN Secretary-General António Guterres declared the Sixth Assessment Report—a collaboration of 234 scientists from 66 countries published by the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change)—to be "Nothing less than a Red Alert for humanity." In a further IPCC report from April 2022, Guterres states, "It's now or never!" What does this context mean for us as Dharma practitioners? 

With the very material means by which we live threatening the conditions for large scale survival, we are at an unprecedented edge of environmental, economic, social, and political tipping points. However, the Buddha offers many precedents for direct engagement with broader social issues. The Dharma provides a storehouse of remedies, including inner practices to sustain wellbeing, compassion, and equanimity, while the Sangha is a powerful community resource. Inspired by the Buddha's call to "go forth for the welfare of all," we will engage in a conversation exploring dharma practice and especially "Right Action" for these times. 

    About the Instructor(s):
  • Thanissara began practice in the Burmese school of U Ba Khin in 1975. She spent 12 years as a Buddhist nun in the Forest Tradition of Ajahn Chah. She has facilitated meditation retreats internationally the last 30 years and has an MA in Mindfulness-Based Psychotherapy Practice. She is co-founder, with Kittisaro, of Dharmagiri Sacred Mountain Retreat in South Africa, and Sacred Mountain Sangha in California, which runs a two-year Dharmapala Training.

  • William Edelglass is Director of Studies at the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies.  He also teaches at Smith College, where he is the Director of the Five College Tibetan Studies Program in India, and is adjunct professor at the Central University for Tibetan Studies in Sarnath, India.  His scholarship explores questions in Buddhist studies, environmental humanities, and philosophy.  William has practiced in several different Buddhist traditions and has taught widely in dharma centers, academia, as a wilderness guide, and in several Tibetan academic institutions in India.  William’s most recent book is The Routledge Handbook of Indian Buddhist Philosophy.