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16 points on Dharmic engagement with climate change, part 2

On Wed, 27 May, 2015 - 00:38
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Points 9-16 of the 16-point statement on climate change issued by the US Dharma Teachers’ Climate Collaborative in 2013.

“9. The interconnectedness of inner and outer, the individual and the collective (or institutional): Climate disruption provides an unprecedented opportunity to understand the roots of the problem—which relate to the ways our minds work and how those patterns become embedded in collective and collective/institutional practices and policies. This awareness can open the door to new ways of thinking and responding that will eventually produce different institutional practices and policies.

10. Connection to diversity and justice issues: The dharma principles and narratives must also apply to issues or diversity and social inclusion and justice. The beliefs in separateness etc that has produced the climate crisis also leads to social inequity and exclusion. People of color and other marginalized groups must be included.

11. Buddhism as a social change agent: The principles of Buddhism help us engage with life, not remove ourselves from it. The Buddha was actively engaged with his social and cultural contexts and for Buddhism to have relevance today it must help people understand how to engage in today’s political and social contexts.

12. Adhitthana or Determination: We are called to develop resolve, determination, and heroic effort now. We must have the courage to realize that we are being called to engage in this issue and that living the dharma will see us through the hard times.

13. This precious human birth is an opportunity: We must always remember that it is a rare and precious thing to be born as a human and we have been given a rare opportunity to act as stewards because humans are not only the source of destruction—we are also the source of great goodness.

14. Love is the greatest motivator: Our deepest and most powerful action comes out of love: of this Earth, of each other. The more people can connect with and feel love for the Earth, the greater the likelihood that their hearts will be moved to help prevent harm. Children should therefore be a top priority. Need to help people realize what they love about life and what will be lost as climate disruption increases.

15. The sangha—and other forms of social support–are essential: The reality of climate disruption is a profound shock to many people and the only way to minimize or prevent fight, flight, freeze responses is to be supported by and work with others so people will not feel alone, can overcome despair, and develop solutions together. We need to go through this journey together, sharing our difficult reactions and positive experiences in groups and communities.

16. The Bodhisattva: The figure of the Bodhisattva which is a unifying image of someone who is dedicated to cultivating the inner depths and to helping others, is an inspiring figure for our times.”

Read points 1-8.

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