Green Earth Awakening is a big new event coming up soon (May 24th-27th) from Triratna’s Buddhafield collective. Not a retreat, not a festival, not a holiday, they describe it as a place to learn, share and practice “Tools for your Mind, Skills for our Future”. Buddhism meets low-impact sustainable living in a glorious field in South-West England…
If you haven’t come across Buddhafield yet, it’s a remarkable project and we’ll be featuring their pioneering work on The Buddhist Centre Online over the next few weeks. For Buddhafield itself, the new Green Earth Awakening initiative is perhaps their most public step so far in bringing together two strands which have both long been central to their whole philosophy - the Buddha’s Dharma and the art and skill of sustainable low-impact living. For them, these are perhaps non-different, and raise deeply ethical and challenging issues: all Buddhists subscribe to the ideals of practicing non-violence and working to end the suffering of all beings, but for them, our every action, including every economic action, has a direct impact on the world, for better or worse. Unwittingly, we may well be actively participating in what Ken Jones has called ‘structural violence’.
Green Earth Awakening aims to combine a programme of both traditional Buddhist practices, talks and discussions on engaged Buddhism, and an ambitious set of ‘reskilling’ workshops, crucial for anyone seriously aspiring to live a more low-impact life. Interestingly, the Buddhist word for ethical is ‘kusala’, meaning skilled, pointing up the non-difference of these two perspectives. The venue will be the much-loved ‘old Festival site’ on the Blackdown Hills above Taunton in Somerset UK, with room for up to 500 people. If the sun shines (as it is right now!), it will be heaven… See you there!
PS - the dates again are May 24-27th, the UK Bank holiday.