No Time to Lose: A Dharma Response to Climate Change Part 2: Jack Kornfeld

No Time to Lose: A Dharma Response to Climate Change Part 2: Jack Kornfeld
This is the second post of notes from the Livestream event held on September 15th, a fundraiser for OneEarthSangha.org and in anticipation of the Climate Strike, led by students, to be held September 20, 2019.

Sunday, September 15, I attended No Time to Lose: A Dharma Response to Climate Change held at Spirit Rock, and to my gratitude, Livestreamed. As it was an all day event, I took notes from numerous speakers. I will post them over the next few days so that each person's words will have space to be digested.

The following are my notes of Jack Kornfeld's talk. The words and ideas are from him, which, once again, makes for an odd blog post.

Kornfeld told of asking his old teacher in Thailand about the struggle American students had with self-love and self compassion. The venerable answered that if the students went out in the woods and prayed for loving kindness, the students would soon include themselves. He then mentioned the Buddhist response to deforestation in Thailand was to go in the forest to ordain trees. They would ordain the largest, oldest trees as Abbots of the Forest. These sections of forest were left alone.

So the question is how do we live with climate change, and how do we practice with it?

It is best to return to the four noble truths.

One. Life has suffering.
Billions of tons of methane have been released. Glaciers and icebergs are disappearing. The polar ice caps which reflected the sun, and consequently the sun's heat, have shrunk almost to nothing in the North Pole, and actively shrinking in the South. The military and the shipping industry are just waiting for the ice to melt in the North Pole to open up shipping lanes. We are experiencing the sixth extinction.

Two. Causes of suffering.
Just as in our human lives greed, delusion, and hatred are the causes of suffering. The delusion is of our separateness. Every breath we take was breathed by someone before us, generations before us.

Three. There is an end to suffering.
Waking up from the trance of separateness.

Four. Eightfold Path.
And so forth.

Kornfeld followed with a story about Christiana Figueres, the former chief of the United Nations Framework Convention of Climate Change, who orchestrated United Nations climate negotiations in Paris, became suicidal while planning and orchestrating the Paris Climate Conference. She read Thich Nhat Hanh's books, and went to Plum Village, Thich Nhat Hanh's monastery in France, and was able to heal. She used the teachings not only to get through, but to teach others. One of the most important things was for countries to look at themselves not as victim, nor as perpetrator. One hundred and eighty six countries signed the accord.

Kornfeld emphasized, for us not to feel guilty. "Do not try to save the world out of anger, fear or guilt. Save the world as an act of love." He recommended a book called Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming, Paul Hawken, ed. http://www.drawdown.com

This book has a list of things we as individuals and as society can do to reverse climate change, in order of importance. Paul Hawken gathered together the worlds experts on each item. The most important, are reduce food waste, rebuild the kelp forest(kelp in cattle feed causes them to pass less gas), and educate and empower women.

The earth wants to renew itself. He mentioned Chernobyl. No matter how the government tried to cover up the accident, the winds told the story. Kornfeld also mentioned Wengaari Maathi, who orchestrated the planting of fifty-one million trees, one tree at a time, [side note: by empowering women].

"Save the world as an act of love. How you do it matters."

Kornfeld finished with a Molly Ivins quote. “So keep fighting for freedom and justice, beloveds, but don't forget to have fun doin' it."

Forum Activity

Fri, 10/31/2014 - 08:11
Mon, 06/16/2014 - 07:09
Tue, 10/01/2013 - 22:01

Acknowledgments

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