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Some people would say, OK, we have a climate crisis, so we’ve got to shift as quickly as possible as we can from fossil fuels to renewable sources of energy, which is right. But somehow the idea that by doing that we can just sort of carry on in the way that we have been otherwise is a misunderstanding. We have a much greater crisis here and what it fundamentally goes back to is this sense of separation from the earth, that we feel our wellbeing, therefore, is separate from the wellbeing of the earth and that therefore we can kind of exploit it and use it in any way we want. I think we can understand the ecological crisis as a kind of the karma built into that way of relating and exploiting the earth. The other really important thing, which I end up talking about more often, is I think Buddhism has this idea of the bodhisattva path, the idea that it’s not simply that we want to become awakened simply for our own benefit, but much more so that we want to awaken in order to be a service to everyone.david loy, conscient podcast, april 15, 2021
David Loy is a professor, writer and Zen teacher in the Sanbo Zen tradition of Japanese Zen Buddhism. He finished the formal koan curriculum in 1988 and was given the dharma name Tetsu’un “Wisdom cloud.” He is a prolific author, whose essays and books have been translated into many languages. His articles appear regularly in the pages of major journals such as Tikkun and Buddhist magazines including Tricycle, Lion’s Roar, and Buddhadharma, as well as in a variety of scholarly journals. Many of his writings, as well as audio and video talks and interviews, are available on his web site. David lectures nationally and internationally on various topics, focusing primarily on the encounter between Buddhism and modernity: what each can learn from the other. He is especially concerned about social and ecological issues. David is a founding member of the Rocky Mountain Ecodharma Retreat Center, near Boulder, Colarado.
My first point of contact with David’s work was his 2019 book Ecodharma: Buddhist Teachings for the Ecological Crisis. This publication affected me deeply and opened me to me to new perceptive on the climate emergency and on my own zen practice. I was honoured when David kindly accepted to speak with me on April 15, 2021 from his home in Colorado.
David and I exchanged on a wide range of issues including the bodhisattva path, the role of storytelling, nonduality, interdependence and the notion of ‘hope’ through a Buddhist lens.
As I am doing with all episodes in season 2, I integrated excerpts from e19 reality into this episode as interludes.
I would like to thank David for taking the time to speak with me, for sharing his deep knowledge of Buddhism and for his vision of how the bodhisattva path can play a larger role in the climate emergency.
For more information on David’s work, see https://www.davidloy.org/.