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Thread: David Loy: New online Ecodharma Course begins

  1. #1

    David Loy: New online Ecodharma Course begins

    Friend of Treeleaf, the wonderful Zen teacher, philosopher and environmentalist, David Loy, announced a new online class. I wanted to introduce it, especially to those focused on Buddhist practice combined with environmental matters:

    =================



    — How can we respond urgently and effectively to the ongoing climate emergency and the larger ecological crisis—and stay sane doing it?
    — How do we understand the interconnection of environmental degradation with colonialism, racism, and neoliberal economics?
    –- What contemplative/spiritual principles and perspectives can help us forge a response to our ecological predicament?
    — How do we “compost” our own collective grief and anger to be able to face these times with courage and clarity?
    –- How do we form the awakened communities that will be necessary to confront and transform our current global exploitative socio-economic systems?


    Please join David Loy and Kritee (Kanko), two of the cofounders of the Rocky Mountain Ecodharma Retreat Center (RMERC), to explore during 13 weekly online sessions how we can deepen our spiritual paths, honor and transform our emotions, and act with deep compassion to create awakened communities that will act courageously in these times of climate emergency and other socio-ecological injustices.


    Venue & Date
    September 10 - December 10, 2020 (no class on Thanksgiving)
    Online Zoom sessions every Thursday 6:00 - 7:30 PM (Mountain time)

    With
    David Loy, Zen Teacher, Philosopher and Author
    Kritee (Kanko), Climate scientist & educator, Zen teacher, Grief-ritual leader


    Regular cost: $250
    No one will be turned away for lack of funds. Partial and full scholarships are available, and we especially invite those who identify as black, indigenous and other people of color and LGBTQ. We encourage those with the capacity to donate to generously support this course.

    Schedule
    The first six weeks will include discussions of individual chapters in David’s latest book Ecodharma: Buddhist teachings for the ecological crisis (see https://wisdomexperience.org/product/ecodharma/). The next six sessions will include discussions on the relationship between the climate crisis and social injustices, and will be anchored in work of frontline and mainstream climate movement leaders.

    Application
    Please fill this form for submitting your application. We can have a maximum of 25 attendees. We are hoping for a diversity of age, geographical, racial, faith and organizational backgrounds. If you have any questions, please email david@davidloy.org.
    Last edited by Jundo; 08-14-2020 at 02:40 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  2. #2
    I talked with David about the course today. I am sorting out my schedule to determine if I can attend the majority of sessions. I asked if they might record them for those of us who might miss a few. They were open to doing so.

    Doshin
    St

  3. #3
    I'm glad no one will be turned away for lack of "funs." Ecodharma is a serious matter, after all.

    Gassho,
    Juki

    sat today and lah
    "First you have to give up." Tyler Durden

  4. #4
    Jundo,

    I thought this would be a good place to post my weekly notes of the course. Could you be so kind to possibly link David Loy’s Dharma talk he gave to Treeleaf a year or two ago in this thread as an introduction?

    Thank you
    Doshin
    St

  5. #5
    Here it is, Doshin ...

    -------------

    A Special Zazenkai with DAVID LOY


    Dear All,

    ... Zen teacher, philosopher, environmentalist, futurist and author DAVID LOY offered a very special Zazenkai and Talk here at Treeleaf awhile back.

    More about David ...

    David Robert Loy is a professor, writer, and Zen teacher in the Sanbo Kyodan tradition of Japanese Zen Buddhism. 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, Turning Wheel, Shambhala Sun and Buddhadharma, as well as in a variety of scholarly journals. 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 Loy is one of the founding members of the new Rocky Mountain Ecodharma Retreat Center, near Boulder, Colorado. In addition to many scholarly papers and popular articles, Loy is the author of several books on comparative philosophy and social ethics, including:

    The Great Awakening: A Buddhist Social Theory develops the social implications of Buddhist teachings for our understanding (and response to) collective forms of dukkha (suffering). Today the "three poisons" – greed, ill will, and delusion – have been institutionalized. There are discussions of poverty, economic development, and corporate capitalism; Buddhist perspectives on the war on terror, our criminal justice system, and the connection between Zen and war; and essays addressing technology, deep ecology, and our relationship with the biosphere.

    Money, Sex, War, Karma: Notes for a Buddhist Revolution is a series of short essays that begins with the essential teaching of the Buddha: the connection between suffering and the delusive (sense of) self, usually experienced as a sense of lack. Subsequent essays discuss the implications for the ways we understand money, fame, karma, food, sexuality and romantic love, consumerism, ecology, war, and social engagement.

    The World Is Made of Stories is a sequence of "micro-essays" and quotations that offer a new way of understanding Buddhism and a new Buddhist understanding of the Way, consistent with what Buddhism says about the human predicament and how it can be resolved. If the self is composed of the stories one identifies with and attempts to live, karma is not what the self has but what the sense of self becomes, as we play habitual roles within stories perceived as objectively real.

    A New Buddhist Path is in three parts, which address the meaning of enlightenment, the nature of evolution, and the nonduality of individual and social transformation.

    The event consists of about 30 minutes of Zazen, a Talk by David for 25 minutes or so, and some Questions from our Treeleaf participants, for about 90 minutes together.
    ...

    I would also like to introduce David's project that he is working to get off the ground, the ROCKY MOUNTAIN ECODHARMA RETREAT CENTER. It is hard for them due to Covid-19. Below is a link for donations and information about the Center, and I am going to ask all our Treeleaf members who benefit from David Loy's teachings to consider a donation for their upkeep there ...


    Rocky Mountain Ecodharma Retreat Center brings Buddhism and Dharma back into the natural world where they originated, and fosters the clarity and compassion needed to better address the ecological crisis and its related social justice issues.

    WE CALL THIS ECODHARMA

    RMERC is a low cost home for spiritual practice, with an emphasis on practice in nature. We are a supportive place for deep practice, a place for meditation, retreats, workshops and Ecodharma; a place for learning from nature, teachers and other participants, and a place for discovering ourselves in a wild environment.

    We bring Buddhism and Dharma back into the natural world where they originated, and in doing so, regain the connection and energy necessary to effectively address ecological and related social crises.

    ... and/or consider to purchase one or more of his books. They are unique in the Zen world.

    Last edited by Jundo; 09-08-2020 at 07:07 PM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Doshin View Post
    Jundo,

    I thought this would be a good place to post my weekly notes of the course. Could you be so kind to possibly link David Loy’s Dharma talk he gave to Treeleaf a year or two ago in this thread as an introduction?

    Thank you
    Doshin
    St
    Thank you Doshin, thank you Jundo

    I'm looking forward learning more about Ecodharma .
    I will also sit today the Zazenkai with David Loy and all of you .

    Gassho,
    eva
    sattoday

  7. #7
    One of my Ango commitments is to reread Loy’s book The New Buddhist Path. I will also sit with this Zazenkai again. I am looking forward to hearing the outcome of your notes on the EcoDharma course Doshin.


    Tairin
    Sat today and lah
    泰林 - Tai Rin - Peaceful Woods

  8. #8
    *This will take more than three sentences, sorry.

    I will work to keep my weekly summary to highlights without great elaboration. Possibly links to greater detail. I understand that a few in our Sangha are not convinced of climate change, human’s role or the validity of scientists (they have been wrong). For full disclosure I have followed climate change the last 30 years, attended several conferences,
    and am a scientist. My personal view is that the science has been substantial to support the concern. However I am not a specialist in climate change but on habitat protection, restoration and management. I would like to keep this thread focused on the content of the three month course so I “suggest” any debate be placed in the Living Earth thread to keep this thread succinct and focused.

    Thank you

    Doshin
    St
    Last edited by Doshin; 09-10-2020 at 02:41 PM.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Doshin View Post
    *This will take more than three sentences, sorry.

    I will work to keep my weekly summary to highlights with out great elaboration. Possibly links to greater detail. I understand that a few in our Sangha are not convinced of climate change, human’s role or the validity of scientists (they have been wrong). For full disclosure I have followed climate change the last 30 years, attended several conferences,
    and am a scientist. My personal view is that the science has been substantial to support the concern. However I am not a specialist in climate change but on habitat protection, restoration and management. However to keep this thread focused on the content of the three month course I “suggest” any debate be placed in the Living Earth thread to keep this thread succinct and focused.

    Thank you

    Doshin
    St

    Meitou
    Sattoday lah
    命 Mei - life
    島 Tou - island

  10. #10
    Gassho2, meian st lh

    Sent from my SM-G975U using Tapatalk
    迷安 - Mei An - Wandering At Rest

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Doshin View Post
    *This will take more than three sentences, sorry.

    I will work to keep my weekly summary to highlights without great elaboration. Possibly links to greater detail. I understand that a few in our Sangha are not convinced of climate change, human’s role or the validity of scientists (they have been wrong). For full disclosure I have followed climate change the last 30 years, attended several conferences,
    and am a scientist. My personal view is that the science has been substantial to support the concern. However I am not a specialist in climate change but on habitat protection, restoration and management. I would like to keep this thread focused on the content of the three month course so I “suggest” any debate be placed in the Living Earth thread to keep this thread succinct and focused.

    Thank you

    Doshin
    St
    And even then, let us keep any discussion of climate change purely through the ever present lens of Buddhist teachings rather than becoming a general debate of who is right or wrong apart from the Buddhist teachings, the technical evidence, etc.

    I know that may be hard, and it is a serious topic impacting all of us ... as the fires burn and the typhoons roar ... but outside, on the rest of the internet, there are countless places to debate and argue the topic in typical ways. Here, the point must remain how the Buddhist teachings inform our feelings about climate change, and how climate change impacts the Buddhist teachings.

    Gassho, Jundo

    STLah
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  12. #12
    Thank you Jundo

    Doshin
    St

  13. #13
    Gassho1 Jundo

    Gassho, meian st lh

    Sent from my SM-G975U using Tapatalk
    迷安 - Mei An - Wandering At Rest

  14. #14
    Thanks Jundo
    Gassho
    Meitou
    sat lah
    命 Mei - life
    島 Tou - island

  15. #15
    Thank you Jundo.


    Tairin
    Sat today and lah
    泰林 - Tai Rin - Peaceful Woods

  16. #16
    Session 1


    Today was the first class. There are 40 participants, most from the U.S. Many participants seem to come from a Zen background but other Buddhist traditions are represented (mainly students but a few teachers). Both of the core teachers are Zen teachers (see Jundo’s original post for more about them). Guest teachers will also include other Zen/Buddhist teachers.

    The focus tonight was getting to know each other and outlining the next couple of months of teachings. A significant amount of time was allocated for each of us to discuss our ties to the earth and what brought us here. Diverse group of people with varied paths all leading here.

    David Loy told a story of the Teacher who was asked what to do during difficult times to which he replied...Welcome them since that is now the path.

    Since the purpose of the course is the Dharma and how to approach Climate Change and the Extinction Crisis the orientation is the inter-connection of Science and the Spiritual. Grief and trauma of dealing with the ecological crisis was highlighted but how resilience must occur to respond.

    Personal note, though I have practiced Zen for many years I still approach these subjects from a technical perspective (I may be the odd one out in the group). To view from the spiritual/Zen perspective is new for me but I look forward to the approach.

    Doshin
    St
    Last edited by Doshin; 09-11-2020 at 12:35 PM.

  17. #17
    This sounds so good Doshin - I particularly liked David Loy's story 'Welcome them since that is now the path'. I think that's an important teaching which could be applied across many areas of our lives.
    I'm glad also that there will be discussions around the grief /trauma of dealing with ecological issues, something I've seen people struggle with to the point of being unable to move forward.
    Thanks for updating, and again thanks for attending.
    Gassho
    Meitou
    Sattoday lah
    命 Mei - life
    島 Tou - island

  18. #18
    Thank you for sharing, Doshin. That sounds like a nice sized group for doing some serious work.

    Are the classes weekly?

    Gassho
    Kokuu
    -sattoday-
    ------------------------------------
    Feel free to message me if you wish to talk about issues around practicing with physical limitations. This is something I have been sitting with for a fair while and am happy to help with suggestions or just offer a listening ear.

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Kokuu View Post
    Thank you for sharing, Doshin. That sounds like a nice sized group for doing some serious work.

    Are the classes weekly?

    Gassho
    Kokuu
    -sattoday-

    Kokuu, weekly through December.

    Doshin
    St

  20. #20
    Doshin, thank you for keeping us informed. I look forward to learning with you.

    Gassho,

    Nanrin

  21. #21
    My apologies but I am retreating from more of the Digital world as part of my Ango commitments. Therefore I will be absent from the forum until the end of the year.

    I still plan to participate in the EcoDharma Course but will wait until I return and then provide highlights in a few posts (instead of my weekly planned summaries). I appreciate those who have shown an interest.

    Until then,

    Stay Safe and Stay Well

    Doshin
    St

  22. #22
    I hope the course is a wonderful experience for you, Doshin. I look forward to reading your reports.
    Gassho,
    Krista
    st

  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by Doshin View Post
    My apologies but I am retreating from more of the Digital world as part of my Ango commitments. Therefore I will be absent from the forum until the end of the year.

    I still plan to participate in the EcoDharma Course but will wait until I return and then provide highlights in a few posts (instead of my weekly planned summaries). I appreciate those who have shown an interest.

    Until then,

    Stay Safe and Stay Well

    Doshin
    St
    I understand .
    Looking forward to your return in Forum

    Take care
    Gassho,
    eva
    sattoday

  24. #24
    My apologies but I am retreating from more of the Digital world as part of my Ango commitments. Therefore I will be absent from the forum until the end of the year.

    I still plan to participate in the EcoDharma Course but will wait until I return and then provide highlights in a few posts (instead of my weekly planned summaries). I appreciate those who have shown an interest.
    Thank you for letting us know, Doshin.

    Go well!

    Gassho
    Kokuu
    -sattoday-
    ------------------------------------
    Feel free to message me if you wish to talk about issues around practicing with physical limitations. This is something I have been sitting with for a fair while and am happy to help with suggestions or just offer a listening ear.

  25. #25
    Looking forward to reading your updates later in the year. Go well and enjoy your retreat.
    Gassho
    Meitou
    Sattoday
    命 Mei - life
    島 Tou - island

  26. #26
    UN warns that world risks becoming 'uninhabitable hell' for millions unless leaders take climate action

    There has been a "staggering" rise in natural disasters over the past 20 years and the climate crisis is to blame, the United Nations said Monday.

    Researchers pointed to a failure of political and business leaders to take meaningful action to mitigate the impact of climatic change and stop the planet from turning into "an uninhabitable hell for millions of people."

    ... Between 2000 and 2019, there were 7,348 major natural disasters -- including earthquakes, tsunamis and hurricanes -- that claimed 1.23 million lives, affected 4.2 billion people and resulted in $2.97 trillion in global economic losses, according to the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) ... The vast majority of those disasters were climate-related, with researchers reporting more flooding, storms, droughts, heatwaves, hurricanes and wildfires in the past 20 years.

    The sharp increase has been attributed to rising global temperatures, which scientists say is increasing the frequency of extreme weather and disaster events. The report found floods, storms, heatwaves, droughts, hurricanes and wildfires have all significantly increased in the past 20 years.

    "It is baffling that we willingly and knowingly continue to sow the seeds of our own destruction," said UNDRR chief Mami Mizutori and Debarati Guha-Sapir of Belgium's Center for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters, in a joint foreword to the report.

    https://www.undrr.org/publication/hu...ears-2000-2019
    Gassho, J

    STLah
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  27. #27
    I returned to participate in the Treeleaf digital world today to witness Kotei’s Home Leaving, since I am here I will begin to offer some brief observations about the EcoDharma course. I will strive to keep to three sentences but I am sure some posts will be longer. Tomorrow I will begin..

    Doshin
    St

  28. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by Doshin View Post
    I returned to participate in the Treeleaf digital world today to witness Kotei’s Home Leaving, since I am here I will begin to offer some brief observations about the EcoDharma course. I will strive to keep to three sentences but I am sure some posts will be longer. Tomorrow I will begin..

    Doshin
    St
    Oh, I think that we can wave the "three sentences" here for such a worthy cause. Please tell us all about it.

    Gassho, Jundo

    STLah
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  29. #29
    I'm hyped to hear about it! Spare no detail!


    Evan,
    Sat today, lah
    Just going through life one day at a time!

  30. #30
    Welcome back, Doshin. Looking forward to your post!

    Gassho
    Anant
    ST

  31. #31
    I've been looking forward to reading this.

    And good to see you at the ceremony, Doshin.

    Gassho

    heiso.

    StLah

  32. #32
    Overview

    The course was taught by David Loy (Zen Teacher and professor of Buddhist and comparative philosophy studies) and Kritee Kanko (Zen teacher and Climate Scientist). Both have web pages if you would like to learn more. The first 7 weeks focused primarily on David Loy’s book Ecodharma: Buddhist Teachings for the Ecological Crisis (2018). The latter part of the course addressed environmental justice, community building, trauma, grief and resilience and how to respond appropriately as of this post there are several classes remaining and unfortunately I already missed two but expect to be present for the last two). The genesis of these teachings is the existential crisis of climate change and loss of biodiversity (see my previous posts in Living Earth about species loss) we are witnessing. These are not external problems but what our species is doing to itself. The exponential growth of our population (approximately 5 fold in the last Century after talking several hundred thousand years to reach a billion) and accompanying impacts (e.g., land conversion, technological advances, etc) on the natural world helped lead us here. The course then looks at what Buddhism may say about this and then how we as a species should address it both globally and personally (from an introspective way) as well as the inequities of climate change impacts. A comment from the first session stood out to me..."don't confuse grief with dispair. "

    Our present understanding is that our species existed for several hundred thousand years as hunter/gathers and after the adoption of agriculture about 12,000 years ago civilization began to emerge. This new period is referred to as the Holocene. The climate during the Holocene has been relatively stable which may have also allowed civilization to flourish. However our climate appears to be changing and the majority of the scientific community identify the byproducts of industrial revolution beginning in 1800s as accentuating this change.

    I will try to briefly summarize each Chapter in following posts but highly recommend reading the book for more detail. The posts will emerge as I am able to reread the chapters and visit my notes. Thank you for your patience.

    With Jundo’s permission I greatly exceed 3 sentence in this initial post.

    I would add that as I write this I understand I have my own biasis that are present when I interpret what I hear/read and what I choose to share with you (I credit that understanding to my training in the sciences and also many years of Zazen) so please keep that in mind when you read my postings and please do your own studies. Hopefully my summaries will stimulate your desire to learn more.

    Stay Safe, Be Well

    Doshin
    st
    Last edited by Doshin; 11-26-2020 at 11:42 AM.

  33. #33
    Member RobD's Avatar
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    Doshin,

    I'm eagerly looking forward to your summaries here, but I will also take your advice and check out Loy's book.

    Thank you for helping to bring all of this to light.

    Gassho,
    Rob

    -stlah-

  34. #34
    Thank you, Doshin! This is really important work to hear about and I would like to have David Loy's book as a future book club read if possible, or part of a Green book group for interested members.

    A comment from the first session stood out to me..."don't confuse grief with dispair. "
    This seems really important to me. Whenever I focus on what is going on, I feel an immense overwhelming sense of both grief and despair.

    Apologies for going over.

    Gassho
    Kokuu
    -sattoday-
    ------------------------------------
    Feel free to message me if you wish to talk about issues around practicing with physical limitations. This is something I have been sitting with for a fair while and am happy to help with suggestions or just offer a listening ear.

  35. #35
    Quote Originally Posted by Kokuu View Post
    Thank you, Doshin! This is really important work to hear about and I would like to have David Loy's book as a future book club read if possible, or part of a Green book group for interested members.

    Gassho
    Kokuu
    -sattoday-
    I second that.
    Gassho
    Meitou
    sattoday lah
    命 Mei - life
    島 Tou - island

  36. #36
    Chapter 1: Is climate change the problem?

    I have struggled with the summary of the first Chapter for over a week because each paragraph is woven with much information. This morning I read an article in one of the News Media publications that quoted the United Nations Secretary- General Antonio Guterres speaking at Colombia University, “The State of the planet is broken. Humanity is waging war on nature. This is suicide.” which I felt captured some of the intent of this chapter. David argues we have lost our way and our problem is modern civilization’s relationship to nature. We see nature as an end to a means and not part of us.

    The climate crisis and its accentuation of storms, floods, droughts, and catastrophic fires is a problem, but it is part of an interdependent ecological crisis. The additional symptoms of this ecological crisis are the accelerating extinction of species, freshwater depletion, plastic pollution, loss of topsoil and its associated agricultural production, and more. We are the genesis of these challenges…we are doing this to ourselves, so technology, economics and political solutions alone are not the answer. It is a Spiritual Crisis to which Buddhism has something to say.

    Doshin
    st
    Last edited by Doshin; 12-03-2020 at 02:40 AM.

  37. #37
    Quote Originally Posted by Kokuu View Post
    Thank you, Doshin! This is really important work to hear about and I would like to have David Loy's book as a future book club read if possible, or part of a Green book group for interested members.



    This seems really important to me. Whenever I focus on what is going on, I feel an immense overwhelming sense of both grief and despair.

    Apologies for going over.

    Gassho
    Kokuu
    -sattoday-

    After attempting a brief summary of the first Chapter of David Loys book I think a better path to sharing is the idea Kokuu shares above. Specifically as part of a Green Book Club where David Loy's book would be the first. With this approach there would be many perspectives from whithin the Sangha to highlight and discuss the most salient points. Possibly next year.

    Kokuu could you consider this and discuss with Jundo and others. We have talked in the past about co-hosting such a venue to bring attention to the greater Earth Sangha to which all sentient life belongs.

    Doshin
    st

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