Dharmadatta Community sees the Buddhadharma as a spiritual path that necessarily includes care for our shared earth at its core. We also see this historical moment as urgently calling on us to do more as Buddhists to face the unfolding reality of climate crisis together.
We recognize that the environmental crisis has its roots in a human history in which we collectively adopted extractive cultural paradigms. Therefore, addressing it requires collective action and a collective paradigm shift. We believe Buddhism offer resources for making the shift.
As we understand and practice the Dharma: Buddhist philosophy offers a vision of interconnectedness in which the earth cannot be other from ourselves. Buddhist meditation offers training in experiencing ourselves as embodied, interconnected beings. Buddhist ethics offers orientation in living as conditions for the flourishing (or harm) of the world. To us, Buddhist monasticism offers a model for voluntary simplicity that is a needed alternative to our consumer culture.
As such, Dharmadatta Community considers itself to be inherently an ecological sangha. At the same time, we have created the EcoSangha Dharmadatta initiative to more explicitly place environmental action at the center of our community’s spiritual practice, and to explore what we can do as a community for the earth.
As an intergenerational sangha, we value the voices of those who have lived their entire lives in an awareness of pending environmental collapse. We need the sense of urgency and passion they bring. We also value the voices of those who have spent decades working to counter the forces that have brought us to this point. We need the long-view and the wisdom they bring.
As a Spanish-speaking community with membership with roots across the global south, we ask what does environmental justice look like in our specific local communities? How does climate change affect us differentially? Since the sense of profound interconnectedness to the earth arises from our encounters with specific ecosystems, we seek to develop together a vision of EcoDharma that is specifically rooted in our Latinx, Caribbean and Iberian environments.
English-speaking Dharma communities have already produced a great deal of collective wisdom and reflection on the intersections and synchronies between ecology and Buddhism, and our EcoSangha takes inspiration from those resources. However, we also acknowledge that these resources are situated in a global north and thus may incorporate perspectives that are not shared.
One purpose of EcoSangha Dharmadatta is to create a space for the articulation of an emergent Latinx EcoDharma.
Upcoming EcoSangha Gatherings in 2022
(Gatherings are conducted entirely in Spanish)
Monthly sessions include a guided meditation and breakout groups for discussion. Guests are invited to share their experiences, expertise or inspiration and/or to provide specific training that the EcoSangha has identified as needed. When there is no invited speaker, sessions may also included discussions of suggested readings. Sessions are led by lay members of the Dharmadatta Community, and supported by Dharmadatta nuns.
✽Receive training from invited guests, in support of environmental action
✽Discuss selected readings that explore environmental issues and eco-dharma
✽Learn from one another’s experience and share inspiration
Monthly Community Gatherings
Each month, we gather as an EcoSangha to strengthen our shared aspirations and commitments, to share resources and to work collectively toward environmental, justice, in whatever form that takes in our lives and communities.
Issues to be explored in EcoSangha meetings include:
- Climate crisis preparedness
- Dealing with eco-anxiety and eco-grief
- Personal consumption and voluntary simplicity
- Collective trauma and collective action
- Climate refugees in the global south
- Deforestation (and reforestation)
- Habitat destruction (and habitat conservation)
- Species extinction
- Biodiversity and land use
- Global food security
- Veganism as a conservation strategy
- Food waste
- Greening urban spaces
- Clean air
- Water insecurity
- Ocean acidification and sea level rise
- Plastic pollution
- Waste management
We imagine further initiatives will grow organically from our monthly gatherings, which provide a space where our EcoSangha can set its own goals and work together to keep those goals ever-present and always a bit closer.