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Aug 09
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Investigating Eco-Dharma

Eco Dharma ConferenceThe 2014 Eco-Dharma Conference is happening this weekend at Wonderwell Mountain Refuge

Acharya Adam Lobel is one of the contributing teachers

This weekend in the foothills of the White Mountains of New Hampshire a unique event is occurring. Featuring prominent Buddhist teachers, scholars, and environmental activists discussing in depth the intersection of Buddhist practice and stewardship of the earth. Conference participants will also be invited into this discussion. The conference will address questions such as:

  • What practices can help us deal with the pain that arises in relationship to ecological devastation?
  • What is the nature of our ecological crisis?
  • What do activists have to offer Buddhists for engaging in existing activist causes?
  • What does Buddhism have to offer activist communities?
  • How can we integrate eco-dharma into our communities?
  • Featured guests include David Loy, PhD, Zen teacher and author of The Great Awakening: A Buddhist Social Theory; Ven. Bikkhu Bodhi, translator and author of The Connected Discourses of the Buddha; Colin Beavan, activist and author of No Impact Man; Rev. angel Kyodo williams; Kritee, PhD; Lama Willa Miller; David Stember; Rev. Danny Fisher; Patrick Groneman; Acharya Adam Lobel; Lou Leonard; and Kristin Barker.

    The Shambhala Times asked Acharya Adam Lobel what he would be presenting. He shared, “As a representative of Shambhala, I have been asked to present on the theme of Courage and Fearlessness. This is an opportunity to present some of our core Shambhala teachings of working with fear on a personal level. Also how fear and confidence are the co-emergent ‘hinge’ which we focus on in creating enlightened society: courage leads to good society, fear leads to aggression and cowardice.”

    In general, Acharya Lobel shared that he will “present on the Shambhala Principle and the relationship between personal goodness and inspiration, and societal transformation. I will also express teachings on sacred world, drala, and how cosmology influences our concrete ecological choices.”

    In this moment in human society, it seems increasingly challenging to rest in a sense of basic trust and simplicity. The speed and pace of our lives, the various psychological dis-eases that we face, the economic insecurity and demands, family challenges, addiction, racism and prejudice, political blame, global violence and unjust distribution of wealth, and the ecological disharmony that mark modern society lead to a sense of fear and alienation.

    The Sakyong’s most recent and powerful teachings point to a single “pressure-point” for shifting our future: basic goodness. Basic goodness works at the level of our personal experience of waking up and relaxing with our nature and our tender hearts. This same vital point also works at the level of culture, where reconnecting with kindness and virtue are part of what is needed to reestablish sane households, schools, and communities. On the societal level, human beings are held in a container of institutions and systems such as our economics and politics. These too can manifest the best of human wisdom and compassion. We can see in the Shambhala teachings that it is not only the individual that is basically good — society itself arises from the cosmic mirror. The “network of relationships” between human beings arises from the kindness and communication of basic goodness.

    These themes will fit perfectly into the diverse panel presenting on the intersections of Buddhist practice and stewardship of the earth. To listen in, visit: wonderwellrefuge.org

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