Seeking Freedom of the Heart and Mind in Care for the World: Buddhist Perspective on the Ecological Emergency
By Karin Meyers, Extinction Rebellion
As Buddhists, we seek freedom from suffering through insight into the impermanent and selfless nature of phenomena and the cultivation of our hearts. Both promote freedom through the elimination of greed, hatred and delusion. Historically, Buddhists have sometimes sought this freedom through withdrawal from society and worldly affairs. Today, however, we are facing an existential crisis, the sixth mass extinction and rapidly deteriorating climate stability.
Buddhist meditative practices provide resources to help us face this crisis with compassion, discernment, and deep resilience, while Buddhist ethical precepts not to cause harm compel us to examine how we participate in (or resist) social, economic, and political arrangements that endanger ourselves and future generations, as well as countless species of other-than-human beings.
This dharma talk will examine this situation from a “Socially Engaged Buddhist” perspective, reflecting on the interconnection between personal freedom and the collective well-being of all forms of life on earth. There will be time for sharing and discussion following the talk.
Join Karin and other sangha members for a sitting at 7:00pm and talk at 7:35pm.
From 2011 to 2018, Karin Meyers was Associate Professor at Rangjung Yeshe Institute Kathmandu University’s Centre for Buddhist Studies, where she also served as Director of the Masters Program in Buddhist Studies (from 2013-2018). In 2018 she taught at Princeton and George Washington University, and will be at Smith College in the fall. She is currently a Retreat Support Fellow at the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, MA. Karin’s scholarly work focuses on Buddhist psychology, ethics, and contemplative systems; Buddhism and free will; and philosophical and religious studies perspectives on Buddhist ideas. From 1997-1998 she worked at the Buddhist Peace Fellowship and has taught several courses on “socially engaged Buddhism” over the years. She has practiced meditation in both Theravāda and Tibetan Buddhist traditions.