Climate Change and the Dhamma

The Insight Meditation Senior teachers, under the auspices of IMS, Spirit Rock and Gaia House in Great Britain are in the process of collectively responding to a request from an international sangha group to address the issue of global warming/climate change in relation to Dhamma teachings and practice. VIMS plans to join this effort.

What is the relationship between Dhamma practice and global issues? Some are framing this inquiry as “Earth Sila,” with sila referring to the ethical aspect of the eight-fold path: wise speech, action and livelihood (i.e. life style) – and the overall intention to do no harm. What we do in this world and how we do it have a direct effect on the shared world climate; and the climate in turn effects us. Scientific research has recently shown that there is a connection between higher temperatures and a rise in violent crimes and waging war.

Keith Chrisman, a VIMS member who is an environmentalist of long-standing with a strong interest in the connection between Dhamma and the global warming, has kindly offered to help our community with this. If you would like to be involved in the exploration, please be in touch with Doreen, at or Keith, at We plan to hold a day-long retreat with times of meditation, as well as times of shared consideration on the topic, on Sunday October 13 – our regular 2nd Sunday sit day at AVA Gallery. Please mark your calendars.

There is growing interest and action in the spiritual communities nationally. This summer the Woodstock VT Unitarian Church sponsored an open 8-week program on responses to Global Warming.  An evening discussion in early July at the WRJ Zen Center focused on “Personal Practice/Global Transition”; and there is an important conference on August 16 and 17 in Strafford, VT.

Our Children, Climate, Faith Symposium: An inclusive symposium on moral, ethical, spiritual, and religious consciousness addressing climate disruption, social justice, and the rightful future of all children.

August 16th & 17th, 2013, Historic Townhouse, Strafford, Vermont

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