Monthly Archives: April 2013

A call to teachers – speak on climate change!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA“Just as we need to keep our bodies healthy and pure as we seek enlightenment, while we dwell on this planet we have a duty to cherish and protect it.” – Thich Nhat Hanh, The World We Have (2008).

Teachers of meditation have long promoted mindful living for mental development, physical health, and more harmonious social relations.  Mindful living extends even further, though, into the realm of lifestyle choices, business decisions, and government policies.  All of these have a profound effect on our communities and our collective body, the earth.

With atmospheric CO2 levels still climbing, we need dharma teachers to join actively in the movement for climate protection, through their teaching and through their organizations.  This spring, we joined James Baraz in calling on all meditation leaders to teach on climate protection as a vital part of mindful living.  Members signed a petition on the website of Oxford Gaia House Retreats, organized by a number of Sangha members.  Then, in early June, Spirit Rock hosted a gathering of teachers who discussed this call with James, Jack Kornfield, and other Spirit Rock leaders.

Climate protection is the immediate and personal requirement of every one of us, and it cannot wait any longer.  While dharma teachers begin to take up the issue with the same seriousness that they give to regular meditation practice, let your voice continue to be heard, in conversations with neighbors, before elected officials, and at your place of work.

Buddha in fieldLet your actions seen!  Sign up for Green Sangha’s Sustainable Living Training with Linda Currie, to become a Climate Leader yourself!  Call (510) 532-6574 or write




Tell the President: no Keystone XL pipeline!

We have just a few days left to stop the Keystone pipeline project.  Climate experts tell us that all of our good work will be undone if this project is approved.  Your voice makes a difference.  Here is a sample letter, adapted from Bill Carney and Sustainable San Rafael.  Please take a few minutes to copy this letter into a Word document, edit to suit your style, and send to the addressees by Earth Day!

Then, please tell us that you sent the letter.  We want to know how many Green Sangha members and friends have responded.

With heartfelt gratitude,

All of our team at Green Sangha

April, 2013

President Barack Obama, The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20500

Dear President Obama:

History will remember your Presidency for what you do on climate. Now is the time for bold climate leadership. I join millions of Americans in calling on you to support immediate and decisive climate-saving actions.

Climate disasters such as Hurricane Sandy and the heartland drought have made this crisis real to most Americans.  A unique ‘teachable moment’ is at hand.  Please make good on your Inaugural pledge “to respond to the threat of climate change” by laying out a practical plan to achieve what science demands, including these key elements:

  • Climate is an energy issue:  To solve the climate crisis, we must move rapidly from fossil fuels to renewable sources of energy.  Climate can’t wait.
  • Climate is an economic issue:  We can solve this crisis by creating satisfying American jobs building a clean energy economy and re-building climate-resilient homes, businesses, and infrastructure.
  • Climate is a fiscal issue:  We can pay for the transition off fossil fuels and for the damages done by fossil fuel through carefully stepped-up fees on carbon – which will also help incentivize the switch to cleaner fuels.  Otherwise, the escalating costs of      climate disasters and adaptations will swamp future budgets and drown future opportunities.

I’ve already acted to reduce my carbon use.  Now I need your action to support and amplify the efforts of every citizen on the scale needed to solve this crisis.  You have the power to take Executive action now to demonstrate that climate is a national priority by rejecting the Keystone Pipeline.  Then, inspire us with a comprehensive, can-do climate vision to reduce carbon emissions by 80% by 2050.  If Americans can travel to the moon, a “mission to Earth” is possible, too.  Not only is it possible, it is vital to the health of our people and our home planet.


[Your name]


Representative Jared Huffman/999 Fifth Ave., #290/San Rafael, CA 94901

Senator Barbara Boxer/112 Hart Senate Office Building/Washington, DC 20510

Senator Dianne Feinstein/331 Hart Senate Office Building/Washington, DC 20510

Secretary of State John Kerry/2201 C Street NW/Washington, DC 20520