Buddhists from various traditions stood and meditated on a freeway overpass in downtown Seattle as President Obama arrived for a fundraiser September 25th. They joined other groups in protesting the development of the XL Keystone Pipeline. The pipeline carries crude oil produced from Canadian tar sands from northern Alberta to the central U. S. and, if expanded, to the Gulf of Mexico. Sponsor for the Buddhist contingent was the Seattle chapter of the Buddhist Peace Fellowship. Over-all organizing group was Tar Sands Action.
For more information on the Buddhist Peace Fellowship please visit: www.bpf.org.
Photo © Ann-Marie Stillion.
“What gives you hope that we can bring about the collective awakening needed to restore health to the planet?”
Thích Nhat Hanh and David Suzuki discussed this vital question in an hour-long conversation when they met in Vancouver, British Columbia in August this year.
In conversation with Dr. Suzuki, geneticist and leading advocate of sustainable ecology, the Buddhist monk, poet, and peace activist shared his thoughts on the future of the planet. Both agreed that humans are currently in the process of destroying the earth by disrupting the climate and destroying ecosystems.
Addressing the problems of apathy and despair, “Thay”, as he is known to his followers, warned against feelings of helplessness, asserting that individuals can make a difference. The first step in doing so is to cultivate inner strength.
Vancouver mayor Gregor Robertson joined the conversation, which was moderated by James Hoggan, president of the David Suzuki Foundation and creator of the environmental blog, DeSmogBlog.com. Thích Nhat Hanh made this important visit to Vancouver to lead a retreat at the University of British Columbia and to offer public teachings.
Two short segments from the conversation are available here.