Buddhism

Buddhism and ecological concerns are no stranger to each other, as Buddhists are often some of the most active and engaged environmentalists in the religion and ecology world. Leslie Sponsel points out in “Buddhism and Ecology: Theory and Practice” some of the many concepts that have inspired Buddhists of today to be more engaged with these issues, such as Ahimsa (do no harm), Karuna (compassion), and Metta (lovingkindness). In “Buddhism: A Mixed Dharmic Bag: Debates about Buddhism and Ecology,” Chris Ives takes another important Buddhist concept, paṭicca-samuppāda (dependent origination, sometimes translated as interdependence), and demonstrates why the eco-Buddhist relationship and foundation for these beliefs is more complex than is often portrayed. But in the end, Buddhism has grown and evolved as the world has changed, and the approach of the environmentally engaged Buddhist communities has much wisdom and inspiration to offer.

Overview Essay

“Buddhism: A Mixed Dharmic Bag: Debates about Buddhism and Ecology” by Christopher Ives was originally published in the Routledge Handbook of Religion and Ecology. In it, Chris Ives outlines some of the problems and promise for the eco-Buddhist movement of today.

Bibliography

This voluminous list of print resources was complied by Chris Ives of Stonehill College and Duncan Ryuken Williams of University of Southern California.

Statements

Several faith statements on Buddhism and ecology can be found here, incuding one from the Dalai Lama from World Environment Day in 1986.

Engaged Projects

This section provides information on some of the many organizations and projects around the world working on environmental issues from within a Buddhist context.

Links

In addition to the links in the Engaged Projects section, we have provided a brief list of additional online resources here.

Sacred Texts

Environmentally-related selections from various sutras are located here.

Multimedia

Located here are multimedia offerings of interest, relating to the intersection of Buddhism and ecology.


Header photo: Longmen Grottoes, Luoyang, Henan, China