In addition to this sampling, you can view a YouTube playlist of Buddhism and Ecology videos here.
Spotlights Clips 2.43, Deep Social Ecology with Jason Wirth
July 18, 2022
This is a clip from the episode of Spotlights featuring Jason Wirth, PhD, professor of philosophy at Seattle University, Soto Zen priest, and the founder and co-director of the Seattle University EcoSangha (www.ecosangha.net). He discusses his idea of “deep social ecology,” which integrates the insights of two ecological philosophies often considered to be in opposition to one another: deep ecology and social ecology. You can learn more about it be reading his article, “Deep Social Ecology,” in The Trumpeter 37.1 (2021): https://trumpeter.athabascau.ca/index… You can find the full episode here: https://fore.yale.edu/blogs/entry/165…
Spotlights Episode 2.42, Jason Wirth on Philosophy, Zen, and Ecology
July 11, 2022
This episode of Spotlights features Jason Wirth, PhD, professor of philosophy at Seattle University, Soto Zen priest, and the founder and co-director of the Seattle University EcoSangha (www.ecosangha.net). We talk about his capacious engagements with Continental philosophy, Buddhism, ecological thought, indigenous lifeways, and more. We discuss some of his books, including Nietzsche and Other Buddhas: Philosophy after Comparative Philosophy (Indiana 2019), Mountains, Rivers, and the Great Earth: Reading Gary Snyder and Dōgen in an Age of Ecological Crisis (SUNY 2017), and Schelling’s Practice of the Wild (SUNY 2015). Incidentally, our conversation took place on a US National Holiday, July 4 (Independence Day), so our conversation naturally includes some political reflections, touching on topics of democracy, freedom, anarchy, and deep social ecology.
Spotlights Clips, 2.33, Trans-Himalayan Studies with Dan Smyer Yu
May 9, 2022
This week, Spotlights features a clip from our episode with Dan Smyer Yü, PhD, Kuige Professor of Ethnology in the School of Ethnology and Sociology at Yunnan University and a Global Faculty Member at the University of Cologne. He discusses his groundbreaking work in trans-Himalayan studies, exploring the ways religion and ecology intersect in the mountains, valleys, plains, and rivers of regions in and around the Himalayas. Details for the full episode are here: https://fore.yale.edu/blogs/entry/165…
Spotlights Episode, 2.32, Dan Smyer Yu, PhD, Yunnan University/University of Cologne
May 2, 2022
This week’s episode of Spotlights features Dan Smyer Yü, PhD, the Kuige Professor of Ethnology in the School of Ethnology and Sociology at Yunnan University and a Global Faculty Member at the University of Cologne. He discusses his multifaceted, interdisciplinary work with religion and ecology, including his work with trans-Himalayan studies, Buddhism and ecology, ecological indigeneity, commoning, and the role of affect in responding to climate change. Along the way, he talks about some of his books, like Mindscaping the Landscape of Tibet: Place, Memorability, Eco-aesthetics (De Gruyter 2015) as well as some of his co-edited volumes, including Religion and Ecological Sustainability in China (Routledge 2014), Trans-Himalayan Borderlands: Livelihoods, Territorialities, Modernities (Amsterdam University Press 2017), and Environmental Humanities in the New Himalayas: Symbiotic Indigeneity, Commoning, Sustainability (Routledge 2021).
Spotlights Clips 2.24 ~ The Portabillity of Buddhism, with Aaron Weiss
March 7, 2022
This is a clip from our episode featuring Aaron Weiss, PhD, Adjunct Professor of Philosophy and Religion at the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco, CA. He discusses the portability of Buddhism across cultures, as it has moved across landscapes and communities since its inception in ancient India. Important questions of cultural diffusion and cultural appropriation comes up along the way. Details for the full episode are here: https://fore.yale.edu/blogs/entry/164…
Spotlights Episode 2.21 ~ Buddhism and Place with Aaron Weiss PhD
February 14, 2022
This week’s episode of Spotlights features Aaron Weiss, PhD, Adjunct Professor of Philosophy and Religion at the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco, CA. He talks about Tibetan Buddhism and philosophical perspectives on place, particularly in light of his recently defended dissertation, Buddhist Topology and the Practice of Lama Orgyan Khandro Norlha. Along the way, he also discusses questions of translation, cultural appropriation, and the complex challenges facing scholar-practitioners of Buddhism. More resources for studying the intersection of Buddhism and ecology can be found on the Yale Forum on Religion and Ecology website: https://fore.yale.edu/World-Religions…
Spotlights Clips ~ Episode 2.7, Shinto and Buddhist Ecologies with Mirei Takashima Claremon
November 8, 2021
This week’s episode of Spotlights is a clip from our interview with Dr. Mirei Takashima Claremon, a global citizen, behavioral scientist, and cross-cultural consumer insights expert based in Los Angeles. In this part of the interview, she reflects on the ways that Shinto and Buddhist values and animistic sensibilities shape Japanese culture and behaviors toward the environment. For more details about her work, go to the full episode here: https://youtu.be/RhubJW3hUYE
Spotlights ~ Episode 2.6, Mirei Takashima Claremon, Behavioral Sustainability
November 1, 2021
This week, the Spotlights podcast welcomes Dr. Mirei Takashima Claremon, a global citizen, behavioral scientist, and cross-cultural consumer insights expert based in Los Angeles. She discusses her work leading the Behavioral Sustainability movement, reflecting on the limits of analytical thinking and the importance of holistic and cross-cultural perspectives. She also talks about the important role that Shintoism and Buddhism play in her thinking. You can learn more about her work here: https://www.behavioralsustainability.org She blogs regularly here: https://drmireitc.medium.com/ You can connect with her on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/mireitc-phd/
Healing our Trauma *is* Climate Action, with Sr. Lăng Nghiêm and Br. Pháp Linh
November 1, 2021
In this special livestreamed sharing upon their return from the TED Countdown Climate Conference, Sr. Lăng Nghiêm and Br. Pháp Linh continue the work of our teacher Thay and offer us a clear path to address the deep roots of our current ecological crisis. They explain how, together, through the way we train our understanding and live our daily lives, we can bring about the collective awakening that is needed to meet and transform the situation.
Spotlights Remix ~ Ep. 53, Buddhism and Ecology
September 20, 2021
This week’s episode of Spotlights is a remix of two previous episodes, featuring guests who work at the intersection of Buddhism and ecology. First, we hear from Dekila Chungyalpa, Director of the Loka Initiative at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. She discusses her personal journey into the world of Buddhist environmentalism. Then we hear from Chris Ives, PhD, Professor of Religious Studies at Stonehill College. He discusses his teaching and research in Buddhist environmental ethics, specifically with a view to Zen Buddhism. Information for their full episodes is below. Dekila Chungyalpa: https://youtu.be/oUDAiy9cZWs Chris Ives: https://youtu.be/L6VhwaVONUk
Spotlights ~ Ep. 31, Dekila Chungyalpa, The Loka Initiative, Part 2
April 19, 2021
This week’s episode of Spotlights is the second part of a two-part interview with Dekila Chungyalpa, Director of the Loka Initiative at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. She discusses some of the ways that the Loka Initiative supports faith-led environmental and climate efforts locally and around the world by helping build capacity of faith leaders and culture keepers of indigenous traditions, and by creating new opportunities for projects, partnerships and public outreach. You can find more information about the Loka Initiative by navigating here: https://centerhealthyminds.org/progra…You can find details about the Healthy Minds Program app here: https://hminnovations.org/meditation-app
Spotlights ~ Ep. 30, Dekila Chungyalpa, The Loka Initiative
April 12, 2021
This week’s episode of Spotlights is the first part of a two-part interview with Dekila Chungyalpa, Director of the Loka Initiative at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. She discusses the trajectory of her work with religion and ecology, including her experience founding and directing Sacred Earth, an acclaimed faith-based conservation program at the World Wildlife Fund from 2009 to 2014. She also discuss her contributions to Khoryug, a Tibetan Buddhist eco-monastic association in the Himalayas under the auspices of H.H. the 17th Karmapa. More information about Sacred Earth can be found here: https://www.worldwildlife.org/initiat…You can learn more about Khoryug here: http://www.khoryug.info
Spotlights ~ Ep. 23, Christopher Key Chapple, Loyola Marymount University
February 22, 2021
This episode features Christopher Key Chapple, PhD, Doshi Professor of Indic and Comparative Theology and founding Director of the Master of Arts in Yoga Studies at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. He shares his perspective as a scholar and practitioner of yoga, particularly with regard to the connections between yoga and ecology. He discusses his new book, which explores elemental meditations across different traditions of yoga, Living Landscapes: Meditations on the Elements in Hindu, Buddhist, and Jain Yogas (SUNY Press, 2020). More information about the book can be found here: http://www.sunypress.edu/p-6860-livin…You can find more information about Hindu, Buddhist, and Jain perspectives on ecology at the Forum Website: https://fore.yale.edu/World-Religions
FORE Spotlights ~ Episode 8, Chris Ives, Stonehill College
November 9, 2020
This episode of Spotlights features Chris Ives, professor of religious studies at Stonehill College. He discusses his work with Zen Buddhism, ethics, and ecology, including teaching and writing as well as practice and activism. His latest book, Zen on the Trail, draws on his personal experiences with hiking and backpacking to describe the meditative power of walking and pilgrimage. You can find more information here: https://zenonthetrail.com
His Holiness the Dalai Lama: G7 Speakers’ Conference
“Addressing the Climate Crisis with Economic and Environmental Justice for All”
September 11, 2020
In this video, His Holiness the Dalai Lama calls viewers to pay more attention to global warming. He addresses the need to imagine ourseles as “one human community” rather than as individual beings and places that within the context of global warming. Additionally, he cites examples of how Tibetan people are experiecing global warming, highlighting the seriousness of the issue.
For The Earth: The Environment and Social Justice
July 6, 2020
Keval Shah of the Karuna Trust discusses his work in India and Nepal on the intersection of earth-centered awareness with social action, especially in communities where the economic and environmental effects of climate change are often felt first and most strongly. His topics include the tribal communities Karuna works with, and the disruption of their relationships with the natural world; the vulnerability of the communities to the problems of climate change when they contribute the least to emissions; dignified livelihoods, specifically organic vegetable cultivation and farming in Bihar; and future climate resilience work Karuna plans to do.
April 14, 2020
Environmental activist and scholar Joanna Macy discusses the climate crisis as a form of positive disintegration that can give rise to what she calls The Great Turning—a transition to a life-sustaining culture in which humans live in renewed relationship with one another and with the Earth. Macy draws on Shambhala Buddhism and the poetry of Rainer Maria Rilke to inspire us to fall in love with the world, to face our suffering without fear, and to recognize the interdependence of all life.
Earth Holder Community
February 29, 2020
The Earth Holder Community Caretaking Council members and staff speak on Earth justice as it connects to their engaged Buddhist practice.
“Ecodharma–Buddhism and Ecology” with David Loy
Great Mountain Zen Center
May 7, 2019
Zen Master David Loy, PhD, one of the founders of the Rocky Mountain Ecodharma Retreat Center, gives a talk at Great Mountain Zen Center on the Ecosattva path, where Buddhism and caring for the environment come together.
Fight for Areng Valley + Lost World
Directed by Kalyanee E. Mam
In the Areng valley in southwest Cambodia members of the Chong community, supported by Buddhist monks, oppose the construction of a dam that would flood their forest homeland. In Lost World sand mining on Cambodia’s west coast undermines the mangrove forests ecosystem that supports a local fishery and a communal way of life.
“Caring for Our Global Environment”
His Holiness, the 14th the Dalai Lama
September 15, 2015
His Holiness the Dalai Lama speaking on taking daily responsibility to change our environment in response to global warming in this short clip from an interview given to Sofia Stril-Rever in Oxford, UK on September 15, 2015.
“Compassion in Action: Environmentalism for the 21st Century”
His Holiness, the 17th Karmapa
His Holiness, the 17th Karmapa of the Tibetan Buddhist Kagyu School offers a vision for environmental action. The Karmapa compares our external environment to a container and sentient beings to its inner content: if the container is harmed, he says, those beings will suffer. Therefore, he suggests that we transform our lifestyles to control material desires and work toward the protection of the natural world.
“Compassion in Action — Buddhism and the Environment: A Conversation with the 17th Karmapa”
His Holiness, the 17th Karmapa
Interview by Mary Evelyn Tucker and Andrew Quintman
April 7, 2015
Compassion in Action: Buddhism and the Environment, A Conversation with His Holiness the 17th Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje The Karmapa has been described as “a world spiritual leader for the 21st century” and has inspired millions of people worldwide to take action on social and environmental issues. The Karmapa speaks to the younger generation on the major challenges facing society today, including gender issues, food justice, rampant consumerism, and the environmental crisis. A forthcoming book will be based on his interactions with American university students, and focuses on living interdependence in an era of technological connectivity and emotional disconnection.
Damien Keown: “Virtues, Vices and the Environment: Ethics and Ecology in Early Buddhism”
Centre for Studies in Religion and Society, University of Victoria
Buddhism is often seen as an ‘eco-friendly’ religion with an expanded moral horizon encompassing not just human beings but also animals and the natural environment. But just how strong are Buddhism’s ecological credentials? Is ‘Green Buddhism’ essentially a modern invention or do ecological values have a foundation in the earliest teachings? Adopting the role of sympathetic critic, Keown will explore the main approaches to this question, and evaluate their strengths and weaknesses. He suggests that while the development of a Buddhist ecology is not as straightforward as it appears at first sight, there are nevertheless grounds for optimism.
Directed by Gary Marcuse and Lihong Shi
Mill Valley Library
December 19, 2013
As part of the Mill Valley Library First Friday series, and through the lens of the United States’ history of institutionalized (including environmental) racism, Antwi Akom presents on both eco-Buddhism and mindfulness, and building a climate justice movement.
Chris Ives: “Buddhism and Ecology”
Yale Forum on Religion and Ecology “Conversations on World Religions and Ecology” project
June 24-28, 2013
Chris Ives discusses Buddhism and Ecology with Mary Evelyn Tucker.
Watch the whole “Conversations on World Religions and Ecology” series on the Forum on Religion and Ecology YouTube Channel.
“The South Asian Response to Journey of the Universe”
David Haberman, Christopher Ives, and Christopher Key Chapple
Journey of the Universe and Our Elegant Universe Symposium
Three scholars of South Asian religions suggest ways in which those traditions might respond to Journey of the Universe. Dr. David Haberman, Professor of Religious Studies at Indiana University Bloomington, draws parallels with Hindu creation myths of the One becoming the many, suggesting that all of reality is interconnected and arising from the same source. Dr. Christopher Ives, Professor and Chair of Religious Studies at Stonehill College, suggests that Buddhism teaches people to move beyond egocentricity to realize that one affects and is affected by everything else, which resonates with Journey’s notion of interdependent communities. Dr. Christopher Chapple, Professor of Indic and Comparative Theology at Loyola Marymount University, appeals to the structure of Jain temples to convey insights about the connection between the human body and the cosmos, the purification of consciousness, and the recovery of intimacy with life in its many forms.
Khamkhien Suwano: “Spiritual Ecology and Buddhism”
Gaia Ashram Video Project
This video is a clip of an interview with the meditation master and ecologically engaged Buddhist, Khamkhien Suwano. In essence he is a practitioner of spiritual ecology. He speaks about his experiences of when he was a young monk living and practicing meditation in the forest. He tells about his love for nature and how through his meditation practice in the forest, his love for nature became stronger. This clip is part of the Gaia Ashram project which is an multifaceted education center on Deep Ecology, Permaculture and Ecovillage Design Education. Gaia Ashram videoproject is to find inspiring elders who have a deep love and deep spiritual connection with nature and have done the work to help nature. We will be looking at people who have a Holistic worldview and are not stuck in the Mechanistic worldview.
PBS: Religion and Ethics Newsweekly
January 15, 2010
Engaged Buddhism means “you must confront social suffering,” says Thai scholar and activist Sulak Sivaraksa, “and people suffer now because of the environment.”
Header photo credit: ©John Grim, Anuradhapura Ruwanwelisaya Stupa`s Elephant Statue, Sri Lanka; a UNESCO World Heritage site