FEAR, GRIEF AND FAITH - Triratna Earth Sangha Conference 2022 - A BUDDHIST APPROACH TO THE CLIMATE AND ECOLOGICAL CRISES - 25-27 NOVEMBER 2022

This year we broadened our remit to include papers, workshop outlines, guided meditations, puja, music, poetry and the visual arts. We presented perspectives of particularly affected communities and showed what Buddhists can do in this current time of multiple crises. We also introduced the work of Triratna Earth Sangha.


Who are we?

A group of Triratna Order members, Mitras and Friends worldwide who are deeply concerned about the climate and ecological crises we face and see it as part of their practice to do something about them. We are all too painfully aware of the Buddha’s core teaching that actions have consequences. The accelerating destruction of ecosystems in the natural world caused by greed, hatred and ignorance is causing untold suffering to beings of many kinds, and we feel that it is our duty as Buddhists to do what we can to raise awareness of the plight of the planet, demonstrate an alternative way of life based on stillness, simplicity and contentment and act to relieve suffering where we can. Website, Facebook group, Slack channel.

Videos from the Conference - see bottom

Programme

(for speaker bios see below)

The speakers

Sagaravajra, East Devon, UK

Sagaravajra has spent the last twelve years creating a small Pure Land in a field.

Hridayabija, or “Seed of the heart”, is the name of his glorious "forest garden" in east Devon, in the west of England.


Olivia Fuchs, London, UK

Olivia has been practising and studying Buddhism for over 30 years and is a local London-based women’s leader in the Buddhist lay organisation, Soka Gakkai International (SGI). She is a Research Fellow of the Centre for Applied Buddhism with a MA in ‘Reconciliation and Peacebuilding’ from Winchester University. Since 2019 she has been the project coordinator of the Eco Dharma Network, part of the steering committee of Faith for the Climate, and more recently, a member of the ‘Make COP Count’ faith coalition. Olivia is an international award-winning opera and theatre director, and continues her freelance career as well as pursuing her passion for interfaith work, climate action and social change.

Jon Gibbins, Sheffield, UK

Jon is an engineer working on achieving net zero and net negative CO2 emissions. He is Director of the UK CCS (Carbon Capture) Research Centre, part of the University of Sheffield, Translational Energy Research Centre.

Nico Cary, Los Angeles, USA

Nico Cary (he/him) is a dharma practitioner, mindfulness facilitator, writer and performance artist. He received his BA from UC Berkeley’s Interdisciplinary Studies Field School, specializing in cognitive linguistics and graduated from InsightLA’s Facilitator Training Program. He is currently a Garrison Institute Fellow, and his multimedia installations on collective grieving processes have been featured at the Smithsonian and as a part of The Healing Project at Yerba Center for the Arts in San Francisco. While engaged in a deeply fulfilling artistic career, Nico also proudly serves as a mindfulness facilitator for InsightLA. He is interested in the many different vocabularies of healing and the holding capacity of mindfulness, particularly as it relates to embodied activism and creative ecosystems.




Parami, Glasgow, Scotland, UK

Parami is one of the seniormost Order members in the Triratna Buddhist Community. She is a wise and humorous teacher, devoted and irreverent, extravert and thoughtful - a unique and inspiring guide with a great Scottish accent! Parami is also a Public Preceptor, holding responsibility for all ordinations around the world. These responsibilities have meant that she has had the opportunity to experience Triratna within a variety of cultural contexts, something which she really values. Living again in Glasgow, she is enjoying involvement in various social action projects. She manages to carry out all these roles in the most personable way imaginable - we think you’ll enjoy hearing her take on things.



Shantigarbha, Bristol, UK

Shantigarbha is a Buddhist activist, mediator, and lover of life. He's author of The Burning House: A Buddhist Response to the Climate and Ecological Emergency from Windhorse Publications. He is a member of the Triratna International Council, a Regional Order Convenor, a member of the Restorative Coordinating Group, Nonviolent Communication (NVC) trainer and partner to Gesine. He is a co-founder of the Triratna Earth Sangha.









Dhivan, Chester, UK

Dhivan is a Buddhist practitioner, member of the Triratna Buddhist Order, and scholar based in Chester in the UK. He teaches philosophy and Indian religions at the University of Chester.



Jenni Ramos, Cambridge, UK

Jenni is speaking in her personal capacity as a new mitra at the Cambridge Buddhist Centre, drawing on learnings from her professional life. Jenni's interest is in creating sustainable change within the corporate and finance worlds.

Jenni works as a corporate/finance and biodiversity lawyer for a non profit where she focuses on the legal interpretation of directors' and investors' duties in relation to biodiversity loss and ecosystem risk. Prior to this she worked for a non profit supporting lawyers to use contractual clauses to tackle climate change in their everyday work, a career path adopted in 2020 as her personal response to the climate and nature crises.

Joe Mishan, Bishops Stortford, UK

Joe is a psychotherapist, mindfulness teacher and practitioner in the Vipassana tradition, and a long-time member of Extinction Rebellion Buddhists, previously Dharma Action Network for Climate Engagement.

Saraha, Ledbury, UK

Saraha has recently been appointed as International Order Convenor to the Triratna Buddhist Order. He is named after one of the Mahasiddhas, considered to be one of the founders of the Vajrayana, particularly the Mahamudra tradition. He's known for walking high up into the mountains and meditating alone for weeks in a solitary cave.



Akshayapradipa, London, UK

Akshayapradipa trained as a doctor and is currently working in the NHS on health and climate change. She is involved in the North London Buddhist sangha and one of the co-ordinators of Extinction Rebellion Buddhists.




Dhammachari Amrutasiddhi, India

Amrutasiddhi is 58 years old and was ordained into the Triratna Buddhist Order on 4 th August 1991. One of the pioneers of Triratna Nagpur. From 1999 to 2004 he was the Chairperson for BH Social projects funded by Karuna Trust UK. 2010 - 2020 Chairperson for one TBM center in North - East Nagpur. He has worked in different communities like Ravidasi, Satnami and Matang in Chhatisgarh, Punjab, Maharashtra and is currently working as a Movement Coordinator India, Secretary to Chairman's Assembly India, Member of Area Council, International Council, Steering Group.



Akasharaja, Shrewsbury, UK

Akasharaja was ordained into the Triratna Buddhist Order in 2001 and lives with his family in Shrewsbury, UK. He is active at his local centre as well as being a very occasional local radio pundit. He was instrumental in setting up Extinction Rebellion in Shrewsbury in 2018 and wants his and all other children to inherit a viable world.



Christine Thuring, Vancouver, Canada

Christine is a Mitra in training for ordination at the Vancouver Buddhist Centre who first came to Triratna in 2010 while living in Sheffield. She is a plant ecologist specialised in green infrastructure and sustainable landscape design. Since 2016, she is an Ecosattva-in-Training through One Earth Sangha. In the last year, she has been actively blocking a tar sands pipeline and defending indigenous sovereignty via Protect the Planet Stop TMX. One of her Dharmic ninja adventures is captured in an essay for XR Buddhists: "Dharma Warrior Training: Practice at the Front Lines"


Smritiratna, Dhanakosa, Scotland, UK

Smrtiratna lives in a woodland cabin near Dhanakosa where he sometimes leads retreats. Recently he’s led retreats called “Appreciative Mindfulness in Troubled Times” and “Active Hope for Humanity” where he draws on mindfulness training and the work of Joanna Macy to help folk face the dangers of this planet time with a steady courage and creativity.


Buddhasevaka, Manchester, UK

Buddhasevaka is one of the newest members of the Triratna Buddhist Order! He has been living with Multiple Sclerosis since 2010 and managing his tension and pain with Iyengar yoga.



Gargi Banerji, India

Garji is founder and Director of Pragya, an Indian NGO working on a range of projects supporting marginalised communities for sustainable development. Pragya has worked in partnership with The Karuna Trust for nearly twenty years.


Suddhaka, UK

Suddhaka is Head of Programmes at The Karuna Trust.



Watch videos from the Conference

Conference Bonus Materials