Zen and the Art of Saving the Planet

We speak with Sister True Dedication, a disciple of the great Zen Buddhist teacher Thich Nhat Hahn. Sister True Dedication recently edited a collection of Hanh’s thoughts on the spirit’s responsibility for and relationship to the natural world – Zen and the Art of Saving the Planet. She took Thich Nhat Hanh’s message to world leaders in advance of the UN’s COP-26 in a keynote address she presented at the first-ever TED Climate Conference in Edinburgh.

Engaged Buddhism for the Planet:
In this segment, Sister True Dedication gives a sort of “Engaged Buddhism 101” that focuses on how awareness, mindfulness, and ancestor worship contribute to an awakening to the natural world.

The Power of Listening:
Sister True Dedication singles out the over-consumption of resources as particularly poisonous for both the planet and our general spiritual well-being. But she is heartened by the younger generation’s general awakening to the climate crisis and their overall willingness to take responsibility for fixing it. And she lauds the power of listening to people most affected by climate change — usually those who use the least resources — as a means of establishing environmental justice.

Walking Meditation: Land into Your Life:
Sister True Dedication shares walking meditation, a spiritual practice taught by Thich Nath Hanh as a way to awaken to and respect the Earth. She also delves into engaged Buddhism’s ideas of time, change and karma as a means of thinking about climate change solutions.

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