Environment

Preserving our environment and mindful consumption are a part of our practice
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    Buddhist Journal Beat Paid Member

    RIVERS & MOUNTAINS More »
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    Radical Confidence Paid Member

    IN THE SUMMER OF 1992, the Louisiana Pacific Lumber Company decided to cut several stands of old-growth forest on land it owned on the Albion River, in Mendocino County, California. The forest and associated meadows were much loved in the community, and a group of local people responded by occupying the forest for two months until a court order to stop the cutting could be obtained. Fifteen people lived in the trees. Hundreds of others came every day to stand at the property boundary, held back by sheriffs. It became a celebration joined in by Alice Walker and many others from all over Northern California. So deep a sense of community was formed that the two-month occupation of the forest was dubbed The Albion Nation, and its protest was successful. But such a confident uprising and such success are all too rare. More »
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    Schooling Our Intention Paid Member

    How can we engage in action on behalf of earth and not get consumed, not go crazy? We who have aligned ourselves with this effort to transform a civilization so that complex forms of life can continue are faced with something very different from the kinds of challenges that our foremothers and forefathers faced. I'd like to begin by reflecting on some peculiarities of our situation in the twilight of the twentieth century here on planet earth. Six occur to me. First of all, there is the staggering range of the crisis, from the soil to the forest to the air to the seas to the rivers to the spasms of extinction. It's overwhelming for any single pair of eyes. More »
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    Daughters of the Wind Paid Member

    EVERY YEAR around the spring equinox, the prevailing westerly winds begin to gust, battering the California coast just a scant half-mile from Green Gulch Farm. These westerlies are a swollen river of air moving across the face of the Pacific, blowing shoreline sand into long drifts and heaving spindrift spume against the dark bulk of the March headlands. More »
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    The Wheel Paid Member

    Sometime in the early eighties, I spent a few weeks in Hawaii, living in a cabin near the crater of the volcano called Kiluaea. Trees, flowers, and birds were all about. The daylight had a kind of spiritual purity. Nights had a softness that was not pure, but sensuously heartbreaking. Best of all, where I lived, high up near the crater, the nights were too cool for mosquitoes, so I slept deeply, undisturbed. I’d never lived in a lovelier or more potentially violent place. The cabin was close to the rim of the crater, which was still active, seething wisps of steam. I looked into the crater every day on my walks. Rock walls dropped steeply for hundreds of feet, forming a wide and awesome hole. The effect was magnificent, terrifying, too tremendous for the mind to assimilate. More »
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    Zen Flies Paid Member

    In San Francisco during the early fifties fly fishing was an important part of the Beat scene. Widespread interest in Buddhism and nature naturally led to Zen Flies. It was admittedly a passing phenomenon—as one angler-poet later explained in City Lights Review: "It got to where 'the perfect cast' meant 'no cast.' Eventually we just went swimming." Influences from the Zen Fly period can be traced on into the sixties. For example, the lyric "Fly Jefferson Airplane" was taken from a fishing poem by Richard Brautigan. Then there is the lettering carved deeply into a cliff above Muir Beach: "First there was a fish, then there was no fish, then there was." But of course the primary and most eloquent record is the remarkable flies (we have included four examples here) that have made their way into the hands of collectors over the years. More »