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Allan Hunt Badiner
Dharma Gaia; A Harvest of Essays in Buddhism and Ecology
Berkeley, Parallax Press, 1990.

The body, physicality, and the Earth are often associated with women. The spirit and the mind are thought separate from — and superior to — the body, and men come to believe they have a right or duty to master Nature, to use it for their benefit. Thus the Deep Ecology / Ecopsychology movement has strong ties to feminist committment to the end of domination and a non-dualistic understanding of reality.

In this book Buddhists see our interconnectedness with our world as the basis for treating it with respect for its own value, compassion for the pain humans have caused, and responsibility for ending our destructiveness.

For me, it was affirming to read of others working to expand our cultural understanding of identity, to include more than what's inside one body's skin; to include our whole world. (For more on my own experience of interconnectedness with the Earth, see Catherine's Garden.)

Essays, articles and poems — of theory, witness, inspiration and humor — by thirty-one writers, with a foreward by H.H. The Dalai Lama, and ten illustrations by five artists:

Part One: Green Buddhism

  • Rick Fields, "The Meeting of the Buddha and the Goddess"
  • Chatsumarn Kabilsingh, "Early Buddhist Views on Nature"
  • Padmasiri De Silva, "Buddhist Environmental Ethics"
  • Barbara Gates, "A Mama Raccoon in the Net of Indra"
  • Joan Halifax, "The Third Body: Buddhism, Shamanism & Deep Ecology"
  • Ralph Abraham, "Orphism: The Ancient Roots of Green Buddhism"

Part Two: Shifting Views of Perception

  • Joanna Macy, "The Greening of the Self"
  • Jeremy Hayward, "Ecology and the Experience of Sacredness"
  • David Abram, "The Perceptual Implications of Gaia"
  • Peter Levitt, "An Intimate View"

Part Three: Experiencing Extended Mind

  • Nina Wise, "Rock Body Tree Limb"
  • Martin Pitt, "The Pebble and the Tide"
  • Doug Codiga, "Zen Practice and a Sense of Place"
  • Suzanne Head, "Creating Space for Nature"
  • Mobi Ho, "Animal Dharma"
  • William LaFleur, "Sattva — Enlightenment for Plants & Trees"

Part Four: Becoming Sangha

  • Elizabeth Roberts, "Gaian Buddhism"
  • Bill Devall, "Ecocentric Sangha"
  • Carla Deicke, "Women and Ecocentricity"
  • Sulak Sivaraksa, "True Development"
  • Stephen Batchelor, "Buddhist Economics Reconsidered"
  • Ken Jones, "Getting Out of Our Own Light"

Part Five: Meditations on Earth as a Sentient Being

  • Gary Snyder, "Prayer for the Great Family"
  • Thich Nhat Hanh, "Earth Gathas"
  • Patricia Donegan, "Haiku & the Ecotastrophe"
  • Deena Metzger, "Four Meditations"
  • Allen Ginsberg, "Do the Meditation Rock"

Part Six: A Call To Action

  • Thich Nhat Hanh, "The Last Tree"
  • John Seed, "Wake the Dead!"
  • Robert Aitken, "Right Livelihood for the Western Buddhist"
  • Christopher Reed, "Down to Earth"
  • Gary Snyder "Smokey the Bear Sutra"

There's also a "Dharma-Gaian Bibliography", listing 50 books of recommended further reading.

29 March 2000