Section VII: Reimagining and Reinventing the Wisdom Traditions—B

Track 3: How Does Buddhist Nondual Process Thought Respond to the Global Crisis?
Lourdes Arguelles, chair
Avery 201, Pitzer College

Westerners, especially process thinkers have come to appreciate nondual thought and to hope that it will help the world to overcome its alienation from nature. Buddhists developed rigorous nondual thinking two and a half millennia ago. This track will ask what a variety of forms of Buddhism have experienced and learned that can give guidance to us today.

Key Questions:

  • What can we say about the environmental history of the different Buddhist traditions?
  • How can the non dual wisdom of the Buddhist traditions help us understand and navigate our current crises?
  • Do the cosmological dualism and focus on individual salvation in certain Buddhist practices contribute to the indifference of practitioners toward the eco-crisis?
  • Can the archetype of the Bodhisattva guide us in  emulating  the Earth’s generosity toward us?
  • Can  Buddhist practices  aimed at the deconstruction and critical reconstruction of the self encourage social engagement, including eco-dharma?
  • How can we overcome our deep rooted self- centered habits so that we can work more compassionately for the healing  of the Earth?
  • From different Buddhist perspectives, what is it about humans that makes us both so similar and so different from other species?
  • What are some of the Buddhist-oriented critiques of the new economic order’s contribution to environmental destruction?
  • What are some important local, national, and international examples of eco-dharma?
Dr. Lourdes Arguelles is a Lopon (Senior Dharma Teacher) in the Drikung Kagyu lineage of Buddhism in the Tibetan tradition. She is also Professor Emerita of Education at Claremont Graduate University and a Senior Staff Therapist at the Clinebell Institute for Pastoral Counseling and Psychotherapy in Claremont, CA. Born in Cuba and educated around the world, she is a former community organizer, antiwar and animal welfare activist, and environmental researcher.
Assistant Organizer:
John Freese, Buddhist Chaplain , University of the West.
Sulak Sivaraksa, Founder, International Network of Engaged Buddhists
Lama Thubten Nyima , Spiritual Director, Drikung Rinchen Choling Center(Presentation in Chinese with English Translation)
Caitriona Reed, Zen Teacher and Founder, Manzanita Village and Five Changes
Tenshin Fletcher, Abbott,  Zen Mountain Center Monastery
Tetsuo Unno, Pure Land Buddhist Minister
Dr. Larry Ward, Dharma Teacher, Thich Nhat Hanh’s Order of Interbeing
Kusala Bhikshu, Zen Monk and Founder, Urban Dharma
Dr. Karen Cadiero-Kaplan, San Diego State University
Suggested Readings:
Johan Ekvergskog, “The Buddha’s Footprint,” Trycicle: The Buddhist Review, Spring, 2015.
Gary Snyder, The Practice of the Wild.
David Loy, A New Buddhist Path: Enlightenment, Evolution, and Ethics in the Modern World.
Thich Nhat Hanh, No Mud, No Lotus: The Art of Transforming Suffering.
Vaddhaka Linn, The Buddha on Wall Street: What’s Wrong with Capitalism and What We Can Do About It (available June, 2015)
HH the 17th Karmapa, Seeds of Compassion.
Sulak Sivaraksa, The Wisdom of Sustainability.