Climate Action Group
The Climate Action Group at SIMS was started in May of 2018 by a few sangha members concerned about the climate crisis. We were interested in working within our sangha and from the ground of our Dhamma practice to learn, understand, connect, and, with wise intention and view, take appropriate actions.
We meet monthly, have sponsored several programs at SIMS, and facilitated Tim Geil, one of our guiding teachers, in giving annual climate crisis-related Dhamma talks each April, the month during which Earth Day is celebrated. We have an online bulletin board with our mission, goals, and meeting notes, as well as a variety of resources to deepen understanding of climate change issues and how to take meaningful action.
Signing up to be on our email list allows access to this bulletin board but does not commit you to further action in the group. Of course, we would love any and all to participate, even if just to share thoughts and ideas at our meetings. If you are interested in getting on our email list, please email Ken Yasuhara or Iris Antman. If you have questions and would like more information, please contact Iris.
Precepts for a Livable Planet
Guided by the principle of non-harm and the recognition that we are inextricably interconnected with the Earth and all beings who inhabit it, we humbly practice observing the following precepts:
- We renounce actions that harm living beings, present and future, or their habitats.
- Acknowledging that nobody truly owns the Earth’s resources, we share them with all beings, present and future.
- If engaging in sexual activity, we do so responsibly, conscious of increasing population pressure on our planet.
- We accept the truths of our individual and collective impact on the Earth, and we engage with those who deny these truths.
- We recognize that our consumer culture is like an intoxicant that leads us to vastly overestimate what we need vs. what we want.
We undertake these precepts with the resolve that our global circumstances demand and with the wisdom and compassion that guard us against despair, denial, and judgement of self and others. With these practices, we honor our planet as a living inheritance—one which we receive gratefully from all of the Earth’s past beings and which we steward reverently and with compassion for all of the Earth’s present and future beings, human and non-human.
For a version of this document with example actions, see here: http://bit.ly/sims-climate-precepts
For a more comprehensive list of suggested/recommended actions, see here: http://bit.ly/sims-climate-reco
The Climate Action Group offers an opportunity to partner with a "Climate Buddy" to sustain the work of opening to and working with the difficult issues around the climate crisis with a spiritual friend. Connection and support allow for the deep exploration needed to find ways of responding that make sense to you.
You may already have a friend with whom to partner. If you do not and would like to find a buddy, we are happy to facilitate this process. Here’s how it works: Click here to email Lauren Wilson and let her know you would like a Climate Buddy. She will pair you with someone and email both of you by way of an introduction. From there, you decide for yourselves how often you want to communicate (daily, twice a week, weekly, etc.) and how you want to communicate (email, text, phone call, etc.). Don’t rush into action. Take time to sit with and share your feelings and thoughts so your actions feel congruent and doable.
We offer prompts below that might help Climate Buddies focus their communication. We suggest exploring one at a time and also encourage Climate Buddies to come up with their own prompts.
- What are some hopes you have for yourself and your community with respect to the climate crisis?
- Where are you in your journey of facing the climate crisis?
- Who or what provides inspiration for you in responding to the climate crisis?
- What kind of support would you like to help you find appropriate responses to the climate crisis?
- What specific support would you like your Climate Buddy to provide to you?
- Would you like to explore and share your eco-biography?
- What are some obstacles you have encountered personally in responding to the climate crisis?
- What are some strengths you bring to addressing the climate crisis?
- What meditation practices support you as you face the climate crisis?
- What are some action steps you have already taken to respond to the climate crisis?
- What are some next steps you want to take? (See our list of suggested/recommended actions at http://bit.ly/sims-climate-reco.)