Fri Jan 8 UUCR Peace Concert 8 pm & Vigil 9 pm

3000 Global Climate Action Vigils During COP 15

Dec 5, 2009 WBPF Meeting - Notes

Sep 22, 2009 WBPF Meeting - Notes

Oct 24 Local Events for International Day of Action on Climate Change

At WBPF meetings we have been discussing how Climate Change increases harm to all beings and how mindful engagement in individual, relational and collective action can help reverse Global Warming, limit Climate Change, and mitigate its harmful consequences and social injustice.

In advance of the high-stakes United Nations Climate Change Conference (December 7 - 18), there will be many grassroots efforts to communicate to decision makers of all nations that people all over the world want a climate treaty that is effective and socially just, especially for the most vulnerable beings of the world.

On Saturday, October 24, 350.org is promoting an International Day of Climate Action to "inspire the world to rise to the challenge of the climate crisis — to create a new sense of urgency and of possibility for our planet".

Here is a list and map of dozens of local MD/DC/VA-area International Day of Climate Action events that invite us to participate. (Zooming/scrolling changes the map area and the corresponding list of events below the map.)

Please consider which of those events (or other efforts) you might find appropriate to join and contribute the peace, compassion and wisdom of your own mindful engagement. Here are a few examples:

5th Annual Unity Walk

Sep 22 WBPF Meeting - Engaging Climate Change

Sep 21 International Day of Peace Meditation
at Jefferson Memorial and at Home

Many people will be gathering for 30-minutes of non-sectarian silent meditation for peace on Monday, September 21 at the Jefferson Memorial in Washington DC to locally celebrate International Day of Peace, which is a United Nations global holiday held annually since 1982.

The event starts at 10:30 AM and ends at 1:00 PM. The 30-minute meditation will be from noon to 12:30 PM


The local sponsors suggest wearing white clothing to connote peacefulness and positivity.


If you can not attend, the event sponsors invite you to meditate for peace at Noon or some other time that day.

Additional information is at www.internationaldayofpeace.us . There you may RSPV ("sign up") for the Sep 21 event (but of course you may come regardless of RSVP). Seperately you may also consider signing up for year-long (Sep 21, 2009 - Sep 21, 2010) 15-munite daily at-home mediation in support of International Peace.

Sep 19 Second Annual Sit for Change

Sep 27 Buddhist/NAACP Walk, Charles Town, WV

2009 marks 150 years since the John Brown Raid on Harpers Ferry to support freedom for slaves. The Jefferson County NAACP is coordinating the sesquicentennial events with the National Park Service.

As part of this observance, hosted by local NAACP Representative, Jim Tolbert, there will be a mindful walk from the Courthouse in Charles Town, West Virginia to the hanging site. At the end of the four block walk, participants will sit in silence for 40 minutes (chairs will be provided). After that, a short talk will be given by Buddhist monk, Bhikku Buddarakkhita from the Bhavanna Monastery in High View, WV.

All those interested are invited to attend. Gather at the Courthouse, 100 E Washington St, Charles Town, WV (MAP) on Sunday, September 27 and begin the walk at 4:00 p.m.

Viet Nam Bat Nha Monestary Attacked - Need Help

On August 13th, 2009, the spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Vietnam, Mr. Le Dung, made it known that all monks and nuns will be expected to leave the Bat Nha monastery by September 2nd, 2009.

The Bat Nha monestary has been attacked several times already.

The helpbatnha.org web site is initiating a letter writing campaign to the US Government to ask for their intervention and appeal to the Vietnamese government on behalf of the Bat Nha monks and nuns. Information and history are available at the web site.

Thich Nhat Hanh Letter From Hospital 8/21/2009

Aug 24, 2009: Here is a letter that Order of Interbeing founder and leader Thich Nhat Hanh wrote on August 21 to retreatants in Estes Park, Colorado, while undergoing 14-days treatment for Pseudomonas aeruginosa at Massachussets General Hospital in Boston.

WBPF Meeting June 16, 2009 - Notes


Urgent Petition to Free Aung San Suu Kyi

Please consider taking the immediate action endorsed in this alert from the Buddhist Peace Fellowship to sign the Amnesty International petition to free Aung San Suu Kyi






Action Alert from Friends of BPF!

Buddhist Peace Fellowship endorses action in the interest of Aung San Suu Kyi, the missing monks and nuns, and the civilians who are living under the oppression of those who gain from the suffering of others. BPF is witnessing along with the world the crisis of the human condition today as demonstrated in Burma this very moment. Please read letter sent by Amnesty International. And peace to all living beings.
-- Zenju Earthlyn Manuel, Executive Director of BPF.

Aung San Suu Kyi faces charges this week that could land her in jail for five years. The trial comes just days before she was set to be released from house arrest. Her life is on the line. Aung San Suu Kyi's health is at risk, and five years of torture and abuse at the infamous Insein prison could spell disaster.

Our rapid response to these developments started last week in Australia (a member of ASEAN) when the Amnesty section there mobilized and generated over 7,000 letters to ASEAN. Just a few hours ago, the chairman of ASEAN called on Myanmar (Burma) to release Aung San Suu Kyi.

With the international pressure snowballing, it's time to focus on General Than Shwe, leader of the military junta. Please write General Than Shwe and urge him to release Aung San Suu Kyi and then forward this email to your friends and networks.


We know influencing the general is an uphill battle, but you and I have faced these odds before. Last year, we sent tens of thousands of letters on behalf of Ma Khin Khin Leh, another prisoner of conscience in Myanmar. Today, she is free.

Now it's time for us to do the impossible again for Aung San Suu Kyi.

Will you forward this email to friends and to your networks, so we can reach at least 30,000 letters within the next 24 hours?

The stakes couldn't be higher: Aung San Suu Kyi's life is on the line.

Almost 20 years ago, Aung San Suu Kyi's party won over 80% of the vote, making her the rightful political leader of Myanmar. The military refused to hand over power, brutally oppressing any dissent, and imprisoning Suu Kyi for 13 of the last 19 years.
Since the elections in 1990, Aung San Suu Kyi's very existence has challenged the military's authority, and inspired the people of Myanmar to hope.

In her hour of need, will you do all you can?

Will you write General Than Shwe?

And then please forward this email widely to your friends and networks?

Aung San Suu Kyi has kept hope alive for the people of Myanmar, even when all hope was lost. Let's do the same now for Aung San Suu Kyi.

Thanks for standing with us,
Jim, Nancy, Anil, Laura, Steve and the rest of the rapid response team

P.S. We are gravely concerned about the health of 10 other political prisoners in Myanmar. Our ability to mobilize today for Aung San Suu Kyi could shift the direction for these lives on the brink.

Buddhist Peace Fellowship (www.bpf.org) | PO Box 3470 | Berkeley | CA | 94703
========================================

For more information about the plight of Aung San Suu Kyi, please also see bpf.org/html/home.html

Pan-Buddhist Climate Change Declaration 2009

In the run-up to the crucial U.N. Climate Treaty Conference in Copenhagen in December 2009 [1],  The Time to Act is Now: A Buddhist Declaration on Climate Change [2] presents to the world's media a unique spiritual view of climate change and our urgent responsibility to address the solutions.

The Declaration was composed as a pan-Buddhist statement by Zen teacher Dr. David Tetsuun Loy and senior Theravadin teacher Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi with scientific input from Dr. John Stanley.
The Declaration emerged from the contributions of over 20 Buddhist teachers of all traditions to the book A Buddhist Response to the Climate Emergency. [3]

The Dalai Lama was the first to sign The Declaration. All concerned members of the international Buddhist community are invited to consider studying The Declaration and adding your voice by co-signing it at the end of the document [2].

For more information and opportunities to mindfully engage climate change, see also the Buddhist Climate Project [4].

(Links fixed Nov 11, 2009)
[1] U.N. Climate Treaty Conference in Copenhagen in December 2009
[2] The Time to Act is Now: A Buddhist Declaration on Climate Change
[3] Book: A Buddhist Response to the Climate Emergency
[4] Buddhist Climate Project

H.H. The Dalai Lama - Universal Responsibility

"I believe that to meet the challenge of our times, human beings will have to develop a greater sense of universal responsibility. Each of us must learn to work not for his or her self, family or nation, but for the benefit of all mankind. Universal responsibility is the real key to human survival. It is the best foundation for world peace, the equitable use of natural resources and through concern for the future generations, the proper care of the environment."
-- H.H. The Dalai Lama, Planetary Earth Summit, 1992

Dalai Lama Oct 10 Visit to Washington, D.C.






















On May 30 June 8 (*), tickets will go one sale for The Heart of Change, October 10, 2009 in Washignton D.C., a day's exploration of wisdom, meditation, and compassionate action with a morning teaching by His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

This event is hosted by the Conservancy for Tibetan Art and Culture.

Please visit www.DalaiLamaDC09.com to learn more and to purchase tickets.

(*) Due to technical problems the sale of tickets for the Heart of Change event has been delayed until June 8th.

Healing the Earth, July 23 & 26, 2009 SWMPC

Healing the Earth
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Also, Sunday, July 26, 2009 in Columbia


Dear Still Water Friends,

This Thursday and Sunday we are fortunate to have Ko Barrett as our facilitator. Her concern for our environment is both personal and professional: she is the Associate Director for International Affairs in the Climate Program Office or the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Her notes are below.

This week we will be discussing the last two chapters in Thich Nhat Hanh’s The World We Have: A Buddhist Approach to Peace and Ecology. In these chapters, Thay draws our attention to ways we can transform our communities by a commitment to mindful action, and transform ourselves and others by looking deeply into our interconnectedness with Nature and acting from a place of ‘inter-being”. He writes:

Every step we make has the power to heal and transform. Not only can we heal ourselves by our steps, but we can help heal the Earth and the environment.

I am struck by the simple truth of Thay’s message, and also by the challenge of taking on lasting transformation. For me, strongly held convictions to act in ways that protect and heal the planet often give way because I cannot sustain the required changes by myself. I lose a connectedness to the Earth in the rush of daily life. I forget that my choice to drive my car a short distance has lasting consequences for people I care about and places I love. True, lasting transformational action seems elusive.

As we come together as a Sangha on Thursday and Sunday, we’ll talk about ways we deeply connect to our world and how we can draw on these experiences to inspire us to lasting action to protect the Earth and address global climate change in our lives. Perhaps the simple act of watering the houseplants or looking up at the sky each day provides a steady reminder of our interconnectedness with the Earth. Maybe the thought of a child living in poverty in the developing world or in our own inner cities inspires us to make do with less. By sharing the sources of our inspiration, I hope we’ll grow our collective experience and find new and sustained strength to transform our relationship with the Earth. I look forward to the conversation.

- Ko Barrett

From The World We Have Chapter Ten: The Eyes of the Elephant Queen

We have destroyed our Mother Earth in the same way bacteria or a virus can destroy a human body. Mother Earth is also a body. Of course, there are bacteria that are beneficial to the human body, that protect the body and help generate enzymes that we need. Similarly, if the human species wakes up and knows how to live with responsibility, compassion, and loving kindness, the human species can be a living organism with the capacity to protect the body of Mother Earth. We have to see that we inter-are with our Mother Earth, that we live with her and die with her.

It’s wonderful to realize that we are all in a family, we are all children of the Earth. We should take care of each other and we should take care of our environment, and this is possible with the practice of being together as a large family. A positive change in individual awareness will bring about a positive change in the collective awareness. Protecting the planet must be given the first priority. I hope you will take the time to sit down with each other, have tea with your friends and your family, and discuss these things. Invite Bodhisattva Earth Holder to sit and collaborate with you. Then make your decision and act to save our beautiful planet. Changing your way of living will bring you a lot of joy right away and, with your first mindful breath, healing will begin.

The best times to join our Thursday evening gatherings are just before the beginning of our 7 p.m. meditation, just before we begin walking meditation (around 7:25), and just after our walking meditation (around 7:35).

Copies of The World We Have are available for purchase Thursday nights in Silver Spring and Sunday nights in Columbia.

Click for directions to Thursday and Sunday sittings with Still Water Mindfulness Practice Center.

WBPF Meeting June 16, 2009 7:30 pm

WBPF Meeting May 12, 2009 7:30 pm

WBPF Open Meeting
Tuesday, May 12, 2009 7:30 PM
Friends Meeting House
2111 Florida Ave NW
3 blocks north of Dupont Circle Metro
(Map)
May 12 Discussion Topic:
Thich Nhat Hanh's The World We Have,
Chapter 3,
Diet for a Mindful Planet.

Between now and the May 12 meeting, please consider reading Chapter 3, if possible. And from now until the meeting, please also consider observing your own experiences with Mindful Eating -- with regard to personal mindfulness practice, and with regard to Global Warming and Climate Change, so you can contribute in our discussion at the meeting. If you can not attend, then please share this exploration with us in the course of your own personal practice.

WBPF Meeting April 3, 2009 7:30 pm - Notes

Only six of us were able to join Hugh Byrne that early Spring Friday evening at the Friends Meeting House in NW DC. After 10 minutes of silent meditation, Maria moderated 90-minutes of thoughtful discussion and mutual deep listening about Mindful Eating as it relates to our personal mindfulness practice, Global Warming and Climate Change. We were grounded by our reading of the book, The World We Have, in which Thich Nhat Hanh explores the connection between personal mindfulness practice and Global Warming and Climate Change. Thay points out that meat production, energy-intensive agriculture, food processing and food transportation produce a major share of greenhouse gases that cause Global Warming, which causes Climate Change, which causes harm to people and other beings.

Our discussion focused mainly on our personal, successful and unsuccessful, experiences with trying to eat mindfully over the past month, as we promised ourselves at the February meeting we would try to do before this meeting in March. We learned from each other that even with the best of intentions, feelings run deep and habits are strong when it comes to observing, much less changing eating habits. We noted that much of our eating seems to happen literally unconsciously or in open defiance of our apparent will to the contrary. Health, family, friends and work sometimes, but not always, complicate our eating choices, especially vegetarian choices.

Some found it helpful to keep a log of everything eaten (for a week or so, at least). Others found it helpful to make a ritual of Mindful Eating preceded by gathas or prayer. Some hide food, "out of sight, out of mind". Some put limits on quantity or times of eating. For others, preparing meals, instead eating already prepared foods, brought more awareness and presence to eating. Some of us are trying to bring arising food cravings into mindful awareness and transform them, such as with the RAIN process: Recognition, Acceptance, Investigation, and Non-identification, as described in Thay's book.

Our concerns were not only about personally unhealthful eating. We also began to ask, but without answers yet, how can we make an engaged connection between personal Mindful Eating and broader efforts to mitigate Global Warming?

How can we avoid being judgmental or even feeling misjudged by family, friends or co-workers who are not convinced of the importance and urgency of averting Climate Change? How can we make a real difference through truly peaceful means? In his book, Thay says that reducing harmful eating by even just a little bit is a helpful start.

We agreed that it would be fruitful to continue observing our Mindful Eating practice and discuss it again with all who might come on May 12. We ended with a few minutes of silent meditation, followed by mindfully eating some light snacks thankfully provided by Bill, as he often does.

Please come on May 12 to share in this continuing discussion of our personal experiences with Mindful Eating.

Please be aware that Still Water Mindfulness Practice Centeris also discussing Thay's The World We Have, once a month at one of their weekly meditation and Dharma discussion evenings at Crossings (Silver Spring) and at Yoga Center of Columbia. Please see the details here.

WBPF Meeting April 3, 2009 7:30 pm

DATE: Friday, April 3rd, 7:30 PM

PLACE: Friends Meeting of Washington - 2111 Florida Ave NW - 3 blocks north from Dupont Circle Metro

THEME: Mindful Consumption and Climate Change

We will continue to discuss and reflect on ideas found in:
  • "Mindfully Green" by Stephanie Kaza
  • January 2009 Shambhala Sun "The Green Path"
  • "The World We Have: A Buddhist Approach to Peace and Ecology" by Thich Nhat Hahn.
We have been using these resources as a framework to guide us on how we want to focus our efforts in the period ahead. At our last meeting on February 24 we agreed to make what we eat a central focus of our practice and inquiry. We will share what we have learned and explore next steps.

We hope you will join us in creating mutual support for mindful consumption, which in turn will support actions to address and the health of the earth.

- Meeting Notes

The World We Have - Discussions at Still Water

At Crossings Thursdays March 19,
7 - 9:15 pm

At Columbia Sundays March 22,
6:30 - 8:30 pm



Once a month through July, the Still Water Mindfulness Practice Center's meditation sessions at Crossings and Columbia will read from and discuss Thich Nhat Hanh’s The World We Have: A Buddhist Approach to Peace and Ecology.

Thay discusses the dire environmental situation we face and reminds us that all civilizations ultimately end. Instead of taking this as a message of doom and gloom, Thay calls us to wake up from our slumber so that we can be mindful of our situation and do the only rational thing: act to change it. How? Thay’s prescription is familiar: be mindful and abide by the Five Mindfulness Trainings.

Copies of The World We Have are available for optional purchase Thursday nights at Crossings and Sunday nights in Columbia.

Send inquiries about this event by email to: Info@StillWaterMPC.org

Click for directions to Thursday and Sunday sittings with Still Water Mindfulness Practice Center.

WBPF Meeting February 24, 2009 7:30 pm

WHERE: Friends Meeting of Washington, 2111 Florida Avenue, NW (3 blocks from Dupont Circle Metro)

WHAT: Washington Buddhist Peace Fellowship meeting--discussion of Stephanie Kaza's "Mindfully Green" and Thich Nhat Hanh's "The World We Have: A Buddhist Approach to Peace and Ecology" and an exploration of wise understanding, mindfulness, and action in light of our reflections and discussion.