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Climate emergency discussion at the Auckland Zen Centre Tuesday 28 May 2019

Climate Emergency Declaration?

All Sangha are invited to come on Tuesday 28 May to discuss this idea. There will be two rounds of sitting (7 - 8 p.m.) and then we will get together over tea to talk.

All around the world, organisations and even whole countries are declaring a climate emergency. Should AZC declare a climate emergency too? What would our Climate Emergency Declaration look like? What would it commit us to? Well, that’s up to us really. There are no rules. It could be as simple as this:

We, the Sangha of the Auckland Zen Centre, declare a Climate Emergency.

In doing this, we join hundreds of other Sanghas, faith groups, councils, cities and nations around the world, in order to serve our living planet as best we can. By declaring a climate emergency, we commit to continuing to:

  • consistently and visibly incorporate climate crisis considerations into the life of our Centre, our decisions, practices, purchases and policies.
  • advocate strongly for greater central government and city leadership and action on climate change.
  • treasure and deepen our practice, that enables us to find love, equanimity, compassion and the courage for action in the midst of uncertainty and change.”

Johanna Macy’s model of the three dimensions of activism can help us when we are thinking about climate actions which we can focus on:

  • Holding Actions: to slow the damage to Earth and its being. Saying “no” to behaviour, organisations and governments that are causing harm
  • Creative Actions (Gaian structures): to bring about the Earth-based, life-supporting systems and infrastructure that we need.
  • Inner Practice: to bring about the shifts in consciousness and deep changes in heart/mind that we need.

Actions we might want to take as a Centre

There are many things we could do, but here are some possibilities to get us going:

  • choose a climate campaign particularly relevant to AZC that we work on together (e.g. no waste is important in Zen, and plastic waste is a major pollution problem and a climate problem -- so we might want to focus on plastic campaigns)
  • create an Earth Chant, make Earth altars for home use -- something that sustains and inspires
  • explore renewable energy options for the Centre
  • explore ways to build community (Sangha and wider)
  • create a team to work on AZC submissions to Council and Government