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Maitripa College professor Jim Blumenthal, who also teaches philosophy at Oregon State University, has first-hand knowledge about environmental activism and engaged Buddhism. He wrote about his time as a Greenpeace activist for Mandala magazine. Jim wrote:
I was already a Buddhist during my environmental activist days. I saw environmental activism as Dharma activity. After all, the Buddhist notion of dependent-origination, the idea that all phenomena arise in dependence on an interwoven web of causes and conditions resonates quite well with the basic tenets of deep ecology. When we harm one living being, we – directly or indirectly – harm all living beings. As a Buddhist practicing in the Mahayana tradition, had I not committed to care and work for the well-being of all living beings? Is that not the responsibility that one training to become a bodhisattva accepts?
You can read the entire article “Confessions of a Buddhist Environmental Activist” from Mandala October-November 2006 in Mandala’s online archive.
The Dalai Lama Environmental Summit, hosted by Maitripa College May 9-11, 2013, is inviting people to submit a question for His Holiness the Dalai Lama via their website. Maitripa is the first Buddhist college in the Pacific Northwest of the United States and is affiliated with FPMT.
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