The Buddhism and Ecology Summit: Living the dharma in a time of crisis. Headshots of each speaker in the series.

The Buddhism and Ecology Summit

Living the dharma in a time of crisis


The ecological crisis isn’t a future threat. It is our present reality. 

For thousands of years, Buddhist teachings have provided tools for awakening to the reality of what is—including life’s inherent impermanence, uncertainty, and suffering. How can the dharma help us to better understand and address the predicament we currently find ourselves in? What do Buddhist teachings and practices have to offer for helping us to live harmoniously—and be effective agents of change—in the face of catastrophe? 

In honor of Earth Day 2022, Tricycle brought together leading Buddhist teachers, writers, and environmentalists for a virtual event series exploring what the dharma has to offer in a time of environmental crisis. The events explore three dimensions of the ecological crisis: the spiritual and psychological roots of the crisis, dealing with the difficult emotions that arise, and taking meaningful action.

We are offering the recordings of this series by donation. Give $30 or more to receive the Buddhism and Ecology ebook, featuring teachers and writers including Joanna Macy, David Loy, Paul Hawken, Stephen Batchelor and Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi.

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Speakers

Stephen Batchelor


Stephen Batchelor is a Buddhist teacher and author known for his secular approach to the dharma. He is a co-founder and faculty member of Bodhi College in England, which is focused on contemplative learning and the study and practice of Buddhism as found in the earliest texts. His numerous books include Buddhism without BeliefsAfter Buddhism; and his latest, The Art of Solitude.

David Loy


David R. Loy is a writer, retired professor of Buddhist and comparative philosophy, and teacher in the Sanbo Zen tradition of Japanese Buddhism. His books include Money Sex War KarmaA New Buddhist Path, and most recently Ecodharma: Buddhist Teachings for the Ecological Crisis. He is especially concerned about social and ecological issues. In addition to offering workshops and meditation retreats, he is one of the founders of the new Rocky Mountain Ecodharma Retreat Center, near Boulder, Colorado. In June 2014, David received an honorary degree from Carleton College, his alma mater, during its 2014 Commencement. In April 2016 David returned his honorary degree, to protest the decision of the Board of Trustees not to divest from fossil fuel investments.

Terry Tempest Williams


Terry Tempest Williams is a conservationist, advocate for free speech, and author of books including Refuge: An Unnatural History of Family & Place and Finding Beauty in a Broken World. Her work explores how environmental issues are social issues that ultimately become matters of justice. Her writing has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times, Orion Magazine, and numerous anthologies worldwide as a crucial voice for ecological consciousness and social change. Williams is currently writer-in-residence at the Harvard Divinity School.

Stephanie Kaza


​​Dr. Stephanie Kaza is Professor Emerita of Environmental Studies at the University of Vermont and former Director of the UVM Environmental Program. She co-founded the Environmental Council at UVM and served as faculty director for the Sustainability Faculty Fellows program. Kaza is a long-time practitioner of Soto Zen Buddhism, with training at Green Gulch Zen Center, California, and further study with Thich Nhat Hanh, Joanna Macy, and John Daido Loori. She is the author of book including Green Buddhism: Practice and Compassionate Action in Uncertain Times.

Dr. Stephanie Kaza
Mary-Evelyn Tucker

Mary-Evelyn Tucker


Mary-Evelyn Tucker is a Senior Lecturer and Research Scholar at Yale University where she has appointments in the School of the Environment as well as the Divinity School and the Department of Religious Studies. She teaches in the joint MA program in religion and ecology and directs the Yale Forum on Religion and Ecology with her husband, John Grim. She edited Buddhism and Ecology with Duncan Williams as part of the Harvard Series of World Religions and Ecology.

Roshi Joan Halifax


Roshi Joan Halifax, Ph.D. is a Buddhist teacher, Founder and Head Teacher of Upaya Zen Center in Santa Fe, New Mexico, a social activist, and author. She is a pioneer in the field of end-of-life care. She has lectured on the subject of death and dying at many academic institutions and medical centers around the world, and has received many awards and honors for her work as a social and environmental activist and in the end-of-life care field. Her books include The Human Encounter with Death (with Stanislav Grof); The Fruitful DarknessBeing with Dying: Cultivating Compassion and Wisdom in the Presence of Death; and Standing at the Edge: Finding Freedom Where Fear and Courage Meet.

Roshi Joan Halifax
Christiana Figueres

Christiana Figueres


Christiana Figueres is an internationally recognized leader on climate change. She was Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change from 2010 to 2016, where she oversaw the delivery of the historic Paris Agreement. Today she is the co-founder of Global Optimism, co-host of the podcast “Outrage & Optimism” and is the co-author of the recently published book, The Future We Choose.

Joanna Macy


Joanna Macy PhD, teacher and author, is a scholar of Buddhism, systems thinking and deep ecology. As the root teacher of the Work That Reconnects, Macy has created a ground-breaking framework for personal and social change that brings a new way of seeing the world as our larger body. Her many books include World as Lover, World as SelfWidening Circles, A MemoirActive Hope: How to Face the Mess We’re in with Unexpected Resilience and Creative Power (Spring 2022); and Coming Back to Life: The Updated Guide to the Work That Reconnects. Macy is retired and lives in Berkeley, California. To learn more, visit www.joannamacy.net.

Joanna Macy
Brother Phap Dung

Brother Phap Dung


Brother Phap Dung is a senior teacher in Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh’s Plum Village community. Born in Vietnam, he escaped at the age of 10 with his family and became a refugee in the U.S. and worked as an architect/designer before becoming a monk in 1998. He is deeply committed to ecological activism, and represented his spiritual community at the COP21 talks in Paris and at the Glasgow COP26, raising an awareness of the spiritual human crisis that underlies the imbalance in the ecosystem.

Elissa Epel


Elissa Epel is a health psychologist, Vice Chair and Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at University of California San Francisco (UCSF) who studies how stress resilience and mindfulness interventions can protect health and promote thriving. She also studies transforming climate distress into climate action. She co-leads the UCSF Climate and Mental Health Task Force and the Society of Behavioral Medicine Presidential subgroup focusing on Climate and Health Inequities, and is co-author of the bestselling book, The Telomere Effect.

Elissa Epel
Dekila Chungyalpa

Dekila Chungyalpa


Dekila Chungyalpa is an environmental and climate leader, originally from the Himalayan state of Sikkim in India, who co-founded and directs the Loka Initiative, a capacity-building and outreach platform at the University of Wisconsin – Madison for faith leaders and culture keepers of Indigenous traditions who work on environmental and climate issues. Previously, she founded and ran the World Wildlife Fund Sacred Earth Initiative and helped establish Khoryug, an eco-monastic association of over 50 Tibetan Buddhist monasteries and nunneries across the Himalayas.

Susan Bauer-Wu


Susan Bauer-Wu is President of the Mind & Life Institute where she has championed “human-earth connection” as a priority focus area in bridging science and contemplative wisdom. She has held leadership, academic, and clinical positions in nonprofits, health care, and higher education, with a focus on contemplative science and practices to promote flourishing. She is the author of Leaves Falling Gently: Living Fully with Serious & Life-Limiting Illness through Mindfulness, Compassion & Connectedness.

Susan Bauer-Wu
Willa Blythe Baker

Willa Blythe Baker


Willa Blythe Baker is a teacher (lama), author and translator. She is the founder of Natural Dharma Fellowship in Boston, MA and its retreat center Wonderwell Mountain Refuge in Springfield, NH, a Mind and Life Fellow, a member of Clark University’s Council of the Uncertain Human Future and an advisor to One Earth Sangha. Her most recent book is The Wakeful Body: Somatic Mindfulness as Path to Freedom. Her teaching interests include the wisdom of the body, eco-dharma, non-dual awareness and compassion.

Paul Hawken


Paul Hawken is an author and environmentalist who starts ecological businesses, writes about nature and commerce, and consults with heads of state and CEOs on climatic, economic and ecological regeneration. His work has been profiled or featured in hundreds of articles including the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Newsweek, Washington Post, Forbes, and Business Week. He has written eight books including five national and NYT bestsellers: Growing a BusinessThe Next EconomyThe Ecology of CommerceBlessed Unrest, and Drawdown. His latest work is Regeneration: Ending the Climate Crisis in One Generation.

Paul Hawken
Konda Mason

Konda Mason


Konda Mason is a dharma teacher and earth and social justice activist. She is a graduate of the Spirit Rock teacher training program and teaches with Tara Brach and Jack Kornfield on their MMTCP and Power of Awareness Programs. She teaches daylongs and retreats at Spirit Rock, East Bay Meditation Center and many other centers. She has been a vegan since 1975. She is also the founder and President of Jubilee Justice, a nonprofit working to bring climate resilient farming and economic equity to BIPOC farmers in the rural South.

Tara Brach


Tara Brach is a meditation teacher, psychologist and author of several books including international bestselling Radical AcceptanceRadical Compassion and Trusting the Gold. Her popular weekly podcast on emotional healing and spiritual awakening is downloaded 3 million times a month. Tara’s teachings blend Western psychology and Eastern spiritual practices, mindful attention to our inner life, and a full, compassionate engagement with our world. She is founder of the Insight Meditation Community of Washington and has been active in bringing meditation into schools, prisons and underserved populations. Along with Jack Kornfield, Tara leads the Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Certification Program (MMTCP), serving participants from 50 countries around the world.

Tara Brach
Jonathan F.P. Rose

Jonathan F.P. Rose


Jonathan F.P. Rose’s business, public policy, and not-for-profit work focus on creating a more environmentally, socially, and economically responsible world. Jonathan and his wife Diana Calthorpe Rose are the co-founders of the Garrison Institute. He serves on its Board and leads its Pathways to Planetary Health program.

Ben Okri


Ben Okri is a poet, novelist, essayist, short-story writer, anthologist, aphorist, and playwright. He has also written screenplays. His works have won numerous national and international prizes, including the Booker Prize for Fiction.

Ben Okri
Ruth Ozeki

Ruth Ozeki


Ruth Ozeki is a novelist, filmmaker, and Zen Buddhist priest. She is the author of four novels, The Book of Form and EmptinessMy Year of MeatsAll Over Creation, and A Tale for the Time Being, which won the LA Times Book Prize and was a finalist for the 2013 Booker Prize and the National Book Critics’ Circle Award. Her fiction has been widely translated and published in over thirty countries. Her nonfiction work includes a memoir, The Face: A Time Code, and the documentary film, Halving the Bones, which has been screened on PBS, at the Sundance Film Festival, and at colleges and universities internationally. A longtime Buddhist practitioner, Ruth was ordained in 2010 and is affiliated with the Brooklyn Zen Center and the Everyday Zen Foun­dation. She lives in Massachusetts and teaches creative writing at Smith College, where she is the Grace Jarcho Ross 1933 Professor of Humanities.

James Shaheen


James Shaheen, Tricycle’s Editor-in-Chief, began his Buddhist practice in the mid-1990s, studying with teachers from a number of Buddhist traditions. He is particularly interested in Buddhism’s growth in the West and its applicability to Western politics, culture, and everyday life. He has been with Tricycle for nearly 25 years.

James Shaheen

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