HKU Centre of Buddhist Studies 20th Anniversary Series
Buddhism & Deep Ecology
Speaker: Ven. Tenzin (Dr. Alex Anderson)
Time: 7-9 pm | 6 Oct 2023 (Fri)
Venue: CBA, G/F, Chow Yei Ching Building, HKU
Conducted in English | All are welcome | Free admission
HKU Centre of Buddhist Studies
Tung Lin Kok Yuen
About the speaker
Began with an ecologist’s understanding of interdependence, but the rainforest soon led him to Buddhist meditation. Now ordained as a monk in the Sakya Tibetan tradition, he has also studied and practiced meditation under Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh at Plum Village in France, and at Pa Auk Tawya in the Burmese Forest tradition. Guided by his main teacher Bhante Dhammadipa, his approach is informed by Theravada, Chan, and Vajrayana methods of meditation and mindfulness, as well as Hatha Yoga, Deep Ecology, and his deep love of wild places. He currently lives in Australia, where he works with www.deepecology.org.au and has a project to create space for retreat and nature connection: www.gaiaforest.org.
Yogacara doctrine attributes all phenomena to karmic seeds in our “store consciousness” which have both an individual and collective nature. We can see this playing out dramatically in the present day, in intersecting crises of environmental stability, community cohesion and individual wellbeing. Rather than a scientific, reductionist approach, implying an instrumental nature to be conserved for the benefit human beings, “Deep Ecology” encourages the emergence of “ecological identity”, embedding the “small self” in the greater web of life. Inspired by the ethics of the Satyagraha movement, Buddhist thinking on interdependent co-arising, and Gaia Theory, contemporary Deep Ecology has much to offer in our current crisis, but also much to gain from further dialogue with Buddhist thought and practice. In particular the related concept of “anoka” or “non-dwelling” may have useful significance.