Since Clark Strand’s “Green Bodhisattva” column has moved online, his 12-step approach to environmental sanity has sparked a lively, wide-ranging conversation. On “Restored to Sanity,” Community Member Alan Shusterman writes:

Sad to say, I’m one of those academic classifiers you refer to, but I think I can still understand and sympathize with your views of the inseparability of life. So let me ask instead how the inseparability of life guides your views on environmental action?

In Clark’s typical fashion, he responded at length, breaking down how the 12 Steps are action-oriented. Part of his response:

From the start, the problem with environmental activism has always been the same: it wasn’t morally grounded. Always it tended to point the single finger, not the double-finger–the finger that points at the self before it points at the other. I don’t believe there is much hope going forward for human beings in solving our common ecological crisis so long as we rely only upon our political savvy, our technological ingenuity, or our readiness to protest. The problem will be solved only when it has been identified and accepted for what it is.

For the full explanation, which Shusterman calls “beautiful and true,” scroll towards the bottom of the comments here.

Thank you for subscribing to Tricycle! As a nonprofit, to keep Buddhist teachings and practices widely available.

This article is only for Subscribers!

Subscribe now to read this article and get immediate access to everything else.

Subscribe Now

Already a subscriber? Log in.