events

An Earth Day Event Series
April 22, 2024

At the moment of the Buddha’s enlightenment, he reached down and touched the earth. Ever since this legendary event, the natural world has inspired Buddhist practice and thought all around the world.

Join us on Earth Day, April 22, 2024, for Tricycle’s Buddhism & Ecology Summit: Touching the Earth, a series of conversations with Buddhist teachers, writers, and environmental activists. Speakers at Tricycle’s Third Annual Buddhism and Ecology Summit include Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche on the earth-touching mudra, Kaira Jewel Lingo on a mindfulness practice from Plum Village’s Earth Holder Community, Jack Kornfield on how to sit like a tree, and many others. The summit is sponsored by The BESS Family Foundation.

“Today we have largely lost our connection with nature,” David Loy has written in Tricycle. “But there is something special and precious about meditating outside and rediscovering our deep connection with the natural world. When we do, it becomes more evident to us that the world is not a collection of separate things but a confluence of natural processes that include us.”

The series will offer dharma talks and practices for establishing a deeper connection with the earth.

Recordings of the events will be made available to all registrants. 

This is a donation-based event with a suggested donation of $40.

The Buddhism & Ecology Summit: Touching the Earth. An Event Series by Tricycle, Earth Day, April 22, 2024. Sponsored by the BESS Family Foundation.

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS

Bearing Witness: Encounters with the Earth Goddess in Buddhist Art and Narrative With Damchö Diana Finnegan

April 22, 9am ET – Live Event on Zoom

The ecological crisis has been described as a storytelling crisis. We often hear that the Buddha touched the earth to call her as a witness to his awakening, but stories of how the earth responded to that call are seldom told. This session takes us on a tour through Buddhist art and storytelling traditions to recover the wisdom behind the Buddha’s earth-touching gesture.

Becoming Earth That Carries You With Mick McEvoy, Sister Lam Hy, and Stephen Posner

April 22, 11am ET – Live Event on Zoom

Touching Earth can deepen relationships with the land. Join a conversation about practices related to nature awareness, agroecology (farming with nature), and rewilding (restoring ecological integrity). Three participants – Mick McEvoy, True Pure Earth; Sister Lam Hy, Joyful Forest; and Stephen Posner, Director of Pathways to Planetary Health with Garrison Institute – will talk together while at Plum Village to explore what it means to be in conscious reciprocity with living Earth. A live Q&A session will follow.

How to Touch the Earth: A Mindfulness Practice With Kaira Jewel Lingo

April 22, 2pm ET – Live Event on Zoom

Touching the earth is a practice developed by Thich Nhat Hanh to help us connect with our interbeing with the planet—animals, plants, and the land. Participants will be led through a process of expressing both gratitude and apology to the earth. This practice comes out of the Earth Holder Community, a branch of Plum Village that applies Thich Nhat Hanh’s core teachings on engaged Buddhism. A Q&A session will follow the practice.

Holding the Earth with Lovingkindness: A Teaching and Practice From Jack Kornfield

April 22, released at 8am ET – Pre-recorded

In this teaching from beloved Buddhist teacher Jack Kornfield, he honors the Earth—the one home we have—and invites us to acknowledge with lovingkindness and awe our interbeing with it. Kornfield also offers a joyful guided practice to ground and connect us with Mother Earth and to embody the existence of a tree.

The Earth-Touching Mudra: A Conversation With Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche and Helen Tworkov

April 22, released at 8am ET – Pre-recorded

The bhumisparsha mudra symbolizes the moment of the Buddha’s awakening, when the prince Siddhartha attained enlightenment under the bodhi tree. Literally translated to “earth-touching mudra,” it is also often referred to as the “earth witness.” Tricycle’s founder Helen Tworkov uses this symbolic moment to open up a wider conversation about Buddhism and the environment with Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche.

Needing Nothing: A Reflection on the Earth’s Abundance With Susie Harrington

April 22, released at 8am ET – Pre-recorded

In this talk and practice, meditation teacher Susie Harrington explores the benefits of renunciation. Renunciation doesn’t have to be a sacrifice, she says, but rather can be cultivated and experienced as an invitation into contentment. In a culture that encourages greed, it’s radical and subversive to foster an awareness that we already have what we need.

Nature, Photography, and The Dharma: A Reflection From John Huddleston

April 22, released at 8am ET – Pre-recorded

Buddhism and nature share a special relationship. Whether through the practice of walking meditation or as a tool for contemplating the interconnectedness of all living things, nature has long influenced Buddhist thought. In this talk, photographer and Buddhist practitioner John Huddleston offers a portfolio of his work that explores this relationship alongside a poetic reflection of his life, his art, and Buddhist teachings.

Pursuing Right Livelihood: A Conversation With Rose Marcario and James Shaheen

April 22, released at 8am ET – Pre-recorded

Right Livelihood is an important part of the Buddha’s noble eightfold path. Traditionally, it means that one should make a living in an ethical way, without harming others. What does right livelihood look like in today’s complex world? Rose Marcario, former President and CEO of Patagonia, has been pursuing right livelihood throughout her career as a business leader and mentor to young entrepreneurs. In this conversation with Tricycle‘s editor-in-chief, James Shaheen, she reflects on her work and considers the relationship between her environmentalism and Buddhist practice.

Speakers

Damcho Diana Finnegan headshot

Damchö Diana Finnegan

Damchö Diana Finnegan is the main teacher of Comunidad Dharmadatta, one of the largest Spanish-speaking Buddhist practice communities. With a seven-year study program, online meditation halls, weekly teachings and hybrid retreats, Comunidad Dharmadatta has been offering the Dharma in Spanish free of charge since 2009. Damcho holds a PhD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, with a thesis on gender and ethics in Sanskrit and Tibetan narratives about Buddha’s direct female disciples. She co-edited and translated Interconnected: Embracing Life in a Global Society and The Heart Is Noble: Changing the World from the Inside Out. After a career as a journalist based in New York and Hong Kong, Damcho was ordained as a Buddhist nun from 1999 through 2023. Her ongoing series on Buddhism and Ecology can be seen on the “Dharmadatta Community” YouTube channel.

Susie Harrington

Susie Harrington

Susie Harrington teaches meditation nationwide and is the guiding teacher for Desert Dharma, which serves many communities in the Southwest near her home in Moab, Utah. She has trained in the Insight tradition since 1989, and in 2005 was invited into teaching by Jack Kornfield, Joseph Goldstein, and Guy Armstrong. She has also received teachings from many others, including Tory Capron, Adyashanti, and Tsoknyi Rinpoche. She often offers retreats outside, believing nature to be a profound teacher, and a gateway to our true self. Her teaching is deeply grounded in the body and often emphasizes the expression of mindfulness in speech and daily life. Susie brings the skills of inquiry, relational dharma, and the psychological/spiritual interface to her teaching, informed by her ongoing study of the Diamond Approach by A.H. Almaas and as a graduate of Hakomi Therapy (a somatic psychotherapy modality). She offers a two-year intensive program, Dharma in Daily Life, where she delights in mentoring the innate qualities of heart and wisdom in everyday practice. Her practice is rooted in periods of long retreat both indoors and outdoors, which offer nourishment and inspiration for her teaching. She was an outdoor professional for over 30 years, including years as a river guide, mountaineering guide, and backcountry ranger, and now finds her greatest delight in sharing her love of the dharma and the natural world.

John Huddleston

John Huddleston

John Huddleston is a photographer and received his B.A. in psychology from Yale University, completed his M.F.A. in photography at San Francisco State University, and received a degree in Spanish from the Centro Intercultural de Baja California in Ensenada, Mexico. He teaches visual art at Middlebury College. Huddleston has had one-person exhibitions at the Contemporary Arts Center in New Orleans, Wave Hill in New York City, Stony Brook University Art Gallery, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Museum, the DeCordova Museum, the University of Michigan Art Museum at Ann Arbor, the Wichita Art Museum, the Lehigh University DuBois Gallery, the Triton Museum, the Laurentian University Museum and the University of California at Riverside Art Gallery, among others. He has participated in group shows across the country. His latest book is At Home in the Northern Forest.

Jack Kornfield

Jack Kornfield

Jack Kornfield has taught meditation internationally since 1974 and is one of the key teachers to introduce Buddhist mindfulness practice to the West. He graduated from Dartmouth College with a degree in Asian Studies in 1967 and studied as a monk under the Buddhist master Ven. Ajahn Chah and the Ven. Mahasi Sayadaw of Burma. Jack co-founded the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts, with fellow meditation teachers Sharon Salzberg and Joseph Goldstein and the Spirit Rock Center in Woodacre, California. His books include A Wise Heart: A Guide to the Universal Teachings of Buddhist Psychology; A Path with Heart; After the Ecstasy, the Laundry; Teachings of the Buddha; Seeking the Heart of Wisdom; and many others. He holds a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and is a father, husband and activist.

Sister Lam Hy

Sister Lâm Hỷ

Sister Lâm Hỷ, True Forest of Joy (pronouns she/her), has worked in adult education and as a vegetable farmer. Before she was ordained as a Buddhist nun in the Plum Village tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh she set up the Happy Farm in Lower Hamlet, which is home to the monastic sisters and started a community supported agriculture farm (C.S.A) with friends in Germany. She enjoys spending time in the natural world and the joys of creating community through bringing people together. Lam Hy emphasizes the importance of knowing how to grow some of our own food. She shares that to witness and accompany the growth of our food from seed to the harvest is an empowering practice that together with the energy of mindfulness, can be truly transformative offering a sense of deep connection and meaning.

Kaira Jewel Lingo

Kaira Jewel Lingo

Kaira Jewel Lingo is a Dharma teacher with a lifelong interest in spirituality, ecology and social justice. Her work continues the Engaged Buddhism developed by Thich Nhat Hanh, and includes the interweaving of nature, ecology, embodied mindfulness practice, art and play. She has extensive experience offering nature and earth-based retreats with environmental and climate activists, children and families, and mindful hiking retreats. She draws inspiration from her parents’ lives of service and her dad’s work with Martin Luther King, Jr. After living as an ordained nun for 15 years in Thich Nhat Hanh’s monastic community, Kaira Jewel now teaches internationally in the Zen lineage and the Vipassana tradition, as well as in secular mindfulness, at the intersection of racial, climate and social justice with a focus on activists, Black, Indigenous, and People of Color, artists, educators, families, and youth. Based in New York, she offers spiritual mentoring to groups and is author of We Were Made for These Times: Ten Lessons in Moving through Change, Loss and Disruption and co-author of Healing Our Way Home: Black Buddhist Teachings on Ancestors, Joy and Liberation.

Rose Marcario

Rose Marcario

Rose Marcario is former President and CEO of Patagonia. Under her leadership, Patagonia experienced unprecedented growth and global expansion, both in traditional business metrics and by deepening the company’s commitment to environmental activism and social responsibility. She was honored at the White House by President Barack Obama as a Champion of Change for her family friendly work policies. Fast Company named her one of the most creative and innovative CEO’s of 2016. She topped Fast Company’s inaugural Queer 50 list of the most influential LGBTQ women and nonbinary innovators in business and tech. She is the Founder of Time to Vote, a bipartisan initiative to give employees time off to vote; the Chair of Rivian’s Foundation for Nature; serves on the boards of environmental impact companies; and is a partner with ReGen Ventures, a global venture fund focused on restoring the planet.

Mitch McEvoy Headshot

Mick McEvoy

Mick McEvoy, True Pure Earth (pronouns he/him), an Irish native, lives, works, and studies in the community of Plum Village, France. Mick brings over twenty years of experience working with people, plants, and mindfulness practice to his management of the Happy Farm and rewilding projects. The farm and rewilding project welcome hundreds of retreatants annually and combines mindfulness-based approaches with seasonal organic food production and land stewardship rooted in deep ecology.

Sam Mowe Headshot

Sam Mowe

Sam Mowe is the Publisher at Tricycle: The Buddhist Review. With a background in both editorial and marketing, he wears multiple hats, from content creation to community-building. Former editor-in-chief at the Garrison Institute, Sam’s focus has been to bring a Buddhist perspective to the modern world and contemporary life.

Stephen Posner headshot

Stephen Posner

Stephen Posner, PhD, has lived in Vermont since 2007. He works with the Garrison Institute, an organization that harnesses the power of contemplative wisdom and practice from across traditions to build a more compassionate and resilient world. Stephen is responsible for leading the Pathways to Planetary Health initiative. In this role, he develops partnerships and leads programs that align systems with nature – internal systems of care and thought, and outer systems like economies and ecosystems. He is currently part of a group of researchers, funders, and practitioners that seeks to understand and grow Earth-based meditation and mindfulness practices.

Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche

Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche

Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche is a world-renowned meditation teacher and master of the Karma Kagyu and Nyingma lineages of Tibetan Buddhism. Born in Nepal in 1975, Mingyur Rinpoche began to study meditation as a young boy with his father, Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche, himself a well-respected Buddhist teacher. He has collaborated with neuroscientists and psychologists, including Richard Davidson and Antoine Lutz at the University of Wisconsin, on research projects that study the effects of meditation on the brain and the mind. His books include The Joy of Living: Unlocking the Secret and Science of Happiness, Joyful Wisdom: Embracing Change and Finding Freedom, Turning Confusion into Clarity: A Guide to the Foundation Practices of Tibetan Buddhism, and In Love With the World: A Monk’s Journey Through the Bardos of Living and Dying. He oversees the Tergar Meditation Community, a global network of Buddhist meditation centers.

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.

Helen Tworkov

Helen Tworkov

Helen Tworkov is Tricycle’s founding editor and author of Zen in America: Profiles of Five Teachers (1989). She’s also the co-author of Turning Confusion Into Clarity: A Guide to the Foundation Practices of Tibetan Buddhism (2014) and In Love With the World: A Monk’s Journey Through the Bardos of Living and Dying (2019), which she wrote with Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche.

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for all beings through mindfulness and meditation practices.

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