Nothing is permanent, so everything is precious. Here’s a selection of some happenings—fleeting or otherwise—in the Buddhist world this week and next.
UK Parliament Passes “Animal Welfare Sentience Act,” Recognizing That Animals Have Emotions
On April 7, the upper house of Parliament in the United Kingdom passed a new legislative bill that formally acknowledges animals as sentient beings who—like humans—deserve protection of fundamental rights. Once enacted, the Animal Welfare Sentience Act will include the formation of an Animal Sentience Committee to monitor government policies related to animal welfare. While the committee will not be able to change government policies by itself, it will have the power to bring ministers responsible for policies related to animal welfare before the Parliament. This week, Tricycle’s Three Teachings newsletter contains three articles on the wisdom of animals. Sign up for the newsletter here.
Nuns from Plum Village Community Join Faith Leaders in Visit to Ukraine
On April 12, the Elijah Interfaith Institute convened religious leaders from numerous faiths for a special live program in Chernivtsi, Ukraine and for visits to refugee camps. Among the participants were sisters Giac Nghiem and Luc Nghiem, nuns from Thich Nhat Hanh’s Plum Village Community, who traveled to the warzone to show solidarity with and share spiritual support for the victims of Russia’s invasion. Watch a recording of the “Faith in Ukraine” event here and read more about the sisters’ experience visiting refugee camps here.
Upaya Zen Center Supports Ukrainian Peacemaking Foundation
The Upaya Institute and Zen Center in Santa Fe, New Mexico, founded by Roshi Joan Halifax, shared a story this week by one of its members who recently traveled to Poland to volunteer with Ukrainian refugees. Practitioner and chaplain Meg Myoho Small wrote, “I arrived not necessarily to ‘do’ something, but to see, feel, experience, open my own heart… to bear witness.” Small joined Orina Krajewska, founder of Ukrainian peacemaking organization Fundacja Małgosi Braunek, which brings medical supplies to hospitals struggling in the region, and also provides direct aid and resources to orphans, children living in poverty, and children with disabilities. After sharing Small’s story, Upaya also spotlighted the humanitarian organization to encourage donations.
Village Zendo Starts Fundraising Campaign for New “Sanghas Supporting Refugees” Effort
New York City’s Village Zendo recently started a network of sanghas to support refugee assistance efforts, and last week they formally launched a fundraising campaign. For its “Sanghas Supporting Refugees” campaign, Village Zendo is partnering with Jewish nonprofit HIAS, a longtime leader in providing humanitarian assistance to refugees. Learn more here.
April 18-April 22: In honor of Earth Day 2022, Tricycle will bring together leading Buddhist teachers, writers, and environmentalists—including Joanna Macy, Roshi Joan Halifax, David Loy, Paul Hawken and Tara Brach—for a donation-based weeklong virtual event series exploring what the dharma has to offer in a time of environmental crisis. Learn more here.
April 29: New York City’s Rubin Museum of Art will resume its K2 Friday Nights events—a weekly series that has been paused for over two years due to COVID-19. Between 6:00PM and 10:00PM every Friday, the museum will once again offer free admission and exhibition tours, dancing, cocktails, and live DJs. Click here to view the schedule and reserve tickets.