The countenance of the mountains is completely different when we are in the world gazing off at the mountains, and when we are in the mountains meeting the mountains.
Mountains & Rivers Sutra, Master Dogen
Arising from profound love and deep respect for the earth, the Green Dragon Earth Initiative is an ongoing effort by the sangha of the Mountains and Rivers Order to address the individual, institutional, national and global degradation of our planet. Recognizing that all life springs forth from an intricate, causally-related web of interdependence, every action intended to benefit one part must benefit the whole. This Initiative thus focuses on the whole of the Earth, its creatures, and human society. Issues of social and environmental justice are also within the scope of this Initiative.
Through regular meetings and action events, MRO sangha members are invited to meet at Zen Mountain Monastery and the Zen Center of New York City to gather and share information about, and organize responses to, those issues involving the health of the planet that seem most urgent. The Initiative is part and parcel with a broader Dharma Action Initiative that attempts to take on a variety of social and economic issues effecting our communities, our country, and our world.
The Earth Initiative includes:
- Clarifying our understanding of the nature of the self and its relationship to the Earth through traditional study of Buddhist teachings, practice and training
- Reducing the ecological footprints of Zen Mountain Monastery and the Zen Center of New York City
- Examining and adjusting individual life choices to improve our impact on our planet
- Community action
- Policy making (at the local, state, national, and global levels)
- Identifying global systems and their interdependence
- Education about relevant issues
- Challenging cultural assumptions that undermine sustainability