Kwan Um Zen School to Hold “Spirit of Hope” Global Climate Summit

- through Henry Oudin

Published on


The Kwan Um Zen School, an international network of Zen Buddhist centers founded by Zen master Seung Sahn (1927-2004), will host a three-day climate summit later this month titled “Spirit of Hope.” The summit will be held online from April 19 to 21, with speakers from Australia, Hong Kong, Malaysia, South Korea and the United States.

According to the summit website:

Last year was the hottest in recent memory, and probably the hottest in 100 years. Even though we are bombarded daily with climate-related headlines and smartphone alerts, we don't need news or scientific studies to see what is happening to our planet. We are experiencing warmer winters, endless heat waves, devastating floods, fires and droughts.

Whatever tradition we connect to, we aspire to connect our spiritual practice to a path of holistic healing. We view Dharma (Buddhist teachings) as a refuge, not an escape. Zen master Seung Sahn (1927-2004) once wrote that all forms of Buddhism share the same goal: "How can we wake up and help this world right now?" »

In the spirit of this question, join us for a three-day virtual gathering focused on the intersection of Dharma and the climate crisis. Insights will be offered by prominent Buddhist teachers and practitioners who are also writers, artists, and advocates committed to climate action. There will be opportunities to meet and speak with other affected people around the world. Together we can support and encourage Earth-centered activities and creativity within and beyond our personal and community lives.

(Kwan Um Zen online)
Speakers at the event will include, from left, Zen Master Dae Bong, Jane Hirshfield and Myong An Sunim. From

The first day of the summit is titled “Inspiring Hope, Wisdom and Compassion.” The welcome speech will be delivered by Myong An Sunim from Penang, Malaysia. This will be followed by a song for the Earth led by Kwan Haeng Sunim and the Providence Zen Center. Next, there will be talks by Zen Master Dae Bong from South Korea and poet Jane Hirshfield from the United States. Finally, photographers John Feely and Dan Dill will present works about nature, calm and tranquility.

On the second day, the summit will consist of lively conversations about climate change, one by one at a time that should be convenient for most people in Australia, Asia, Africa and Europe. And a second later today for residents of the Americas.

Day three will begin with a panel discussion featuring David Loy, Zen teacher, author, trainer and activist; Nancy Hedgpeth, Kwan Um Zen teacher and local climate activist; John Sabin, Great Lakes regional coordinator for the Citizen Climate Lobby (CCL); and So Young Lee, filmmaker, storyteller and organic farmer, hosted by Wen Stephenson, journalist and author of What we're fighting for now is each other: Dispatches from the front lines of climate justice (Bale, 2015).

The Kwan Um School of Zen was founded in 1983 and is headquartered in Providence, Rhode Island. The school blends aspects of Korean Seung Sahn Buddhism with Japanese Rinzai Zen, with elements of Huayan and Pure Land Buddhism also incorporated. In his 2006 book Zen Master Who? (Wisdom Publications), James Ishmael Ford noted: “The Kwan Um school is now the largest operating unified Zen school in the West. » (107)

The summit is free for all and registration can be found on the event webpage.

The references

Ford, James Ishmael. 2006. Zen Master Who? Somerville, MA: Wisdom Publications.

See more

Spirit of Hope (Kwan Um Zen Online)
The Kwan Um Zen school

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The article Kwan Um School of Zen to hold 'Spirit of Hope' global climate summit appeared first on Buddhadoor Global.

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Henry Oudin

Henry Oudin is a Buddhist scholar, spiritual adventurer and journalist. He is a passionate seeker of the depths of Buddhist wisdom, and travels regularly to learn more about Buddhism and spiritual cultures. By sharing his knowledge and life experiences on Buddhist News, Henry hopes to inspire others to embrace more spiritual and mindful ways of living.

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