This statement was drafted by Shinko and Kritee (Kanko) with comments from Shishin and Bill van Eimeran. It was read at the beginning of Dec 1st gathering of Ecodharma leaders in Front Range (Colorado) The blue sections are from Canticle Farm’s Sunday liturgy: Please acknowledge their contribution to this statement.
(Shinko) Shishin and I have the honor to host the Buddhist Leaders for Climate Change at Maitreya Abbey. Maitri means loving kindness towards all being. The Buddha of the Future, Maitreya, is here now. Many beings all over the Earth are trying to hold mother Earth and all beings in loving kindness. We are Maitreya Buddha and we are also beings who are hurting and in need of loving kindness.
(Shishin) This gathering follows the August 2019 gathering that happened at Ecodharma Retreat Center and we have a few new honored guests, especially indigenous and other people of color. We are thrilled to have you join this Ecodharma meeting today. As a co-host of this gathering, and a representative of Ecodharma leaders in Colorado who are of European descent, I want to take this opportunity to grieve and atone for what our people did to your land, your people and to your ancestors.
(Bill) As another European-descended representative of ecodharma leaders, I affirm: We live in a nation created by enslavement and genocide of peoples, the taking and destruction of their lands, and the justification of these acts by the doctrines of discovery, the divine right of kings, and manifest destiny. We acknowledge that some of us continue to benefit from this history, others of us continue to suffer from its injustices, and some experience both. Through grace and humility, we invite healing as we ask for forgiveness for what we and our ancestors have done and failed to do. We offer ourselves to examine our role in ongoing racism, wars and resource theft, standing in solidarity with oppressed beings. We cannot undo past violence to you, your people, your ancestors. We can begin to dismantle systems that today perpetuate inequity. We who benefit see clearly that rectifying injustice is our responsibility, not yours. We accept that duty; we will speak the truth and work toward equity for all. We hope to build, together with you, new bridges across race, gender, class, nationality and religion; and so begin to heal deep wounds
(Kritee) As the planner for this gathering and on behalf of all attendees I reiterate that this group is sorry and grieves the fact our lives are built around systemic oppression and exploitation of mother Earth, non-human species, people of color all over the globe who live in closer relationship with Earth, feminine or two-spirit people and working classes. We realize that the root causes of climate change are tightly linked to racism, neoliberal capitalism and speciesism. As climate crisis worsens, people and non-human beings who have contributed the least (or nothing) to climate crisis will suffer the most. We ask for friendship, wisdom and ancestral guidance of people of color, as well as all earthlings and more-than-human world in these times. We commit ourselves to transform rather than transmit trauma so that together we will have the resilience and clarity to transform our collective grief into skillful actions.