It’s spring. Just beyond my window is a network of bare branches crowned with huge, luscious, magenta-rose magnolia blossoms. The bees have been with us for the last two summery days, gathering nectar from the cherries, wattles, native fushia, rhododendrons, camellias, azalias and others. The pines are in the throes of their annual orgy. A few days ago, it looked as if great plumes of yellow/green smoke were swirling out of the radiata stand. Now everything is thickly coated with pine pollen, which is probably very satisfying for pine trees, but not so good for allergies. The birds are joyous in their hormonally induced, spring fever and the mornings are deafening with their ebullience. Meditators are happily coming towards the end of a fruitful three months of exploration and today I have the satisfaction of welcoming you to Green Dharma Treasury, an archive of my various writings and a place for writings yet to come. They are offered with the hope that some of them may inspire your exploration and unfolding and also act as a resource of themes and methods for people who are teaching, facilitating and actively helping others.
Green Dharma Treasury has emerged
For more than ten years, I have sent out two or three e-mail articles per year, along with my teaching schedule, to a growing list of interested people. This is only a fraction of the writings that have flowed out in moments of inspiration or in response to enquiries and I’m not sure that an e-mail article list is the right forum for a greater volume of material or for meaty pieces of greater length and specialized topics. Green Dharma Treasury has emerged through the persistent requests on the part of numerous people in different countries for more on-line material. It has also grown from my desire to share these writings with people who might appreciate them. Most immediately it has come into being through the generous encouragement and support of Terry Walton and Clare Murphy, who have nudged ‘greendharmatreasury.org’ into being. It is through their collaboration with me on this project that you are now reading these words. May our aspirations for greendharmatreasury flower as nourishing food for the well being of all of us.
Vital necessities for sustainable living
Over the years, I have come to feel that the study, practice and teaching of dharma must address the needs and concerns of people grappling with the many difficulties that face us today. To live well in this time of climate change, shrinking bio-diversity, exponential human population growth, dysfunctional economic and political systems, disintegrating social systems and a rising wave of fundamentalist thinking, is challenging, to say the least. We could try to continue on, as if nothing untoward was happening, believing that more technology and expertise, along with another economic stimulus package will get the system back on its feet. Or we could wake up and admit to what many of us know in our bones; that love and curiosity and wonderment and sharing and creativity and compassion and community, are not just important, but are vital necessities for sustainable living. Green dharma treasury will provide me with the opportunity to link Buddhist philosophy and practice, and a view of interconnectedness and inter-responsibility, with explorations of science, art, education, ethics, personal healing, deep ecology and social action — all together; the art of wise and compassion filled living — ‘green dharma’. May we nourish these qualities in ourselves, in each being that we meet, and in all of us together as a living, caring, community.
The art of wise and compassion filled living — ‘green dharma’
Some time ago, we were in the Australian outback, exploring the opal areas of Coober Pedy and White Cliffs. In the early days of mining, people smashed through the rock, looking for obvious chunks of opal and they threw the rubble, along with many quite decent pieces of gem material, into huge mounds beside the diggings. Today, tourists visit these places and are often seen ‘noodling’ for opal. That is to say, they carefully rake through the rubble and delight in finding jewels amidst the rock and dust. Green Dharma Treasury is a kind of tailing heap from the opal mine that is my life. These words are shards and rubble; tailings from my own diggings and investigations. I invite you to ‘noodle’ through them. Any gems you find are yours to keep and share around. May the rubble from your digging, one day, become a treasure trove for others.