Online Sacred Earth Sangha: The Promise and Power of Faith-Led Environmental Movements

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Online Sacred Earth Sangha: The Promise and Power of Faith-Led Environmental Movements
 
with Dekila Chungyalpa
 
Monday, January 11th, 2021 | 7:00pm – 8:30pm ET
 

 
Hosted by the Sacred Earth Sangha

Join us for a rare evening to learn from acclaimed climate activist, Dekila Chungyalpa, on her breadth and depth of knowledge from the frontline of the climate crisis. Together we will explore our relationship with eco-anxiety and grief, discuss how racial injustice is at the core of the climate crisis, and learn how we can embody compassion as we engage our activism.

As the director of the acclaimed conservation program of Sacred Earth at the World Wildlife Fund, Dekila Chungyalpa was charged to work with faith leaders from all around the globe such as those in Amazon, East Africa, Indonesia. For 5 years, she was to work with four very different groups: Evangelicals, Catholics, Southern Baptists, and Tibetan Buddhists. It is through this work that Dekila realized one of the blindspots in the conversation community is the enormous influence of faith leaders around the globe. She then founded the Loka (the Sanskirt word for one or many worlds) Initiative, a new interdisciplinary collaboration program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison dedicated to environmental protection, sustainable development, and global health issues. Its mission is to support faith-led environmental and climate efforts locally and around the world by helping build capacity of faith leaders and culture keepers of indigenous traditions. She also has been teaching climate disaster preparedness to monasteries in Nepal. And her education efforts on climate resilience have proved to be helpful and critical in unexpected events.

Born into a well known Buddhist family, Dekila’s journey is fascinating. Her mother was the first woman to complete a three-year retreat in her tradition. She’s the environmental adviser to His Holiness the 17th Karmapa, head of the Karma Kagyu School of Tibetan Buddhism.

The NYI Sacred Earth Sangha is a community formed around deep practice and conscious engagement of the challenges of the climate crisis. Please join hosts Sebene Selassie, Lin Wang Gordon and Jon Aaron, as we invite monthly guest speakers and teachers to explore together what it means to meet our current reality with kindness and clarity, compassion and wisdom.

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Registration Fees include Teacher Support

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Teacher(s)

Dekila Chungyalpa

As the founder and director of the acclaimed Sacred Earth program at the World Wildlife Fund, Dekila Chungyalpa worked with faith leaders from all around the globe — in the Amazon, East Africa, the Himalayas and the Mekong region. For 5 years, she worked with four very different groups: Buddhists, Christians, Muslims and Indigenous Leaders on faith-based conservation efforts. It is through this work that Dekila identified a blindspot in the field of conservation, which mostly ignored the potential and power of engaging religions to address environmental problems. She went on to found the Loka (the Sanskrit word for one or many worlds) Initiative, a new interdisciplinary program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison dedicated to environmental protection, sustainable development, and global health issues. Its mission is to support faith-led environmental and climate efforts locally and around the world by helping build capacity of faith leaders and culture keepers of indigenous traditions. In 2020 alone, her work has ranged from training Buddhist monastic leaders on coronavirus-preparedness guidelines, to organizing public outreach programs on connecting inner, community, and planetary resilience, to creating partnerships among faith communities including Evangelical Christians on creation care and climate change.

Born into a well-known Buddhist family from Sikkim, Dekila’s journey is fascinating. Her mother was the first Sikkimese nun to complete a three-year solitary retreat as per Tibetan Buddhist tradition. Dekila assisted His Holiness the Karmapa in creating and launching Khoryug, an eco-monastic association of Tibetan Buddhist monasteries and nunneries carrying out environmental projects in the Himalayas in 2008 and continues to serve as his environmental advisor today.

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