My name is Abbie, I’m 44 and I live in Brighton. I work in a mental health service. Like most of us I have been concerned about the Climate Emergency for decades. I recycled, refused to have a car, got green energy… However, it was when environmental activism and my Buddhist practice came together that my feet took to the streets. I heard a talk from one of my Buddhist teachers Yanai Postelnik from Gaia House, just before the April Extinction Rebellion event. Yanai talked about his frustration with the lack of progress around environmental issues, and of how he overcame his own fear and joined climate demonstrations: using the symbol of palm outstretched, “Abhaya” in Pail, a gesture of the Buddha. This resonated with me, as someone with a history of problems around anxiety. Yanai also talked about the spiritual crisis we are facing, and how activism was a deep expression of our Dharma practice, a gesture of our commitment to love and truth.
So I joined the April Rebellion in London and was deeply moved by the courageous actions and loving atmosphere that I found. I then became part of XR Buddhists, feeling particularly drawn to meditating at the frontline of protests: this to me was less about trying to secure a particular outcome (although of course this is crucial), but a way of bearing witness to this pivotal moment for humanity, a prayerful action, carried out with others. In the words of another of my teachers Rob Burbea “Opening to the pain of what is going on in the world in all its confusion and complexity, in a celebration of human togetherness”
If any of this speaks to you, I would encourage you to get in touch with your local XR group, or come join XR Buddhists, you would be most welcome.
Abbie is a member of XR Buddhists and Brighton XR Meditators
Posts and articles are the views of their authors and not necessarily of the XR Buddhists group.