At the Barclays action on the 27th August 2021 Shantigarbha led XR Buddhists in a mudra meditation which was developed with Nick and Joe. The spoken words are reproduced below. In the action the words were accompanied by the actions of the blackbirds, seen behind the meditators in the photo above. You can read Joe’s account of this action here.
As I ring the bell we bow to the Earth.
We sit in meditation together in alignment with our practice tradition, in support of all people and all species on the Earth who are facing hardship or threat of extinction in the face of the climate and ecological emergency.
We raise our right hand in the fearless Abhaya mudra. By doing this we express our fierce determination to protect and defend all beings from the harm that is threatened them by the actions of Barclays bank and much of the banking sector, which is funding fossil fuel extraction and projects across the world.
We express our determination to protect and defend all people and species afflicted by oil, coal and gas projects. To bear witness and to stand against corporations who support and fund projects that lead to the contamination of our precious water and air. And we pledge to protect and defend those whose land has been colonised for fossil fuel exploitation. And to stand with those who do not have the resources to protect themselves.
We stand firm in the face of this threat by opening our hearts to our love of the world, the preciousness and beauty of all life.
Lowering our arm we feel our groundedness with the Earth, and our connection with our breath which is also the breath of the Earth.
Touching the Earth with our right hand we call upon the Earth as our witness, we call upon the Earth as our witness that we, representing all people, are part of the intimately interdependent web of life on this planet.
We touch the Earth to acknowledge our mutuality with all life. To acknowledge that which harms others harms us all.
The Buddha-to-be called on the Earth to be his witness on the eve of his Enlightenment.
Now we call on the Earth to witness our right to being here in the fullness of ourselves as part of all life, and the right of all people and species to a life free of contamination and colonisation.
Withdrawing our hand we feel our groundedness with the Earth, and our connection with our breath which is the breath of the Earth.
Opening our eyes in a soft gaze, we awaken to clear seeing. We see the truth of the pain and harm being inflicted across our world by Barclays Bank and the banking sector, which supports projects that make profit for the few and suffering for the many. We awaken to the reality of death, and so we see the preciousness of life. We awaken to the suffering of those who have been seduced by the promise of money and power. And we acknowledge the power of this seduction in our own hearts and the dominance of this in our culture. We acknowledge how we have personally benefitted by the use of fossil fuels and we hold this reality. We do not turn away.
Closing our eyes again we remember our groundedness with the Earth, and our connection with our breath which is the breath of the Earth.
We hold our hands together in front of our heartsin the ancient mudra of devotion and salutation. In our imagination we hold the Chintamani, the wish-fulfilling jewel, to our heart. This jewel represents Enlightenment, the potential for collective Awakening. We send our blessings our care and love to all beings who are suffering as a consequence of our industrialised society’s relentless hunger for oil, which is supported by Barclays and our financial sector. We send kindness and care to human and non-human species being devastated by fossil fuel exploitation in the Boreal forests of Canada, in the vast coal mine in Columbia, and in the areas of the USA blighted by fracking.
Releasing our hands we remember our groundedness with the Earth, and our connection with our breath which is the breath of the Earth
As I ring the bell we bow once again to the Earth.
May all beings on this beautiful precious blue green planet, our home, be free of suffering. May all beings flourish once again, free of the taint of pollution and harm. And so with love and pain in our hearts we meditate together…
You can order Shantigarbha’s new book on climate change “The Burning House: A Buddhist Response to the Climate and Ecological Emergency” here.
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