Friday, 2 August 2013

Welcome Friends

Dear Friends , This is the webpage for the Interfaith Action On Climate Change network , currently being set up by Jason Evans (Quaker meeting) and myself (Sahajatara , Triratna Buddhist community ) here in Brighton , uk .

For me , the Interfaith journey began with a realisation and a dream . In the dream  , I found myself sitting in a church , wearing my kesa ( thing we wear around our necks as symbols of our  Buddhist ordination ) and it felt like there was complete love and harmony between us all , i was just marvelling over this sense of harmony and belonging when we all got up and went out into the graveyard ,  to plant a tree together .

Not long before I had this dream , I'd had what for me was a life changeing experience .I sometimes experience what I call 'The Love' , total Love and Beauty and kindnes which permeates everything and from which i am not separate, But on this particular occasion it came with the realisation : How is this different to how a Christian might experience the presense of God ?I'd been a Buddhist for nearly 20 years at this point and it wasnt what i was expecting!

Then came the dream , and that was when i realised I had a passion for Interfaith.

I have always been concerned about environmental matters , as a child I loved these lines by Wordsworth
'The  earth and every common sight
to me did seem apparelled in celestial light '
and in recent years I have been increasingly concerned about the climate crisis .Here are some statistics that i feel give an idea of what we are really up against
If we raise the global temperature of the earth by just 1 degree , we will see the almost complete collapse of the Great Barrier Reef .A 2 degree rise will cause dreadful heatwaves and increased drought  around the world . A rise of 3 degrees will bring about the complete collapse of the amazon eco system and ' the very real threat of conflict over water supplies around the world' .
We use to talk about keeping below 2 degrees at all costs , but greenhouse gas emissions in recent years have exceed even the worse case scenarios , and we are currently on course for a rise of between 4 and 6 degrees THIS CENTURY . Combined with the expected population rise to 9 billion and we can see that we are in a desperate situation . The UN estimates that by the middle of this century there may be 150 million environmental refugees at any given time , refugees from climate change .

I was very inspired to read a couple of years back that the Quakers have taken on the reality of climate change and are working towards becoming a sustainable community .This was the inspiration for our recent Interfaith Conference On Climate Change which was well attended and we had 12 speakers from various Faith communities around the city .

I believe that if we can come together and speak with one voice on this , then we can really make a difference.If every Faith community in the uk came together and said 'we dont want this ', then i believe we could influence public opinion about climate change and our government would have to respond .In short , I have complete faith  that we can do this , if we can come together . But time is short .

There was alot of will present at the conference to really do this .

My current thinking is that you dont need to have all the answers in order to start having the conversation . I think its easy for us to get stuck at that point , we want to do something , but the problem is so huge and the outcome so terrible that we end up sort of paralised and heartbroken .I believe there is enough collective genius already present for us to fine the way through  , and if we work together to support eachother and share ideas , we can do this.

Following  (infact during!) the conference , Mokshini , the chair of the Triratna Buddhist center in Brighton (and chair of the Interfaith contact group) said we would undertake to do what the Quakers are doing , to find ways of becoming a more sustainable community .Johnathan from the Methodist church also wants to do something along those lines , this is how its going to work , we will do this together , we will inspire and uplift and support eachother and we can do this.
Rik from the united reformed church has offered Brighthelm for a follow up event in the autumn .
Jason and me (mainly Jason , I watched in a supportive manner ; ) ) have set up this blog space so we will have somewhere we can continue this conversation , I can publish articles that you all send me , and we can all add our comments and suggestions .We are going to publish one page summaries of some of the talks e heard at the conference and will be working towards the next event in the autumn.
At the Brighton Buddhist centre we're making a leaflet about green energy and how to change over to a  green energy supplier .Local people will know about the anti fracking protests in Balcome and the urgency for us to meet our energy needs in a sustainable way .We can all share our ideas here , this is just the beginning.

With Love , Sahajatara ,August 2013 .


  1. Hey! Nice post, Sahajatara. I can see you are really getting the hang of this. I think it's nice for everyone to hear the whole story!

    best wishes,


  2. Thank you so much for setting this up Sahajatara the conference was a wondefful opportunity for dialogue there is no doubt you will gain great benefits from initiating this . The responsability lies with us all to protect our planet for all beings for as long as possible .The key to prvent global warming is spiritual practice and action .the spiritual practice can be what of us do as acts of Faith and prayer . Some of us pray , some of us meditate , some of us chant .
    There are numerous ways to take action quite simply around the home , the food we eat and the way inwhich we travel , all these actions could be based in spiritual practice ?or ethical living

    Deepest Respect ,Stu

  3. Although traditions differ on details, there seems to be a common understanding that spiritual insights can be translated into actions that are more meaningful or significant than those that come from the ego alone. Most of us seek to connect with a power greater than ourselves and from that believe that even small steps towards simplicity and sustainability can make a big difference in our lives.


    1. How right you are Jason , from my perspective the power and potential lies with ourselves