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Author: Shantigarbha

Speaking my truth

When we speak our truth, we embrace all of who we are. Living this practice in our lives, bringing this wisdom and compassion out in the company of others, asks us to be completely ourselves, to bring forward our truth in words and actions... Speaking our truth may open up things that may be a little "ouch-y", but when they appear we can bring our empathy, we can bring our presence. In that way,...
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Unlocking conflict: impact and intention

Have you ever heard a conversation between a couple or friends along these lines? "You're so controlling. Why does everything have to be on your terms?" And the other one replies, "You've violated my boundaries!" How do we support such a conflict? In moments of tension and conflict, it can helpful to introduce a distinction between perceived impact and the intention behind the an action....
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A vision of interconnectedness in a time of climate and ecological emergency

Gesine and I recently returned from our annual NVC Community camp. Sitting outside in the evenings with clear skies and little light pollution, I had a chance to renew my acquaintance with the stars. They reminded of the image of Indra's Net, a traditional Buddhist symbol of the truth of interconnectedness, of how things arise in dependence upon conditions. The Avatamsaka Sutra refers to the image...
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Gesine’s dream

I woke up this morning still connected with my dreams and felt happy. I dreamed that I was in a tropical bay. As I walked into the water I could feel the sand under my feet, the wind on my face and the waves against my skin. I loved playing with the waves. I looked out for a large wave. As soon as I saw one, I dived into it. The wave rolled over me and broke onto the sand. For a moment I was ...
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To feel safe or to be safe?

A few days ago, on our NVC Year Training community call we started a discussion about safety – feeling safe in myself and feeling safe to express myself when I notice I’m feeling uncomfortable in the group. The group members had the intention to address the topic as an open dialogue and bring awareness to how difficult it is to be authentic even in a 'safe environment'. The word safe environme...
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Holding the World in Our Hearts

Here at Seed of Peace we feel deep sadness to hear of Russian 'special operations' in Ukraine, which appear to amount to an invasion. We feel tormented to see Ukrainian civilians being shelled and long for their safety. We long for Ukrainians to get the practical and emotional support they need to protect their country and their way of life. Our compassionate instinct encourages us to resonat...
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All you need is love

For Valentine’s Day this year I thought that I’d revisit one of the happiest memories of my childhood: listening to ‘All You Need is Love’ by the Beatles. In fact, I was only 18 months old when it was originally broadcast on 25 June 1967 during the Summer of Love, so I must have heard it later in my childhood, with the sense that I was looking back on a period of impossible idealism and hope. ...
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A Thousand Kisses Deep

As we slide towards the mid-winter solstice here in the Northern Hemisphere, my thoughts have been turning towards the topic of love. In the darkness of the afternoons, a song has come back to haunt me, 'A Thousand Kisses Deep' by Leonard Cohen. Cohen was the ultimate ladies man, a well-spoken gentleman poet, who gave up his career as a lover to become a Zen monk.  The song appears to com...
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Song for the Earth: grounding, grief and gratitude

Join Shantigarbha for an 8-week online course exploring his book, starting 16 October. Further information and registration here.  For the past six weeks I’ve been busy promoting my book The Burning House: a Buddhist response to the Climate and Ecological Emergency online, and increasingly in person. Last night I was at the Brighton Buddhist Centre speaking to 45 people, half on...
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What kind of ancestors do we want to be?

On Monday, the IPCC published part of its long-awaited Sixth Assessment Report, "Climate Change 2021: The Physical Science Basis", which you can read here. The report confirms what has been common knowledge for many years now: that major and irreversible changes to the climate, affecting all parts of the globe, are underway now and that swift and drastic cuts in emissions are needed now if we are...
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Is there hope for us in the climate and ecological emergency?

Rowan Tilly before her arrest at Oxford Circus in the October 2019 Extinction Rebellion It's an awkward time for me. I've written a Buddhist response to the climate and ecological emergency and it's not yet published. The excitement and exhaustion of finishing in time for it to be published before COP26 in November has left me. Spurred on by what I discovered in writing the book, I feel a sens...
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