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David Loy
A Zen Buddhist teacher and author, David Loy is a board member of Ecological Buddhism. He co-edited the book A Buddhist Response to the Climate Emergency (2009).

Entries by David Loy

What Buddhism and Psychotherapy Are Learning From Each Other

(0) Comments | Posted July 2, 2014 | 4:29 PM

One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light,
but by making the darkness conscious.
--Carl Jung

Whenever Buddhism has spread to another culture, it has interacted with the belief systems of that culture, resulting in the development of something new. Today the main site...

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The Karma of GMO Food

(0) Comments | Posted June 5, 2014 | 12:30 PM

What does Buddhism have to say about genetically modified food? Needless to say, the Buddha didn't know anything about DNA, much less the possibilities of modifying it technologically. So it is not surprising that I've been unable to find references to genetically modified organisms (GMO) in any Buddhist text --...

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The Living Death of Being Unknown

(1) Comments | Posted May 7, 2014 | 2:58 PM

Why would anyone want to become famous--I mean really famous, like an A-list movie star?

Of course, fame is often convertible into other things that we crave: money (selling your story to the newspapers), sex (admirers throwing themselves at you), power (for actors and politicians). But what's enjoyable about being...

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What Would the Buddha Do?

(24) Comments | Posted April 4, 2014 | 6:58 PM

Maybe every modern generation feels confronted by some crisis that will affect the fate of the world, but unless your head is buried in the sand (or some Buddhist equivalent) it's impossible to be ignorant of the extraordinary planetary emergency that confronts us today. The recent IPCC report states clearly...

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Awareness Bound and Unbound

(0) Comments | Posted March 3, 2014 | 2:34 PM

"Let the mind come forth without fixing it anywhere." (Diamond Sutra)

The Platform Sutra makes the same point: "When our mind works freely without any hindrance, and is at liberty to 'come' or to 'go,' we attain liberation." Such a mind "is everywhere present, yet it 'sticks' nowhere." Our awareness...

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The Earth As Witness: International Dharma Teachers' Statement on Climate Change

(1) Comments | Posted January 21, 2014 | 9:27 AM

A group of Dharma teachers have issued the following statement describing core Buddhist insights into the root causes of the climate crisis and ways to minimize its potentially tragic consequences. Over 150 Dharma teachers from around the globe have already signed it. The teachers seek the endorsement of the statement...

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The Dharma of the Rings

(7) Comments | Posted December 20, 2013 | 10:02 AM

Can The Lord of the Rings be understood as a new Buddhist myth - a spiritual teaching that speaks to our situation today?

Tolkien's Middle-earth may not seem very susceptible to a Buddhist reading, given its uncompromising dualism between good and evil, and apparent endorsement of violence against evil. It's...

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The Three Poisons, Institutionalized

(15) Comments | Posted November 19, 2013 | 10:55 AM

The Buddha didn't say much about evil, but he spoke often about what are sometimes called the three roots of evil, also known as the "three poisons": greed, ill will, and delusion. His understanding of karma emphasized the role of these intentions: when what we do is motivated by greed,...

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The "Lack" of Money

(4) Comments | Posted October 9, 2013 | 9:18 AM

What is money? We use it every day, so we must understand how it works... or do we? Perhaps our familiarity keeps us from appreciating just how strange money actually is - and how it uses us.

What is a dollar bill? A piece of paper. You can't eat it,...

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The Problem With Karma

(10) Comments | Posted September 10, 2013 | 4:33 PM

What are we going to do about karma?

It's no use pretending that karma hasn't become a problem for contemporary Buddhism. In many ways Buddhist teachings seem very modern in their emphasis on impermanence and interdependence (evolution, ecology), insubstantiality (physics), the deceptions of language (philosophy), and...

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Why Buddhism and the West Need Each Other

(6) Comments | Posted July 30, 2013 | 7:51 AM

The mercy of the West has been social revolution. The mercy of the East has been individual insight into the basic self/void. We need both.
- Gary Snyder

Another way to put it: the highest ideal of the Western tradition has been to restructure our societies so...

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Beyond McMindfulness

(98) Comments | Posted July 1, 2013 | 10:31 AM

Suddenly mindfulness meditation has become mainstream, making its way into schools, corporations, prisons, and government agencies including the U.S. military. Millions of people are receiving tangible benefits from their mindfulness practice: less stress, better concentration, perhaps a little more empathy. Needless to say, this is an important development to be...

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Transcendence or Immanence? Balancing Heaven and Earth

(102) Comments | Posted May 13, 2013 | 3:05 PM

At the heart of Buddhist teachings is a crucial ambiguity that has become increasingly problematic as Buddhism has globalized. Today it's clear that this ambivalence needs to be resolved if the Buddhist tradition is to help us address most effectively the challenges that now confront us.

In early Buddhism...

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The Three Nuclear Poisons

(43) Comments | Posted April 1, 2013 | 1:10 PM

"Because of the persistent threat of radioactive materials to the well-being of all sentient beings, the development and use of nuclear power plants is prohibited." -- The Buddha

You didn't know that nuclear power was forbidden by the Buddha? Of course there's no record of him saying anything like...

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Collective Bubbles of Delusion

(167) Comments | Posted March 7, 2013 | 10:12 AM

What makes human beings unique is also our Achilles heel -- the defect that may yet destroy our species, along with most others.

Like other animals, we have instincts, but, thanks to our large neo-cortex, we can gain some degree of freedom from them by choosing how to respond to...

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Towards a New Buddhist Story

(115) Comments | Posted February 9, 2013 | 11:17 PM

Is a new Buddhist story beginning to develop out of the interaction between Buddhism and the modern world? Both need such a new story. It's not only a matter of seeing the problems with modernity: we need to become aware of the difficulties with traditional Buddhist worldviews as well.

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The New Bodhisattva Path

(5) Comments | Posted November 26, 2012 | 9:54 AM

Unless you're on long retreat in a Himalayan cave, it's becoming more difficult to overlook the fact that our world is beset by interacting ecological, economic and social crises. Climate breakdown, species extinction, a dysfunctional economic system, corporate domination of government, overpopulation --it's a critical time in human history, and...

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Climate, Evolution and the Human Spirit

(18) Comments | Posted August 7, 2012 | 9:10 AM

"I would be absolutely astounded if population growth, industrialisation and all the stuff we are pumping into the atmosphere hadn't changed the climatic balance. Of course it has. There is no valid argument for denial." --David Attenborough

"The basic matter is not one of economics. It is...

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A Buddhist Philosophy of Evolution

(103) Comments | Posted July 17, 2012 | 1:01 PM

"The eye that searches the Milky Way galaxy is itself an eye shaped by the Milky Way. The mind that searches for contact with the Milky Way is the very mind of the Milky Way galaxy in search of its own depths." --Thomas Berry & Brian Swimme

"I came to...

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Buddhism and the Unconscious

(93) Comments | Posted June 8, 2012 | 11:00 PM

"My life is a story of the self-realization of the unconscious." --C.G. Jung

Those who see into the Unconscious have their senses cleansed of defilements, are moving toward Buddha-wisdom, are known to be with Reality, in the Middle Path, in the ultimate truth itself. Those who see into the...

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