Wake Up!

Engaged Buddhist Response to Climate Change –  a series of four talks and presentations on Thursdays in May 2019

MAY 2 – 23
6:30pm – 9:00pm

The aim of these 4 evenings is to hear an update on the latest scientific information about climate change, discuss and focus on solutions and draw together and share the sangha’s active involvement in addressing climate change. We will explore how our Zen practice offers inner transformation and healing as well as providing resilience, clarity and strength in the face of change and difficult times.

Zen teachers Subhana Barzaghi and Gillian Coote will facilitate a series of 4 evenings. The program will cover video presentations, discussion forums, guest speakers and experts in the field, as well as an opportunity to share the diversity of local responses that our sangha is already actively involved in.

Update on Climate Science
The evening will address the latest information and research from a video from climate scientists about global warming. Guest speakers and local scientists Dr. Rosalie Chapple from UNSW Masters of Environmental Management Program and Blue Mountains World Heritage Institute, and an update from Dr. Helen Redmond from Doctors for the Environment.

Despair and Empowerment – Meditative Resources
The evening will focus on the need for both our inner spiritual work of waking up and outer work in the world. We will explore how Buddhist teachings and emotional processes that support wise non-violent action. Zen teachers Subhana Barzaghi and Gillian Coote will draw from Joanna Macy’s work on despair and empowerment, compassionate communication skills, stories and examples of non-violent action. Guest speaker Sally Gillespie will talk about the psychological experience of ongoing climate change engagement drawing on her doctoral research and upcoming book “Climate Change and Consciousness: Re-imagining ourselves in our world” and Janet Laurence who expresses her environmental activism through art.

MAY 16
‘Drawdown’ – The top 100 solutions
We will focus on a video presentation of the launch of “Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming”, an inspiring book edited by Paul Hawken, followed by a discussion. We will be joined by guest speakers: Sue Holmes an economist, a former Assistant Commissioner of the Productivity Commission, co-ordinator of Get-Up North Sydney and an active participant in the Australian Religious Response to Climate Change; Kenneth McLeod who will speak about Anthropocene Transitions; and Neil Gunningham is a professor of climate and energy governance at the ANU and an active member of Get-Up! His recent work asks: can the climate movement achieve transformational social change?

MAY 23
Community networking and supporting one another
We will provide an opportunity to share sangha members’ engagement and involvement in social, political and environmental projects and organisations, providing an opportunity to support, network and liaise together to forge stronger alliances. We will be joined by Dr Beth Hill, who did her research on Climate Change in the Blue Mountains.

Register your interest: Brendon Stewart –  stewarts34@bigpond.com

For non SZC members there is a $10 facility fee.

Gillian Coote, a senior resident teacher of the Sydney Zen Centre, met Robert Aitken Roshi in 1980, regularly attending his annual sesshin in Sydney as well as training periods and sesshin in Hawai'i. She also studied with John Tarrant and Subhana Barzaghi, from whom she received dharma transmission in June 2004 at Kodoji, Temple of the Ancient Ground. Gillian has been involved with developing sangha at Sydney Zen Centre since the early '80's - organising sesshins, editing SZC's journal, Mind Moon Circle and being involved in sangha ceremonies and activities. Inspired by their experience of sangha building at the Ring of Bone Zendo in California in 1982, Gilly and her architect/builder husband Tony, have built and maintained, with the help of the sangha, our bush zendo Kodoji at Gorricks Run. She trained with environmental activist and Buddhist scholar, Joanna Macy, and for fifteen years was the co-ordinator of the Sydney branch of the Buddhist Peace Fellowship. She has practised with Thich Nhat Hanh, attending his artists' retreat in Ojai, California and joined his pilgrimage to Buddhist sites in India and Nepal. She directed and produced 'The Awakening Bell', a documentary film made during his visit to Sydney. Gillian is a social documentary filmmaker, writer, grandmother and bush regenerator. She is supervising apprentice teacher, Will Moon.

Subhana Barzaghi, a senior resident teacher of the Sydney Zen Centre, has been practising meditation for over 40 years. She has studied in Australia and California with John Tarrant Roshi, in Japan with Yamada Koun Roshi, and in Australia and Hawaii with Robert Aitken Roshi, the founder of the Diamond Sangha. Subhana received Dharma transmission in 1996 from Aitken Roshi and John Tarrant Roshi at our bush zendo, Kodoji Subhana Barzaghi is a qualified and experienced psychotherapist, a mother of two children, and a grandmother. She was a founding member of the 'Bodhi Farm' community in the Northern Rivers region of NSW, where she lived for 20 years. She was also the founder of the Kuan Yin Zen Centre in Lismore. Subhana is a Registered Religious Marriage Celebrant, and also teaches in the Vipassana Insight Meditation tradition. She leads workshops, Zen sesshins and Vipassana retreats at a variety of centres in Australia and New Zealand. Subhana has mentored and appointed eight Apprentice Teachers in the Diamond Sangha tradition.