This is a Dharma Talk from the Spring Retreat in Plum Village, offered by Thay on Sunday, March 18, 2012, in the Dharma Cloud Temple of Upper Hamlet. Thay answers a number of questions posed by The Ecologist magazine about global climate change, and how to maintain our practice in the present moment:

  • Do you believe humans can avoid a global ecological collapse, or are we driving ourselves towards one?
  • The urban population across the world is growing. What if anything is lost by our increasing switch towards being an urban species?
  • Are we a vulnerable species or one still in control of our destiny?
  • There is strong support for engineered solutions to our ecological problems, for example reflecting the sun’s rays, sucking up carbon emissions, or lab-grown meat. Is this the right approach for us to be taking?
  • Most of us in the West are still attached to a high-consumption lifestyle. We like to buy new and exciting things. Is there a strong enough alternative lifestyle out there that can convince us to leave this high-consumption lifestyle we have?
  • Have we found a new narrative, one that can help us learn to live more sustainably before it is too late?
  • What is the hardest part of the lifestyle you have chosen to live, and how do you attract young people to follow?
  • Can we strive for financial and spiritual contentment, or are they mutually exclusive?
  • Most environmentalists narrow down the problems we face into two issues: over consumption and overpopulation. Where do you stand?

A special thanks to our brothers and sisters at PlumVillageOnline for making this video available to all. _()_