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Realizing Our Embeddedness in Nature with Chris Ives
October 14, 2023 @ 10:00 am - 12:00 pm PDT
We will explore Buddhist resources for helping us overcome our sense of being separate from nature and realizing our embeddedness in nature as nature. Drawing especially from the Zen tradition, we will discuss such practices as directing our attention to our senses, giving ourselves fully to the breath and other actions (in Japanese, gūjin), emptying the mind, presencing (genjō), being filled by what we experience as it presents itself in its suchness, directing our attention to how we are part of a vast system of conditioned arising (interbeing), and recognizing our kinship with other-than-human animals. With regard to realizing our embeddedness, we will consider “realizing” in two senses: becoming aware of our embeddedness, and actualizing our embeddedness through our embodiedness.
Christopher Ives, Ph.D., is a professor of Religious Studies at Stonehill College. In his teaching and writing, he focuses on modern Zen ethics and is currently working on Buddhist approaches to nature and environmental issues. He is the author of Zen on the Trail: Hiking as Pilgrimage, Meditations on the Trail: A Guidebook for Self-Discovery, Zen Awakening and Society, and Imperial-Way Zen: Ichikawa Hakugen’s Critique and Lingering Questions for Buddhist Ethics.