Mindful Ecofeminism and the Multispecies Sangha

When practitioners set foot on a spiritual path, we want to bring our whole selves—our ethics and values, our commitments to social and environmental justice, and our embodied interbeing with all animal and plant species, water-bodies and air-bodies, soil and rock. Yet when it comes to multispecies relations, a diversity of practices appear: some Buddhist communities and cultures follow a vegan or vegetarian practice, while others do not. Like every part of the dharma, exploring the multispecies sangha provides practice in releasing attachment to view (and its co-arising righteous self-identity) and committing to the precepts.

Dharma Diversity

Since its founding in 1978, the Buddhist Peace Fellowship (BPF) has offered a channel for dharma practitioners whose practice links social, environmental, and species justice, yet multispecies justice has not often been at the forefront of BPF.  To provide that consistent focus, Buddhists Concerned for Animals formed in 1982, and grew into Dharma Voices for Animals, a robust international organization that includes well-known practitioners such as vegan author Will Tuttle, and dharma teacher Tara Brach, whose talks on “Compassion for Non-Human Animals” and “Compassion Towards All: Moving Toward a Plant-Based Diet” clearly link dharma teachings and practices with all sentient beings. 

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