Sustain the Earth! On Ecodharma with Gunaketu
European Buddha Podcast Nr.32

In this ECO-Dharma Episode we delved into the pressing issue of sustainability in our modern world. In the serene surroundings of the Maison Notre Dame Du Chant D’Oiseau, a historic monastery nestled in the heart of Brussels, we sat down during the AGM breaks to explore the theme of sustainability. Our guest for this conversation is Gunaketu, an ordained member into the Triratna Buddhist Order and a speaker at the Eco-Dharma Workshops. Gunaketu generously shared his insights on what it means to lead a sustainable life, shedding light on the role Buddhists can play in this endeavor and his personal journey towards maintaining a positive outlook.

Throughout our discussion, Gunaketu underscores that sustainability and justice have emerged as pivotal movements in recent decades. These movements serve as guiding beacons, offering a glimpse of what a new, sustainable society might resemble. In his capacity as a passionate advocate for sustainability among Buddhists in Norway, Gunaketu is also a significant contributor to the Eco-Dharma Network, an initiative led by the EBU.

Tune in and be with us as we talked about how to cultivate a more sustainable and harmonious world, one mindful step at a time!

Recomended readings by Gunaketu:

  • Ecodharma: Buddhist Teachings for the Ecological Crisis, by David Loy, 2019.
    This landmark work is simultaneously a manifesto, a blueprint, a call to action, and a deep comfort for troubling times. David R. Loy masterfully lays out the principles and perspectives of Ecodharma—a Buddhist response to our ecological predicament, introducing a new term for a new development of the Buddhist tradition.

    This book emphasizes the three aspects of Ecodharma:
    * practicing in the natural world,
    * exploring the ecological implications of Buddhist teachings,
    * and embodying that understanding in the eco-activism that is needed today.

    Within these pages, you’ll discover the powerful ways Buddhism can inspire us to heal the world we share. Offering a compelling framework and practical spiritual resources, Loy outlines the Ecosattva Path, a path of liberation and salvation for all beings and the world itself.

  • Active Hope: How to Face the Mess We’re in with Unexpected Resilience and Creative Power, by Joanna Macy and Chris Johnstone, 2022 (10th revised edition, also available as audiobook)
    The challenges we face can be difficult even to think about. Climate change, war, political polarization, economic upheaval, and the dying back of nature together create a planetary emergency of overwhelming proportions. This revised, tenth anniversary edition of Active Hope shows us how to strengthen our capacity to face these crises so that we can respond with unexpected resilience and creative power. Drawing on decades of teaching an empowerment approach known as the Work That Reconnects, the authors guide us through a transformational process informed by mythic journeys, modern psychology, spirituality, and holistic science. This process equips us with tools to face the mess we’re in and play our role in the collective transition, or Great Turning, to a life-sustaining society.

  • Article by Kritee (Dharma name Kanko): Movement builders! Deal with trauma, to be found here

Gunaketu completed an MSc in business ethics in 1993 and went onto help build the Manchester Buddhist Centre (a small piece of the New Society promoted by Sangharakshita). He was ordained into theTriratna buddhist order in 1996, and moved back to Oslo to start the Oslo Buddhistsenter in 2000. In 2008 he completed training as a Gestalt psychotherapist, and in 2013 training as a supervisor to psychotherapists. In addition to chairing the Oslo Buddhistsenter until 2022, running his private psychotherapy practice, help starting a business consultancy and teaching at the OsloMet University, he has engaged in activism in various ways. He is now employed part-time by the Buddhist Federation of Norway to promote sustainability amongst Buddhists in Norway and encourage young adults to apply Buddhist practice in their daily lives. He lives with his daughter, partner, her daughter and her friend in Oslo.

The "European Buddha podcast" inquires how the wisdom of buddhism is lived and practiced in the „West“. Every last Friday of the month, Emilia Raunio and Martin Landschein welcome guests from various traditions on different topics. See more

Share on social media
Support us with a donation
Your support is needed for our work to do good and
represent Buddhists on an European level