climate change

Reflections and New Directions in Wakeful Society, Culture, and Politics

  Issue Contents Editor’s Introduction Gabriel Dayley Releasing the Bowstring Towards Wakeful Society, Culture, and Politics Gabriel Dayley Embracing Our Wholeness: The Importance of Embodiment, Lineage, Spirituality, and Social Justice Arisika Razak Mahāprajāpatī: An Arrow Ancestor James K. Rowe What Does it Mean to be Wakeful? LaDawn Haglund Data, Practice, Sandwiches, Possibilities Rachel DeMotts Space to Dream: Reflections on Teaching, Writing, and Living with The Arrow Naya Jones Original artwork for this issue by Chetna Mehta and Rae Minji Lee Reprinted artwork from previous issues in The Arrow by Alicia Brown, Chetna Mehta, Rae Minji Lee, and Star Barker

Relationshift: The CourageRISE Model for Building Relational Cultures of Practice

This article appears in the issue “Healing Social and Ecological Rifts Part 2″ (Volume 8, Number 2). Click here to subscribe and download the entire issue.  Subscribe to The Arrow Journal to read the complete issue, plus unlimited access to the only journal dedicated to investigating the meeting of contemplative wisdom and the systemic challenges facing our world. Already subscribed? Read the issue: Healing Social and Ecological Rifts Part 2 | Vol. 8, No. 2 | Fall 2021

Reciprocity: An Antidote to our Global Crises

This article appears in the issue “Healing Social and Ecological Rifts Part 2″ (Volume 8, Number 2). Click here to subscribe and download the entire issue.  Subscribe to The Arrow Journal to read the complete issue, plus unlimited access to the only journal dedicated to investigating the meeting of contemplative wisdom and the systemic challenges facing our world. Already subscribed? Read the issue: Healing Social and Ecological Rifts Part 2 | Vol. 8, No. 2 | Fall 2021

The Turtle and the Falling Sky: Yanomami Mimesis, F(r)iction, and Performance

This article appears in the issue “Healing Social and Ecological Rifts Part 2″ (Volume 8, Number 2). Click here to subscribe and download the entire issue.  Subscribe to The Arrow Journal to read the complete issue, plus unlimited access to the only journal dedicated to investigating the meeting of contemplative wisdom and the systemic challenges facing our world. Already subscribed? Read the issue: Healing Social and Ecological Rifts Part 2 | Vol. 8, No. 2 | Fall 2021

Recreating Our Communities to Respond to the Climate Emergency

This article appears in the issue “Healing Social and Ecological Rifts Part 2″ (Volume 8, Number 2). Click here to subscribe and download the entire issue.  Subscribe to The Arrow Journal to read the complete issue, plus unlimited access to the only journal dedicated to investigating the meeting of contemplative wisdom and the systemic challenges facing our world. Already subscribed? Read the issue: Healing Social and Ecological Rifts Part 2 | Vol. 8, No. 2 | Fall 2021

Dead Turtle Animist: Towards a Non-Natural Ecopolitical Spirituality

This article appears in the issue “Healing Social and Ecological Rifts Part 2″ (Volume 8, Number 2). Click here to subscribe and download the entire issue.  Subscribe to The Arrow Journal to read the complete issue, plus unlimited access to the only journal dedicated to investigating the meeting of contemplative wisdom and the systemic challenges facing our world. Already subscribed? Read the issue: Healing Social and Ecological Rifts Part 2 | Vol. 8, No. 2 | Fall 2021

Reflections on Catastrophe, Consciousness, and the Right to Home

This article appears in the issue “Healing Social and Ecological Rifts Part 2″ (Volume 8, Number 2). Click here to subscribe and download the entire issue.  Subscribe to The Arrow Journal to read the complete issue, plus unlimited access to the only journal dedicated to investigating the meeting of contemplative wisdom and the systemic challenges facing our world. Already subscribed? Read the issue: Healing Social and Ecological Rifts Part 2 | Vol. 8, No. 2 | Fall 2021

Healing Social and Ecological Rifts Part 2

  Issue Contents Introduction from the Journal Editors by Gabe Dayley and shah noor hussein In Conversation LaDawn Haglund and Adam Lobel Unfolding Universe | L’univers desplegant-se  Carles Ibáñez ‘If you give us the best place in the world, it is not so good for us as this:’ Some Reflections on Catastrophe, Consciousness, and the Right to Home Heather Williams  Dead Turtle Animist: Towards a Non-Natural Ecopolitical Spirituality Adam Lobel Recreating Our Communities to Respond to the Climate Emergency Keri E. Iyall Smith The climate is changing and causing calamities that we will need to respond to as communities in order to survive and thrive. Indigenous approaches to the natural world, equality, sustainability, economic exchange, prioritizing the collective, and participatory decision-making offer a path to recuperation of the natural environment and community-building to improve the welfare for us all together. Keywords: Environment, Climate Change, Participatory Decision-Making, Indigenous People, Capitalism, Community The Turtle and the Falling Sky: Yanomami Mimesis, F(r)iction, and Performance John C. Dawsey This essay compares the thought, practices, and performance of Yanomami peoples …

Death Denial, Human Supremacy, and Ecological Crisis: Indigenous and Euro-American Perspectives

This essay appears in the issue “Healing Social and Ecological Rifts Part 1″ (Volume 8, Number 1). Click here to subscribe and download the entire issue.  Subscribe to The Arrow Journal to read the complete issue, plus unlimited access to the only journal dedicated to investigating the meeting of contemplative wisdom and the systemic challenges facing our world. Already subscribed? Read the issue: Healing Social and Ecological Rifts Part 1 | Vol. 8, No. 1 | Summer 2021

Breath of Other, Breath of Self

This essay appears in the issue “Healing Social and Ecological Rifts Part 1″ (Volume 8, Number 1). Click here to subscribe and download the entire issue.  Subscribe to The Arrow Journal to read the complete issue, plus unlimited access to the only journal dedicated to investigating the meeting of contemplative wisdom and the systemic challenges facing our world. Already subscribed? Read the issue: Healing Social and Ecological Rifts Part 1 | Vol. 8, No. 1 | Summer 2021

Healing the Disembodied Sacred: Beyond Spiritual Bypassing and Shadow Activism

This essay appears in the issue “Healing Social and Ecological Rifts Part 1″ (Volume 8, Number 1). Click here to subscribe and download the entire issue.  Subscribe to The Arrow Journal to read the complete issue, plus unlimited access to the only journal dedicated to investigating the meeting of contemplative wisdom and the systemic challenges facing our world. Already subscribed? Read the issue: Healing Social and Ecological Rifts Part 1 | Vol. 8, No. 1 | Summer 2021

“What Have We Done?” An Eco-sin Approach to Environmental and Social Hazards

This essay appears in the issue “Healing Social and Ecological Rifts Part 1″ (Volume 8, Number 1). Click here to subscribe and download the entire issue.  Subscribe to The Arrow Journal to read the complete issue, plus unlimited access to the only journal dedicated to investigating the meeting of contemplative wisdom and the systemic challenges facing our world. Already subscribed? Read the issue: Healing Social and Ecological Rifts Part 1 | Vol. 8, No. 1 | Summer 2021

An Ecodharma Prayer of Earth

This essay appears in the issue “Healing Social and Ecological Rifts Part 1″ (Volume 8, Number 1). Click here to subscribe and download the entire issue.  From the realm of boundless emptiness, The spacious horizon of sky, sun and moon, We call upon primordial perfection, The unborn womb of suchness called Buddha, Please grant us the unconditional openness To rest in timeless wisdom with all life, decay, and death, To see the patient perfection without beginning or end. From the realm of compassionate sadness, The vulnerable living skin of leaf, shell, and feather, We call upon immeasurable compassion, The inconceivable, endless vow of all Bodhisattvas, Please grant us the brave heart of awakening, To grieve for all that we are losing, To lovingly protect all that calls to be protected. From the realm of interdependent relationship, The elements, greenery, crawling, swimming, soaring ones, We call upon the interwoven web of causality, The selfless insight called Dharma, Please grant us the humility beyond human-centricity, To mindfully stay with the suffering of this very place, To take one …

Bright Spot Ethnography: On the Analytical Potential of Things that Work

This essay appears in the issue “Healing Social and Ecological Rifts Part 1″ (Volume 8, Number 1). Click here to subscribe and download the entire issue.  Subscribe to The Arrow Journal to read the complete issue, plus unlimited access to the only journal dedicated to investigating the meeting of contemplative wisdom and the systemic challenges facing our world. Already subscribed? Read the issue: Healing Social and Ecological Rifts Part 1 | Vol. 8, No. 1 | Summer 2021

Notes from the Field

This essay appears in the issue “Healing Social and Ecological Rifts Part 1″ (Volume 8, Number 1). Click here to subscribe and download the entire issue.  Subscribe to The Arrow Journal to read the complete issue, plus unlimited access to the only journal dedicated to investigating the meeting of contemplative wisdom and the systemic challenges facing our world. Already subscribed? Read the issue: Healing Social and Ecological Rifts Part 1 | Vol. 8, No. 1 | Summer 2021

Living with Eco-Anxiety

This essay appears in the issue “Healing Social and Ecological Rifts Part 1″ (Volume 8, Number 1). Click here to subscribe and download the entire issue.  Subscribe to The Arrow Journal to read the complete issue, plus unlimited access to the only journal dedicated to investigating the meeting of contemplative wisdom and the systemic challenges facing our world. Already subscribed? Read the issue: Healing Social and Ecological Rifts Part 1 | Vol. 8, No. 1 | Summer 2021

Healing Social and Ecological Rifts Part 1

  Issue Contents Introduction from the Journal Editors by Gabe Dayley and shah noor hussein Introduction from the Guest Editor by LaDawn Haglund An Ecodharma Prayer of Earth Adam Lobel This poem was composed spontaneously near a red cardinal in western Pennsylvania on the occasion of the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day, amidst a global pandemic, rising temperatures, melting ice, and mass extinction, April 2020.  Death Denial, Human Supremacy, and Ecological Crisis: Indigenous and Euro-American Perspectives James Rowe & Darcy Mathews We live in a period of heightened environmental crises and scholars have long pointed to narratives of human supremacy as central drivers of ecological destruction. We explore an overlooked but powerful explanation for stubborn attachment to the idea of human supremacy in the Euro-Americas: the political force of death denial. Human feelings of fear and belittlement in the face of finitude easily become fuel for compensatory attachments to narratives of supremacy. In making this connection between death denial and narratives of human supremacy, we draw on the work of anthropologist Ernest Becker and Indigenous …

Land-Based Ethics and Settler Solidarity in a Time of Corona and Revolution

Settler colonialism has been defined as a structure, not an event, meaning that settler societies like the U.S., Canada, and Australia endure over time through racist laws and ideologies that naturalize the dispossession of Indigenous populations.1 One of the most effective strategies that settler states rely on to eliminate Indigenous peoples and their power is the idea that their knowledges are primitive and superstitious, examples of failed epistemology.2 This view is rooted in an Enlightenment-born materialism that asserts that legitimate knowledge can only be produced through narrow empirical methods, relegating the negotiations of immaterial life to the social margins.3 As the colonial project progresses, legitimate knowledge production is simultaneously tethered to race and power (reserved to the white and landed), resulting in what we have come to know as modernity.4 Settler colonialism seeks to eliminate Indigenous populations in order to monopolize resources for the sake of capital. It operates through laws and racist ideologies, but also through conceptualizations of the natural world as white men’s for the human taking. Settler colonialism operates from its own …

Photograph by Trudi Lynn Smith

Toilet Paper as Terror Management

The toilet paper aisle at my local grocery store was the first to go barren. Similar scenes of scatalogical scarcity are now the norm across North America as consumers prepare for months of physical distancing to slow the spread of COVID-19. You can find footage online of shoppers fighting over the last roll, and The New York Times recently reported on a toilet paper shipment requiring police escort. It is peculiar that in the early days of this crisis, a pooping accessory took priority over food. Survival instincts appear low in late capitalism. Fortunately, there is a body of social psychology that helps explain the collective impulse to put our heads in our asses in this moment of genuine crisis, and it’s called “Terror Management Theory (or TMT). TMT is rooted in the work of Ernest Becker, who won a Pulitzer for his 1973 book The Denial of Death. According to Becker, the intense existential fear caused by the reality of death compels us to psychologically buffer ourselves with fantasies of supremacy that compensate for …

Illustration by K.T. Tierney

Facing Pandemic, Finding Ground

I’m writing this in the still-early days of the pandemic. Canadian federal, provincial, and municipal governments are requiring self-distancing and closing non-essential services. Increases in coronavirus deaths are in store, though the curve may have been flattened. Much of the predicted economic carnage lies ahead. It feels like the calm before the storm. How do we work with our minds in this situation? What meaning can we make of what’s happening? Ayahuasca My core spiritual practice these days is ayahuasca ceremony. Ayahuasca is a psychoactive plant mixture and traditional medicine long used in Indigenous ceremonies in the Amazon basin. Within a well-crafted ritual container and led by someone deeply trained in ayahuasca chants and healing, twelve or so of us drink ayahuasca and experience a night of insight and sometimes visions.1 I’ve drunk sixteen times and almost every time experienced a connection with the sacred; from the point of view of the profound interconnectedness of all phenomena, I’ve worked with my patterns, my root traumas, and how I show up in the world. The experience …

Dharma, Degrowth, and Climate Change

  Issue Contents FEATURE Contemplating the More-than-Human Commons by Zack Walsh In Response Social and Ecological Ethics by Asoka Bandarage Drala of the Landscape: Rights of the River by Rachel DeMotts Beyond Theory: Relating to Dominant Systems and Manifesting Social Alternatives in Dharma Communities by David Kahane FICTION The Tale of Stormtamer by Austin R. Pick In Response A Buddhist Depiction of Ecological Dystopia by Holly Gayley Cover design and illustrations by Alicia Brown Comments The Arrow welcomes comments in response to issues we publish. Please submit comments for review to editor[at]arrow-journal.org. Comments may expand on an idea, raise questions, or make a critique. They should be no more than 500 words. Regardless of the stance toward the article that a comment takes, comments should be substantive and respectful, engaging the merits of the argument.

Photograph by Alicia Brown

Inner and Outer Ecologies: Contemplative Practice in an Environmental Age

This essay also appears in the issue “Teaching Contemplative Environments” (Volume 4, Number 1). Click here to subscribe and download the entire issue.  “I only went out for a walk, and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in.” –John Muir At first sight, it may appear that contemplative practices stand at odds with environmental protection efforts. After all, the word ‘environment’ generally refers to the natural world outside of us, rather than the internal one within us. Moreover, environmental work aims to change widespread behavior and thus focuses on government policies, economic incentives, technological innovation, cultural norms, and other structures of power. These operate in the political realm, and thus call on environmentalists to externally project their efforts. In contrast, contemplative practices seemingly invite one to go ‘inside.’ They involve exercises that allow the practitioner to become more aware of one’s interior landscape. Whether they involve sitting meditation, yoga, journaling, dance, prayer, or textual study, contemplative practices cultivate a sensitivity to subjectivity. They encourage becoming intimate …