From the Editor

Volume XLII, Number One

“Our house is on fire.” With those five short words, young Greta Thunberg articulated the climate crisis in a way nobody had done before. And the devastating fires in Australia provided additional impetus for the RZC to increase its attention to climate activism.

For decades, the Center has emphasized environmentally-sound practices rooted in the Buddhist precepts: not killing, not wasting, not poisoning the mind or body. But we can’t pat ourselves on the back if we don’t increase our effort right now. Accordingly, a climate emergency declaration has been drafted and approved by Roshi and the trustees. In addition, our climate task force is developing a process, akin to the Term Intensives that we conduct twice a year, that will allow all members, both local and out-of-town, to participate in making commitments to mitigate climate change.

In addition, the Summer issue of Zen Bow will be focused on the climate crisis. As a prelude, please see Alan Leiserson’s article in this issue where he demystifies the process of lobbying at the federal level, using the principles of Non-Violent Communication to work with politicians to advance climate-positive legislation.

How about you? Have you tried to give up plastic? Are you composting? Have you ever worked with politicians on this issue? Are you struggling with climate anxiety in your practice? Are your children engaged in any climate-change activities? We’d love to hear about it. And you don’t have to be a writer; we can interview you. Just email

—Chris Pulleyn