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John Daido Loori is the resident teacher and spiritual leader of Zen Mountain Monastery in upstate New York. He has completed formal training in rigorous kan Zen and in the subtle teachings of Master Dgen's Zen. Drawing on his background as scientist, artist, naturalist, parent, and Zen priest, Abbot Loori speaks to Western students from the perspective of shared background. His books include The Eight Gates of Zen (Dharma Communications, 1992), Two Arrows Meeting in Mid-Air: The Zen Koan (Charles E. Tuttle, 1994), and The Heart of Being: Moral and Ethical Teachings of Zen Buddhism (Charles E. Tuttle, 1996).

 

Abstract of paper given at Buddhism and Ecology conference:
Teachings of Mountains and Rivers: The Earth's Ethical Imperative

We will trace the development of a modern ethical environmental imperative beginning with the teachings of the Diamond Net of Indra from the Avatamsaka Stra of Buddhism, Chinese Hua-yen philosophy, and the Five Ranks of Master Tzan, down through the Zen lineage of Zen Master Dgen and the evolution of a moral imperative that is essential to our survival as a species as well as the survival of this great earth itself. Emphasis will be on the teachings of the insentient and the unique ethical perspective this creates when viewed in conjunction with the Zen Buddhist precepts as expounded by Zen Master Dgen. We will conclude with a look at the practical applications of some of these principles in the monastery's ongoing environmental program, in operation for the last fifteen years.

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