Review: “Ecodharma”

We review “Ecodharma: Buddhist Teachings for the Ecological Crisis” by David R. Loy.

Andrea Miller
15 March 2019

Ecodharma: Buddhist Teachings for the Ecological Crisis

By David R. Loy
Wisdom Publications 2019; 232 pp., $17.95 (paper)

Two questions are at the heart of Ecodharma: how can Buddhism help us respond to the eco-crisis, and what does this crisis signify for our practice and understanding of the dharma? David Loy begins by presenting an overview of the situation. “Climate change,” he says, “is just the proverbial tip of the iceberg.” There are, in fact, multiple interconnected environmental issues that we need to grapple with, and the root of all of them is our misunderstanding of ourselves and the world. In other words, the eco-crisis is a spiritual crisis. Loy then goes on to give a cogent, comprehensive analysis of how Buddhism can help. One thing he suggests is practicing in nature, rather than hidden indoors. After all, in nature the interdependence of all living beings is obvious. Loy also takes us through myriad fundamental Buddhist teachings, such as the precepts and the brahmaviharas, and unpacks what they mean in the light of ecology.

Andrea Miller

Andrea Miller

Andrea Miller is the editor of Lion’s Roar magazine. She’s the author of Awakening My Heart: Essays, Articles, and Interviews on the Buddhist Life, as well as the picture book The Day the Buddha Woke Up.