A comprehensive collection of classic texts, contemporary interpretations, guidelines for activists, issue-specific information, and materials for environmentally-oriented religious practice. Sources and contributors include Basho, the Dalai Lama, Thich Nhat Hanh, Gary Snyder, Chögyam Trungpa, Gretel Ehrlich, Peter Mathiessen, Helen Tworkov (editor of Tricycle), and Philip Glass.
In many senses, modern consumerism, with its promotion of greed, attachment, and self-centeredness, is the reversal of Buddhist values. The result is that modern Buddhists are moving into social activism, specifically environmentalism, and protecting the world's ecology from the devastation of unchecked consumerism. In Dharma Rain, Stephanie Kaza and Kenneth Kraft offer a resource for Buddhist environmentalists. They begin with sources in Buddhist Scriptures and writings of past masters. The rest of the book is a treasury of perspectives from contemporary Buddhist activists who look deeply at causes and solutions to environmental devastation that is happening in places like Thailand, where 70 percent of the forest has disappeared in the 20th century, and in Tibet, where the Chinese communists continue to quietly destroy not only Tibetan society but also its once-teeming wildlife and verdant flora. Many great minds chime in: Thich Nhat Hanh on interbeing, the Dalai Lama on true political success, Sulak Sivaraksa on buddhism with a small "b," Peter Matthiessen on the snow leopard, Joanna Macy on dependent co-origination, and Gary Snyder on the "harming" inherent in certain things we eat; Dharma Rain is an embodiment of Thich Nhat Hanh's observation that "life is one," that "our way of walking on the earth has a great influence on animals and plants." --Brian Bruya