Climate Change as Charnel Ground
In Tibet, dead bodies were traditionally cut up and left on the charnel ground for vultures. Practitioners could meditate there, connecting with a difficult reality and the awakened energy that runs through all of it.
Our lives are charnel grounds—filled with painful sights we don’t want to see and also with opportunities to engage, to find energy and transformative possibility.
This talk and discussion will explore climate change as charnel ground. How do we let in the painful knowledge of climate disruption, or hold knowledge and feeling at bay? Where do our practices help us to feel and act differently in relation to climate change, and where are they congruent with a culture of inaction and denial? And how might exploring climate change as charnel ground relate to issues of patriarchy, white supremacy, global capitalism, and harm within spiritual communities?
This talk was recorded on May 1st, 2019.
David Kahane is a senior teacher in Shambhala based in Edmonton in northwest Canada, and was previously Centre Director there. He’s a political theorist at the University of Alberta where he teaches and researches democracy, power, public participation, and systems change. From 2010-2016 he led Alberta Climate Dialogue, an international project that convened citizens to deliberate on climate change and influence climate policy. He lives with his young son Solomon and they tend a permaculture food forest in the Edmonton river valley.