This is the talk of Thay from the Spring Retreat in Plum Village, offered on Sunday, March 18, 2012, in the Dharma Cloud Temple of Upper Hamlet. Thay answers a number of questions posed about global climate change and how to maintain our practice in the present moment:
1. Do you believe humans can avoid a global ecological collapse, or are we driving ourselves towards one?
2. The urban population across the world is growing. What if anything is lost by our increasing switch towards being an urban species?
3. Are we a vulnerable species or one still in control of our destiny?
4. There is strong support for engineered solutions to our ecological problems, for example reflecting the sun's rays, sucking up carbon emissions, or lab-grown meat. Is this the right approach for us to be taking?
5. Most of us in the West are still attached to a high-consumption lifestyle. We like to buy new and exciting things. Is there a strong enough alternative lifestyle out there that can convince us to leave this high-consumption lifestyle we have?
6. Have we found a new narrative, one that can help us learn to live more sustainably before it is too late?
7. What is the hardest part of the lifestyle you have chosen to live, and how do you attract young people to follow?
8. Can we strive for financial and spiritual contentment, or are they mutually exclusive?
9. Most environmentalists narrow down the problems we face into two issues: overconsumption and overpopulation. Where do you stand?
We apologize for the poor sound quality in the first few minutes of the video. It gets much better!