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Sister True Dedication, image courtesy Plum Village.
Zen and the Art of Saving the Planet
January 06, 2022
We speak with Sister True Dedication, who has edited a collection of the great Zen Buddhist teacher Thich Nhat Hahn’s thoughts on the natural world.
Zen and the Art of Saving the Planet January 06, 2022
Sister True Dedication gives a sort of “Engaged Buddhism 101” that focuses on how awareness, mindfulness, and ancestor worship contribute to an awakening to the natural world.

As our discussion continues, she singles out the over-consumption of resources as particularly poisonous for both the planet and our general spiritual well-being. But she is heartened by the younger generation’s general awakening to the climate crisis and their overall willingness to take responsibility for fixing it. And she lauds the power of listening to people most affected by climate change -- usually those who use the least resources -- as a means of establishing environmental justice.

Finally, Sister True Dedication shares walking meditation, a spiritual practice taught by Thich Nath Hanh as a way to awaken to and respect the Earth. She also delves into engaged Buddhism’s ideas of time, change and karma as a means of thinking about climate change solutions.

Zen and the Art of Saving the Planer by Tihich Nhat Hanh. Cover art courtesy Harper Collins
Zen and the Art of Saving the Planet,
by Thich Nhat Hanh
Harper Collins

Sister True Dedication, Zen Buddhist nun ordained by Thich Nhat Hanh. She is the editor of his latest book, Zen and the Art of Saving the Planet, from Harpe Collins as well as his earlier books The Art of Living (2017) and Love Letters to the Earth (2013). Before entering the monastery in 2008 at the age of 27, Sister True Dedication studied History and Political Thought at Cambridge University, hosted a feminist blog, and worked as a journalist for BBC News in London. In the early years of her monastic training, Sister True Dedication assisted Thich Nhat Hanh and Sister Chan Khong in their engaged Buddhist actions for human rights, religious freedom, applied ethics, and ecology, accompanying them on official visits to international parliaments, the U.S. Congress, and the Vatican. Sister True Dedication is co-founder of the international Wake Up Movement, a community of young meditators who are finding new ways to combine mindfulness and engaged Buddhism. She currently resides at Plum Village monastery in southwest France,

The song River Flute is by Kevin MacLeod/Incompetech
and used under the standard license.

All other music courtesy Plum Village

Addition sound effects from

Sound design and additional mixes by Dissimilation Heavy Industries