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Quote of the Week: Joanna Macy

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This week’s quote comes from Buddhist scholar and eco-philosopher Joanna Macy.

Joanna is the author of a number of wonderful books, including World as Lover, World as Self, and Coming Back to Life: Practices to Reconnect Our Lives, Our World. I was delighted to learn that Joanna is working on a new book, “The Gift of Active Hope: How to Face the Mess We’re in Without Going Crazy” with Chris Johnstone, a British physician.

You can find this quote on Joanna’s website,, from the section on “Engaged Buddhism”:

…Everything we do impinges on all beings. The way you are with your child is a political act, and the products you buy and your efforts to recycle are part of it too. So is meditation–just trying to stay aware is a task of tremendous importance. We are trying to be present to ourselves and each other) in a way that can save our planet. Saving life on this planet includes developing a strong, caring connection with future generations; for, in the Dharma of co-arising, we are here to sustain one another over great distances of space and time.

The Dharma wheel, as it turns now, also tells us this: that we don’t have to invent or construct our connections. They already exist. We already and indissolubly belong to each other, for this is the nature of life. So, even in our haste and hurry and occasional discouragement, we belong to each other. We can rest in that knowing, and stop and breathe, and let that breath connect us with the still center of the turning wheel.

About Maia

I've been practicing and studying the Buddha way since 1994, and exploring the question "What is engaged Buddhism?" since the late 90s. As former executive director of the Buddhist Peace Fellowship and editor of its journal, Turning Wheel, I had the honor of meeting and working with many practitioners of engaged dharma, including Roshi Joan Halifax, Joanna Macy, Alan Senauke, and Robert Aitken Roshi. I write about socially engaged Buddhism on my blog, "The Jizo Chronicles," as well as on the theme of personal and collective freedom on my website, "The Liberated Life Project." Through my Five Directions Consulting, I offer support to individuals and organizations who aspire to integrate awareness into their work.

3 responses »

  1. Pingback: Quote of the Week: Joanna Macy (via The Jizo Chronicles) | The Considered Kula

  2. As conscient beings … we are inherently capable of inter-connecting with everyone … and …everything … mountains … rivers … trees … living creatures of all kinds … though in their human journey … a lack of awareness lends an illuding sense of separateness … under the conductorship of the mind … which is hardly full in the sense of being ever discontent … and … in the sense of inattentiveness … as Joanna Macy avers … where is the need to invent or construct connections ? … all that is required is … to discover what exists and experientially know what subsists … the Jizo Chronicles are ecoconsciently syntropic … thank you !

  3. Pingback: A Gift of Dharma for 5.13.11 « Rev. Danny Fisher

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