The Burning House: A Buddhist Response to the Climate and Ecological Emergency

Author(s) : Shantigarbha

The Burning House: A Buddhist Response to the Climate and Ecological Emergency

Book Details

  • Publisher : Windhorse Publications
  • Published : August 2021
  • Cover : Paperback
  • Pages : 272
  • Category :
    Environmental Studies
  • Category 2 :
    Climate Politics
  • Catalogue No : 96422
  • ISBN 13 : 9781911407751
  • ISBN 10 : 1911407759
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We are living in an age of climate and ecological emergency. Buddhist teacher and Nonviolent Communication trainer Shantigarbha suggests practical ways to make a difference. With personal stories, examples and guided reflections you will learn to work with doubt, overwhelm, grief and anger; engage with the science of the climate debates; free yourself to align with life; and act with courage, humour and generosity.

Reviews and Endorsements

"One thing is certain: no meaningful systemic change in response to the ecological and climate emergency faced by all planetary life will be possible without a shift in human consciousness. This beautifully crafted, accessible book skilfully weaves Buddhist teachings, a generous account of the author's personal journey and a passionate political and ethical commitment to an empathic path of transformation. Deeply practical, balanced and thoughtful, this book is a trustworthy, insightful companion for the development of the conscious change and enlightened action now so urgently mandated by planetary challenges" - Anna Grear, founder of the Global Network for the Study of Human Rights and the Environment (GNHRE) Editor in Chief Journal of Human Rights and the Environment

"I enjoy how Shantigarbha brings Buddhism and Nonviolent Com-munication (NVC) together when sharing very alive examples of waking up to our burning house.' - Kirsten Kristensen, co-founder of LIVKOM, Life-Enriching Communication and Institute of NVC in Denmark; 'How can Buddhism help us understand and respond to the greatest challenge that humanity has ever faced? The Buddha lived in a very different time and place, but his teachings have important ecological implications for us today. The Burning House provides a welcome and very accessible introduction to the relevant teachings and how to embody them in our practice and in our activism" - David Loy, author of Ecodharma: Buddhist Teachings for the Ecological Crisis

"What the world needs now is love in action. Shantigarbha traces a path for us to follow, beginning with attending to our needs. When we use our energy to cultivate our own vitality, we naturally use the abundance we discover in the service of life. Shantigarbha shows how each of us can transform our insight into action, and take affirmative steps to address the suffering wrought from climate change. May all who read Shantigarbha's words be motivated to take action, for the love of all" - Jim Manske, CNVC Certified Trainer, author of Pathways to Nonviolent Communication

"The writer Shantigarbha, as a Buddhist activist, explains the problem through a Buddhist perspective, as a crisis of empathy, connection and community. Through stories from the Buddhist tradition, 'The Burning House', and other stories, he calls for a creative way to face the climate and ecological emergency. As a practitioner of Nonviolent Communication, he guides the reader through practical ways to deal with emotional outbursts that the crisis could provoke. The guided reflection after each chapter draws the reader deeper into the empathic presence. Indeed, a timely book" - Christlin Rajendram, S. J., Certified Trainer and Assessor with the International Center for Nonviolent Communication

"The ecological crisis is nothing if not a spiritual crisis, a crisis of meaning and direction for our civilization. This book approaches that crisis from a beautifully Buddhist and yet non-denominational perspective. It could help us to awaken. The Burning House is approachably written and abides by the precautionary principle: moving as we are in a fog, it behoves us to slow down. Take a pause, and read this book" - Professor Rupert Read, author of This Civilization Is Finished, and former student of Thich Nhat Hanh and Joanna Macy

About the Author(s)

After studying Classics and Philosophy at Keble College, Oxford, he devoted himself full-time to the Buddha's teachings. Ordained into the Triratna Buddhist Order in 1996, he was given the name Shantigarbha, which means 'Seed or Womb of Peace'. Through his practice of Buddhism he came across NVC and has been sharing it as a certified trainer since 2004. Within the Triratna Buddhist Community he holds responsibilities as an Order Convenor, a member of the International Council, and supporting restorative practices. He has trained members of Extinction Rebellion in nonviolence and de-escalation skills. His first book, I'll Meet You There: A Practical Guide to Empathy, Mindfulness and Communication, came out in 2018, published by Windhorse Publications.
For more information about Shantigarbha, The Burning House, and Nonviolent Communication courses, visit his website at

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