Here at Bright Earth we trust that there is deep wisdom and unconditional love flowing through the universe. We understand that the universe is full of living beings who are born, who suffer and who die. Here at Bright Earth we turn towards that love and wisdom, and we aim for compassionate responses to the suffering we find in the world.
Koyo Kubose said, “All Buddhism is reformist Buddhism.” We are particularly influenced by Pure Land Buddhism. We are also inspired by Zen Buddhism and a wide variety of Buddhist practices and teachings, as well as wisdom from other spiritual traditions.
We encourage engaged Buddhism, especially in the face of the multiple crises the world is facing. Many of us have been involved in environmental activism through Extinction Rebellion Buddhists and other groups.
We are interested in ecological Buddhism: a Buddhism that is rooted in the Earth, that appreciates interconnectedness, and that is curious about the wisdom of indigenous communities. We are supported by doing Buddhist practice outside.
We practise everyday Buddhism, bringing the insights and spirit of Buddhism into our ordinary lives.
Whilst respecting the wisdom of elders, we try to mitigate for power – sharing power out when possible, avoiding steep hierarchy, and encouraging others in the group to take on responsibility and to have a say in how we do things when appropriate. We work to understand systems of privilege and oppression, both in ourselves and in the world.
More than anything, we appreciate how vulnerable human beings can be. We are all driven by our greed, hate and delusion, and we all contain old wounds and great tenderness. We always encourage our students to go gently – never pushing against defences, but slowly feeling safer and unfolding at a comfortable pace. We know that Amida Buddha accepts us ‘just as we are’, warts and all. As we get a taste of this unconditional acceptance, we are more able to forgive ourselves, and to be patient with and kind towards others.
If you would like to explore Bright Earth Buddhism through the wisdom of many teachers, read more about our Living the Dharma Programme which takes place mainly through book study groups. You can also join us for Buddhist practice either in person or online – read more here. Sign up to our newsletter here and do send us any questions.