Shine One Corner of the World – Responding to the Ecological Crisis

Here at Crestone Mountain Zen Center, we are looking for ways to integrate our personal quest to be fully alive with a caring and meaningful response to the planetary ecological crisis we are facing.

We all ask the same question: What can we do? As Buddhists, we vow to live in accord with all beings. This is common sense wisdom. How do we put this into practice day by day? The time to act wholeheartedly on our vow is now!

Every year, on our Wild Dharma trips, the Sangha enters the wilderness of the Sangre de Cristo Range, the pristine mountains behind our Zen Practice Center. We ask wild nature to nurture us, and she responds freely and willingly. Now it’s time to give back. It’s time to care, protect, innovate, …

When we act in accord with the whole, we become whole, and we feel more fully alive.

Therefore, we want to develop our Zen Practice Center as an ecologically responsible, sustainable and regenerative community that embodies the change the world urgently needs.

Each year, we touch many people’s lives: many Zen practitioners from different walks of life as well as guests, body workers, other spiritual teachers, college students, local community members, federal land managers and environmental activists. We trust that what we do at this Center can be an example and inspire others to transform their own lives.



We have delineated five interrelated action areas, in which we intend to make continuous progress:

  1. Deepening our Sense of Place
  2. Creating a Zero Carbon Campus
  3. Developing Local Food Systems
  4. Approaching a Zero Waste Lifestyle
  5. Cultivating Regenerative Community Relationships



We will use this Sangha News Blog to share with you, among other topics, our vision for these action areas and how we’re making progress over time.

Suzuki Roshi encouraged us: “to shine one corner of the world.” “That’s enough”, he said. “Not the whole world. Just make clear where you are.”

We have to act decisively and boldly. The whole Earth is calling us to action. We start by shining one corner of the world. Our corner, our home. And then, of course, depending on how far our energy and activity reach, we can make home as large as we want it to be.