Interfaith Climate Summit 2008

Bilder från SBS:s verksamhet

Interfaith Climate Summit 2008

On the initiative of Archbishop Anders Wejryd Interfaith Climate Summit was arranged in Uppsala, Friday 28 - Saturday 29 November 2008. It brought together representatives from different continents and different religions. In seminars and ceremonies we were discussing and acting out suggestions on how humanity can unite around our common responsibility for the climate, despite religious and geographical boundaries.

The Swedish Buddhist Cooperation Council, SBS, arranged on Saturday, a well-attended seminar at the University building on environmental issues from a Buddhist perspective. The theme of the panel discussion was "How can we deepen our perspective, our attitudes and our way of life in terms of a responsible, balanced, environmentally friendly lifestyle as well as appropriate responsibility to future generations? International delegates, invited by the Swedish Church, was the Buddhist nun Bhiksuni Chueman from Taiwan and the Cambodian monk Khy Sovan Ratana . From SBS participated Trudy Detchen Fredriksson , Association of Tibetan Buddhism, KTG, and Kanja Odland Sensei , Zen Buddhist Association.

The fact that the personal spiritual development and ethics are important fundamental factors to lead a climate-friendly life was all agreed, but also highly practical measures need to be addressed. Bhiksuni Chueman quoted Master Hsing Yun's ten rules for an ecologically sustainable living, as applied in the center of Taiwan. They contain many practical advice on thrift with water, waste separation, kindness to animals and more.

Kanja Odland Sensei said, among other things:

"If we believe in what Buddhism teaches, we can not have an unworldly or selfish attitude. We must constantly strive to develop an open and loving attitude to life until it manifests itself spontaneously in all we do. This conscious effort is a central part of the Buddhist practice."

At the solemn ceremony in the Uppsala cathedral on Friday evening SBS was represented by Lama Tsultim Rimpoche, Trudy Detchen Fredriksson, Serdar Savas (KTG) and Bhante Chitasangvaro from Wat Buddharama. The ceremony began very atmospheric with Sami yoik, Buddhist shell trumpet, Islamic call to prayer, Jewish singing, Hindu chanting and Christian hymns. Then the various delegates spoke from their perspective on the climate issue. A large globe made of moss was brought in by children and adults, to represent our green earth during closing recitations, blessings and songs from various faiths. Lama Tsultrim recited a poem he had written in Tibetan and Trudy read the English translation. Bhante Chitasangvaro recited the Metta Karaniya Sutt of universal loving kindness to all beings.

The Interfaith Climate Summit resulted in a manifesto, signed by the invited delegates at the ceremony in the cathedral.

The manifesto begins like this:

"We, religious leaders and teachers from around the world gathered in Uppsala in November 2008, calls for effective action and visionary leadership in the face of the global threats to Earth's climate.

Photo: Marie Ericsson