Love in the time of extinction: dharma practice, non-violent civil disobedience and Extinction Rebellion. How practices of awakening and compassion converge with conscientiously choosing to break the law in the face of the climate emergency. A talk by Yanai Postelnik.
There are many in our sangha, who like myself have engaged with, or are considering engaging with Extinction Rebellion, and the call for peaceful non-violent mass civil disobedience in London from 15th April, seeking to pressure the government to act with urgency, on the climate and ecological emergency. This is the over-arching ethical issue of our times, and a matter of urgency and profound morality.
Yanai is a member of the Guiding Teacher Council of Gaia House, and of the Core Faculty of Insight Meditation Society in Massachusetts. He has been engaged with Extinction Rebellion since the declaration of rebellion in October 2018. Yanai has participated in a number of non-violent direct actions, including the November 17th rebellion day where 6000 activists blocked 5 central London bridges for the day, as well as blockading the BBC in December, and has been arrested on two occasions. In July he faces a trial on criminal charges for blockading the International Petroleum Conference in London, together with a group of nine activists (including two other committed dharma practitioners) who super-glued themselves to the doors of the conference venue in Mayfair, in January. They have all entered a plea of not guilty – on the basis of necessity and justification. As a dharma teacher, teaching internationally over three decades, Yanai says “It has been a little bit of a change from retreats and sitting practice!”
You can see a short video following Yanai in a recent action outside Downing street here