Intimate Responsivity as Essence-Calling-Path-Fruition: Eco(psycho)logical Ethics Via Zen Buddhist Phenomenology

Chapter

Abstract

Working hermeneutically with classic Zen Buddhist texts and with corresponding events of daily existence, this chapter explores the suffering generated by humans living as if separate from the rest of nature. Further, it works to cultivate an alternative ethical/relational sensibility growing from and actualized as sensitive, aware, embodied contact with others: two-legged, four-legged, winged, rooted, and otherwise. This approach—nondual (non-separate) yet inherently interreponsive—aspires to sponsor a more convivial, mutually enhancing relationship between humankind and all the other beings and presences of earth. Readers are encouraged to experiment with the following invitation, to play with and test it conceptually and (especially) experientially: What if we welcomed intimate participatory responsivity as our shared essence, calling, path, and fruition? Phenomenological, contemplative, and theoretical perspectives from Buddhist psychology serve as textual and practical supports for this inquiry: for example, “interdependent co-arising,” “no (separate) self,” nature’s “sutras,” “the bodhisattva vow,” and others. The revelatory teachings of thirteenth-century Zen master Eihei Dogen play a key role. The views and spirit of Western phenomenology imbue the present work, while remaining mostly in the background. Joining with allies in this anthology and beyond, this chapter contributes to an evolving, interdisciplinary, eco-psycho-cultural therapy. This continuous practice is devoted to fostering well-being with and for all our relations in the shared earth community.

Keywords

Ecopsychology Nature Participatory responsibility Contemplative/meditative psychology Phenomenology Zen Buddhism Dogen Nonduality Interdependent co-arising Bodhisattva path 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyDuquesne UniversityPittsburghUSA

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