using the arrow buttons.
by clicking on the page.
the page around when zoomed in by dragging it.
the zoom using the slider when zoomed-in.
by clicking on the zoomed-in page.
by entering text in the search field, and select "This Issue" or "All Issues"
by clicking on thumbnails to select pages, and then press the print button.
displays sections with thumbnails and descriptions.
displays a slider of thumbnails. Click on a page to jump.
allows you to browse the full archive.
about your subscription?
Lions Roar : July 2010
o Q Z :r:: z o > u ........ C/) C/) >L1 ""'""" >-< z o ........ f-< f-< C/) ...-1 ...-1 ........ Sprouting Seeds of Compassion MAR ClAN BARA S CH decides to see what would happen if he simply planted a seed of good intention and waited to see what came up. That seed grew into millions of trees. Here he offers tips on how you too can make a difference. Enough words have been exchanged; Now at last let me see some deeds! . . . What does not happen today, will not be done tomorrow. -Goethe I CAN ALMOST PINPOINT THE MOMENT when I decided to save the world. It was sometime after my Mom died-my Mom who was the secret solar center of my life; whose letters always ended in exuberant sign -offs (lovelovelove, three exclamation points); who'd insisted, despite her terminal diagnosis, that I not cancel my book tour because the subject-compassion-was, for her, life's indispensable thread. I'd begun writing my book The Compassionate Life to blow the dust off my bodhisattva vows, little suspecting how much the ideas on the page would get under my skin. Hanging out with the folks who do the heart's heavy lifting-homeless shelter workers, kidney donors, people who forgave their mortal enemies-made me want to get out from behind the desk and do something for the world (wherever that was). When I heard Mom was suddenly fading, I cabbed from a Seattle bookstore to a New York-bound redeye, arriving just in time to say goodbye. Afterward, people kept coming up to tell me things that Mom had done for them: little things, big things, al- ways specific, usually unasked for. A giver to the end, she'd done a final boon for me, too, leaving me enough money to pay my debts and live for a year without working. I needed the time-to mourn, to reassess, to molt. One day, loitering in a used bookstore, I met a beautiful Russian who was visiting on a Fulbright, and I took the poet Rumi's advice: Gam- MARC IAN BARASCH is the author of four books, including Field Notes on the Compassionate Life, now in paperback as The Compas- sionate Life. He is founder and CEO of the Green World Campaign. ble everything for love. We soon moved in together, though she found my career trajectory baffling: what exactly did I do? I tried to explain wu wei, the Taoist art of "not-doing;' insisting this was not the same as doing nothing. She looked dubious. I realized I'd embarked on an ad hoc metaphysical experi- ment: what would happen if I planted a seed of intention to do some tangible good, and waited to see what came up? I'd long been inspired by my activist friends who saved rainforests, pro- tected human rights, made peace in war zones. Some of them were wealthy enough to never worry about money, but why wait until I got rich to be the change I wanted to see? "Why;' I half- jokingly asked a friend, "can't I be a penniless philanthropist?" Cue the voice-over: Be careful what you wish for. One day, visit- ing a friend's house in Malibu, I met an old man who had spent his life planting trees. As we talked through the afternoon, with the blue Pacific murmuring rumors of the world's vastness, and near- ness, he explained how trees were the ecological equivalent of one- stop shopping: they could restore degraded soil, increase crops, feed livestock, provide building materials and firewood, restore biodiversity, sustain villages, and bring dormant springs back to life-all the while sucking carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere. I had a minor epiphany: green compassion! It's said that in medi- tation, you should practice as if your hair is on fire. Now, with the forests burning, land desertifying, and the climate creeping omi- nously up the Celsius scale, what was I-or any of us-waiting for? My friend in Malibu gave me the umbrella of his nonprofit foundation and a small loan to start what I dubbed the Green World Campaign. I decided to work for free, testing the germinat- ing power of pure intent, the fecundity of the void. My kitchen table became campaign headquarters. Soon enough, willing hands appeared: a former World Bank country director; a geospatial ex- pert from U C Berkeley; a former corporate technology officer from New York; a climate change lawyer in London; an adman whose footwear campaign was a case study in The Tipping Point. SHAMBHALA SUN JULY 2010 25