We need to continue to turn towards the largeness of the issues and the pain that naturally comes in dealing with them. Once something becomes an "issue" it can seem very distant and abstract. We lose direct contact with the suffering that is occurring right now. That's why we're trying to bring that into our work in a very conscious way, through articles, films or other means.

MR: What are some of the things you've discovered along the way that were surprising, or that really taught you something that you didn't expect you'd learn?

Sensei: I entered into this prepared for— and hoping to—learn a great deal. I feel fortunate to have some very experienced environmentalists as part of the planning committee. I've learned a great deal from them and the sangha. So besides just learning more about important issues, and how they are constantly revealing the profound interpenetration this world, I've been delighted by the sangha's willingness to step forward and be enthusiastic, energetic and self-initiating. In this way, it's very satisfying to see that it is something that the sangha has taken ownership of. I've never done anything exactly like this either, so the process itself has been a learning process in terms of how to translate my initial thoughts and intuitions about this into something that I could speak about, and invite other people to get involved in.