Launching the Suvana project

Posted by Karunajoti on 23 May 2023

rata tree

Join us at 3pm on Sunday 4th June for the launch of the Suvana Project

Suvana means beautiful forest, and this is exactly what we aim to bring forth in a new initiative to control animal pests at Sudarshanaloka. 

We chose this name to help us focus on the positive and life-affirming outcomes of protecting the flora and fauna and strengthening the biodiversity of this little bit of Aotearoa over which we have guardianship.

Over a number of years people have noticed a decline in bird numbers and damage to the bush, the combined results of browse by possums and predation by rodents and mustelids (stoats, weasels and ferrets). What to do, as people practicing the first Buddhist precept to not kill living beings? It’s taken us a while to work through this ethical dilemma, but now we are clear that the wider health of the ecosystem is too precious a taonga to lose and we need to take action. In the words of Aldo Leopold, a founding father of American wildlife management and environmental ethics “A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise."

Work on the Suvana Project is already underway, with bird and rodent baseline surveys completed, an application in the pipeline for funding to buy traps, and collaboration with local organisations tasked with supporting such work. But before we put our trap-lines out we will ritually set our intention that this work, although it involves killing living beings, will ultimately benefit the greater whole. We'll also pledge to take all practical measures to be as humane and mettaful as possible in our choices and actions doing this work.

You are invited to the ritual launch of the Suvana Project on Sunday 4th June, starting at 3pm at Sudarshanaloka. We’ll mainly be in the shrine room but with some time outside, so bring suitable footwear and outdoor gear. An early supper of soup will follow. It’s unclear whether we’ll be able to offer accommodation as the Fire Up the Dharma heating installation is underway and we’re not sure what state the house will be in at that time, but if you need to stay get in touch nearer the time. 

Please park at the gate and make your way to the retreat house anytime after 2pm. If you have any questions about the Suvana project or the launch event please contact us.

Join the community

Keep up to date with our newsletter