Cover

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pp. 1-1

Title Page, Copyright, Frontispiece

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pp. iii-v

Contents

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pp. vii-vii

Illustrations

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pp. ix-x

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xi-xv

This book has been a long time in the making. I owe a great many people gratitude for their help and support along the way, most importantly the monks who gave me their time, shared their stories, and were infinitely patient with me. First and foremost, this project would not have happened at all were it ...

Note on Language and Names

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pp. xvii-xvii

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1. The Framework

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pp. 1-28

The image of ordaining a tree sparks strong reactions. A scholarly debate surrounds the degree to which Buddhism is inherently environmental, but that debate remains primarily abstract: whether the Buddha raised concerns for the suffering of the natural world or focused primarily on humans; whether ...

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2. The Forest, The Village, and The Ecology Monk

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pp. 29-51

I first traveled to Nan Province in the far east of northern Thailand in July 1991. Two weeks earlier at a nongovernment organization (NGO) meeting at Chiang Mai University I had met Sakchai Parnthep, who ran his own NGO to conserve indigenous seeds of Nan and worked closely with Phrakhru Pitak ...

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3. The Rituals

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pp. 53-91

Tree ordinations take a variety of forms and incorporate different audiences. Some are simple, involving one monk accompanied by a group of villagers wrapping old robes around the large trees in a given forest. The better-known form brings ten to twenty monks together in a formal ritual, chanting Pali ...

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4. The Precedents

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pp. 93-132

In July 1987, excited members of a Northern Thai village gathered in the hot sun along the main road into town. Beneath constantly blaring loudspeakers, a woman collected donations while a group of older men banged drums and gongs. The high-toned sound of a Thai flute drifted through the restless ...

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5. The Grassroots

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pp. 133-165

Phrakhru Manas Nathiphitak (Plate 20) watched ants cross what was once a river.1 Drought plagued his home in Phayao Province in northern Thailand. Villagers struggled to plant their crops and find sufficient water for their daily needs. Six years earlier, in 1973, the provincial government granted ten ...

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6. The Movement

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pp. 167-196

Monks moved into environmental activism individually. They observed deforestation, lack of water, agricultural problems from intensive monocropping and use of chemicals, and the decrease of wildlife around where they lived and practiced. They sought ways of helping the people around them who were ...

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7. The Challenges

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pp. 197-228

On June 17, 2005, the Thai monk, Phra Supoj Suvacano, was murdered. He was an active member of Sekhiyadhamma and was trying to protect the land around the meditation center where he lived in Chiang Mai Province from being converted into a tangerine plantation. At first glance, the case seems to be ...

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8. The Future

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pp. 229-247

If we reconsider the images from the opening of the book, the evolution of Buddhist environmentalism and the meanings and impacts of tree ordinations are now sharper. The progression of meanings reflects the ways in which socially engaged Buddhists have taken on and performed environmental actions ...

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Images

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pp. 268-283

Image Plates - Pages are unnumbered

Notes

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pp. 249-266

References

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pp. 267-283

Index

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pp. 285-302

Back Cover

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pp. 338-338