By Suzanne Duarte



The Pacific Ocean from Manhattan Beach, CA © Suzanne Duarte




Creating Space for Nature: a wilderness solo

By Suzanne Head (now Duarte)

from Dharma Gaia: a Harvest of Essays in Buddhism and Ecology

Allan Hunt Badiner, ed., Parallax Press, 1990


The Sangre de Cristo Mountains shoot straight into the sky out of bedrock buried 30,000 feet below the San Luis Valley in southern Colorado. Most evenings the sun's last rays bathe the precipitous angles of the range in the sanguine alpenglow that inspired their name, Blood of Christ. At least that is one story. Another links the blood-of-Christ image to the startling red tint of the streams during spring runoff. In any case, vivid colors - sunset scarlets, midday blues, and twilight purples - are part of the palpable magnetism that has earned the Sangre de Cristos their place in the mystique of the American Southwest. 

Read more . . .



My Bush Soul, The Mountain Lion

from Listening to Cougar, Marc Bekoff and Cara Blessley Lowe, eds., University Press of Colorado, 2007

This is a follow-up to, or continuation of, the story in “Creating Space for Nature,” including some excerpts from that story. 


Over the years many animals, both wild and domestic, have called and spoken to me in countless dreams as well as in "real life."  I have been blessed to have lived in the Rocky Mountains where encounters with wildlife are frequent.  But the dreams of powerful "fierce creatures" of the wild were the ones that got my attention and focused it on the transformative significance that animals have had in my life.

Read more . . .



Conversation with a Mountain Chickadee - I immediately wondered whether the mountain chickadee looking at me through the window was the one that I rescued from freezing to death while in shock.  I realized that I would have loved to think that it recognized me and was trying to communicate with me.  However, because I would have liked to think that and because I thought it improbable, I discounted the possibility.  I would have needed solid proof that it was the same bird . . .

Read more . . .



Demons in our Midst: Facing the Tyrant Inside and Out

first published in Awakened Woman e-Magazine, December 22, 2004, revised May 2008


It cannot be an accident, or mere "coincidence," that the movie trilogy of J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings became box office hits during the George W. Bush’s first four years as the U.S. president. We needed those images of leathery-winged monsters with huge teeth and claws, of the pathetic Gollum with the vicious shadow, of the goodness of fellowship and the evil of greed for absolute power over the world. Why did we need them? I think we needed those visual images to remind us of the nature of evil and the existence of demons because, in our secularlized, mechanistic world, we had forgotten about them. We thought we were safe.

Read more . . .



Power and the Collective: Pluto in Leo – We get what we need

by Henny Rückert and Suzanne Duarte

Published originally in The Mountain Astrologer (12/04 -1/05).


Focusing on the power issues of the Pluto-in-Leo generation of power holders, this article provides an astrological overview and interpretation of the archetypal energies that are pressing our species to take the next evolutionary step toward responsibility and maturity. 

Read more . . .



Shambhala: The Outer Tradition

Cathedral Peak © Suzanne Duarte

This is a revised version of the first of three talks I gave in March 1995 at the Shambhala Center in São Paulo, Brasil


Shambhala is said to have been a kingdom in Central Asia that flourished somewhere along the old Silk Road. It was said to be a place of high culture and learning where the ideas, merchandise, and spiritual practices of many traditions and cultures intermixed in an inquisitive and appreciative atmosphere of peace and prosperity.  Their way of life joined Heaven and Earth in harmony.  There was wealth as well as a high level of spiritual realization among the inhabitants.  It was a sanctuary for the highest human values and traditions, free from strife and jealousy because the people had what they needed, including their own dignity.  Their rulers were enlightened kings who were just, powerful, and merciful.  The sacred arts and scriptures of many religions were placed in the libraries for safekeeping for the future.  Shambhala regarded itself and is still regarded as the repository for the spiritual wisdom and power that would be needed to save the world from the darkness and depravity that would threaten to destroy all civilization in the future.

Read more . . .



Waking Up in a Former Empire at the End of the Industrial Age - Or: Is It ‘Mean’ to Tell Someone Their House is on Fire?

May 15, 2009 

Published in various versions on Culture Change, Carolyn Baker’s Truth to Power and Dandelion Times.


Dearest Ones of Future Generations, I thought you might find it interesting to hear what I’m observing of those people I know about who are just waking up to what the state of the planet is.  Last week was Earth Day, an international day of observance for the Earth.  For nearly 40 years, it has been a day when environmentalists have had a chance to provide a reckoning of the damage that industrial civilization has been inflicting on the natural world.  It is usually a time when print media make some obligatory gesture of recognition that humans live on a planet that we depend upon and that needs our attention.  This year the statements were a little more urgent than usual, especially about climate change, which is increasingly referred to as ‘climate emergency.’  

Read more . . .



Deception, Corruption and Truth  

July 16, 2009 

Published on Radio Free Shambhala


Two dharmic values that Chögyam Trungpa embodied, which were reinforced in me by his example, are consideration and concern for future generations and the importance of being truthful, which are related with each other.  After he died, I began to understand that our personal adherence to the truth – or honesty – in the present is essential for the sanity and wellbeing of future generations, and thus for the continuity of the dharma. I cite the example of the Bush II years to illustrate the relationship between deception, corruption and collective suffering, which is the converse of the relationship between truth (dharma) and the wellbeing of future generations.

Read more . . .



Holocaust Of The Orangutans – a poem

April 1998


Their forests are burning.


Vietnam vets dump

water from helicopters

on forests like tenderboxes                    

dry from drought

nine months long.


Rainforests without rain,

only home of these  primates,

sweet arboreal herbivores,

ancient redhaired cousins.


Read more . . .





Realizing The Significance – a poem

March 2002


Realizing the Significance

 of Our Time in History

 makes all the difference

 between acting on behalf

 of the future

 or not.

Read more . . .








All written materials on this page are copyrighted by Suzanne Duarte. Requests for permission to reprint may be sent to mailto:earthling@dharmagaians.org.



 © 2009 Suzanne Duarte