This past summer, Br. Trevor and I had the privilege of interviewing Darrin Drda, author of The Four Global Truths. Darrin was in town speaking at local bookstore. We had a friendly chat at Trev's old apartment in the busy West End of Vancouver (those are the street noises you'll hear, see pic above). The interview went over an hour and was jammed packed with incredibly articulate insights from Darrin. So rather than post the entire interview, we thought we would post it serially in smaller bits, with attending commentary/context-setting by Trevor and myself. Our thanks to friend of Beams, Ian MacKenzie, who suggested the idea, coordinated the interview (he makes an appearance in Part III), and took cool photos like the one above.
The four of us began the interview with a short period of silence (minute 1).
The two questions that guide this portion of the interview (asked by Br. Trevor) are:
What is the promise and peril?
Is there a better way to talk about the promise and peril than pure gloom and doom?
Awakening to the Promise and the Peril of Our Times is the subtitle of Darrin's book The Four Global Truths. As Darrin explains, the promise and the peril are related to the same basic process or context of our contemporary world--environmental crisis, global poverty crisis, economic crisis. These simultaneous crises point to the breakdown of an era. There is serious peril in that breakdown (if change is not properly implemented) but also there is promise--the promise that something new, something systemic and global, could actually be born. Something that would be more just, more conscious, more loving, more sustainable.
Darrin employs the framing of The Four Noble Truths of Buddhism to apply to our global context of multiple simultaneous crises. For Darrin this constitutes the vision of what he calls an engaged Buddhism. Whether one is a Buddhist or not (and I'm not, though if this is the right term, 'I'm a big fan'), this is a really helpful framework.
The Four Noble Truths being:
1. Acknowledgement of suffering
2. Recognition of the source of suffering
3. Realization of the potential to end suffering
4. Living the Noble Eightfold Path as an expression of enlightened consciousness.
Applied to The Four Global Truths the main sections of Darrin's book are titled:
1. The Reality of Global Suffering
2. The Roots of Global Suffering
3. The Relief of Global Suffering
4. The Road to Recovery
He speaks of The Noble Eightfold Path as "wise relations" (I really like that framing). The 8 wise relations he speaks of are, wise relations with: self, others, other species, the earth, the feminine, space, time, and the divine.
Enjoy Part I of our interview. You can click here to listen to the interview (right-click to download).