Aug 25, 1971 – Earth Day, 2022
Dedicated Practitioner and Friend of Ecodharma
With Sadness, Love and Respect
Wynn was a frequent volunteer, and participant at retreats at the center. Many of us knew and loved him. We are grieving the death of our friend and preparing a memorial page to honor him.
We want to be clear that none of us knew about his plans to self-immolate on Earth Day. If we had known, or even had a hint, we would have stopped him in any way possible. That would be our spiritual, moral and legal imperative. Just like everyone else, we are shocked and saddened, and have been trying to process and understand what happened.
Buddhists take a vow to protect all life and reduce all suffering. We are committed to creative and strategic movement building at the interface of racial healing, justice and climate action. We also lead grief circles so that people can share and work through their trauma in the presence of a loving community. We have never talked about self-immolation, and we do not think it is a skillful protest. Nevertheless, given the dire state of the planet and worsening climate crisis, we can try to understand why someone might do that. While there has been self-immolation in Buddhist history to highlight atrocities committed against Tibetan and Vietnamese people, that is not something that we would ever encourage. We hope we can hear Wynn’s message without condoning his method.
With Metta for All Beings,
David Loy, Kritee Kanko, Johann Robbins, Peter Williams, Jean Leonard, Lin Gordon, Howard Evergreen and Jesse Dow
On Friday April 29 there was a lovely and moving vigil for Wynn at the Supreme Court organized by DC area activist and Buddhist groups. Many others attended in spirit. There will probably be a memorial on Zoom for Wynn soon, please watch for details.
The family asks that in lieu of flowers, to please send donations to Rocky Mountain Ecodharma Retreat Center, with a note that the donation is in memory of Bruce Wynn (donations can be made here).
If you need emotional support:
- Colorado Crisis Services: Can be reached at 1 (844) 493-8255, or text “TALK” to 38255, to speak with a professional counselor about any area where you could use support for yourself or a loved one, from feeling suicidal to loneliness and isolation, stress, relationship issues, substance use and other common concerns. You can also access a 24/7 walk-in crisis center by visiting 3180 Airport Road, Boulder, CO.
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline—Call 1–800–273–TALK (1–800–273–8255), or, for support in Spanish, call 1–888–628–9454. Available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
- The Crisis Text Line: Connect by texting TALK to 741741. Available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
- Good Grief Network: a nonprofit organization that brings people together to metabolize collective grief, eco-anxiety, and other heavy emotions that arise in response to daunting planetary crises.