S2 What is Sentience with Roshi Susan Murphy

What is sentience? If we're to ask the question directly, perhaps a good place to seek an answer is with a great teacher.

This week, it's our honor to welcome and share the Earth wisdom of the joyful Dr. Susan Murphy. Susan is a Roshi, a learned teacher in the tradition of Zen Buddhism. She is the founding and resident teacher of the Zen Open Circle in Sydney, Australia. And, as a writer, radio producer and film director, she’s considered one of the most important global voices in the Ecological Buddhism, or "Ecodharma" movement.

Roshi Susan is the author of the splendid book Minding the Earth, Mending the World: Zen and the Art of Planentary Crisis (Penguin Random House, 2014), a Zen response to the great ecological crisis of our time – climate change.

Please enjoy this open and generous sharing from Susan about sentience, our kinship relationship with non-human animals – and everything else in the cosmos – and the impossibility of separating our human existence and experience from that of the Earth.

Sentient Planet is an independent production, created on the traditional land of the Nisqually Tribe in the Pacific Northwest, USA. Please consider supporting our work on Patreon. Thank you!

Intro music: "The Spaces Between" by Scott Buckley.

Interstitial music: "Last Day on Earth" by Stellardrone.

About the Podcast

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Sentient Planet
Giving voice to the species with whom we share the Earth and the humans dedicated to their urgent defense and preservation. Long-form stories included every season. Like what you hear? You can support our message on Patreon.

About your hosts

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Susan Woodward

Susan is a writer and journalist with strong ties to Australia and the West Coast, USA. She resists the corporate destruction of nature and is a passionate defender of our more-than-human animal kin. You will often find her hiking in the mountains of the Pacific Northwest.
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Liam Wilkinson

Liam is our sound engineer and podcast editor. When he isn't working on our audio, you'll often find him walking around the parks of England, cooking up a storm, or writing and performing nature-inspired music under the moniker "Salad Sage."
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Ari Simmons

Ari lives in Portland, Oregon and manages all our podcast's social media demands. She's an avid climate activist and solar energy specialist who is driven to foster a sustainable future inclusive of all living beings.
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Janet Grimwade

Janet has a strong background in graphic design, having built a career in Australia and the United States. Her passion lies in being active in nature.