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Fallen Water

At the intersection of Zen practice and Earth activism


This collaboration by a couple dozen teachers working at the intersection of meditation and Earth activism describes ways in which meditation practice supports Earth activists and Earth activism, and ways in which meditators can take their practice into the world to help the Earth.

Earth Meditation and Mindfulness logo

Fallen Water

A novel of Zen and Earth

Fallen Water book cover

About the novel


A desperate fugitive on the run in the drought-ravaged wildlands of the Big Sur Coast fakes his way into a remote Zen monastery where playing monk is his only hope for staying free. Constant friction with the idiosyncratic monastics and the enigmatic female Zen Master force him to confront what he’s really running from and what freedom truly means. His unexpected self-discovery is deeply intertwined with the mystery that landed him there and with the embattled wilderness he loves.

Get a print or ebook copy of Fallen Water for someone you love here.


What do you mean by ecodharma?

Bell tower at a Zen temple

In the Soto Zen that I have studied, “dharma” generally refers to the teachings, but also to the practice of those teachings. Additionally, dharma can mean the many things of the world, or the truth of those things. In this sense, dharma can even be defined as “nature.”“Eco” can be put in front of many words to put them in the context of the Earth, or the wholeness of life, or nature generally.

I view “ecodharma” as bringing together mindfulness, meditation, Buddhist teachings with the imperative to act to curtail threats to the wholeness of life on Earth. It is a term that calls meditation practitioners to take up Earth activism as a practice and is an offering to Earth activists of an ancient system of knowledge and practice that can help build deeper awareness, compassion, and much needed resilience.


But the more important question isn’t what I mean by ecodharma, but what it might mean to you.

What a Word is Worth


Here's a podcast where Marianela Medrano interviews Tim about his novel, Fallen Water. The interview focuses on the spiritual dimensions of the book, especially as they relate to how we all suffer mentally from the destruction of Earth ecosystems, and how practice can help.

Video version

Audio only version


Only for Your Benefit Honored One

Zen koan crane image

The Dharma as Antidote for Climate Grief

and Activist Burnout


This recorded dharma talk and discussion that Tim led in 2022 features an ancient Chinese koan:


Dongshan and a monk were washing their bowls after breakfast and saw two cranes fighting over a frog.

The monk turned to his teacher and asked,
‘Why does it always come to that?’


Dongshan answered, ‘It is only for your benefit, Honored One.’

Beginning Mindfulness

for environmental activists

From the Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute


Based on neuroscience and recommended by hundreds of thousands around the world, Search Inside Yourself offers tools and practices for resilience, effective leadership, interpersonal communication and mental well being. This  offering of SIY is customized exclusively for those working or volunteering in environmentalism and conservation.


Through a generous grant from the BESS Family Foundation, these in-person and online courses are available to environmental activists on a sliding scale.


Learn More

Wildflowers in the Big Sur backcountry

Boundless Refuge

dharma talk


Tim gave a dharma talk recently at the Boundless Refuge 90-day intensive retreat. The talk starts with a focus on bodhisattva training and relates that training to Earth activism through the practice of mindful observation of the natural word. Underlying the talk is the notion that we best defend what we love and we love deeper what we know. A meditation retreat provides an amazing opportunity to connect to a natural place.

Listen to the talk

Sacred Sabotage: Direct Action and Spiritual Practice Amidst Ecological Breakdown

a talk by Tim at Harvard Divinity School

As the global climate system continues to break down, activists are responding with ever stronger action, at times including sabotage.


Is it "right"?


Does it work?

Tim was invited to speak to the issue at the Harvard Divinity School in 2023.

Listen here

Tim made a movie

a little while back

Logging protest at Warner Creek

pickAxe tells the story of what happens when people love the Earth and its beings so much, they will put everything on the line to protect it.


Arson didn’t stop us. Jail didn’t stop us. Threats of violence didn’t stop us. Even a brutal Oregon winter at 5000 feet didn’t stop us.

Watch Here


ecodharma resources

Web content, books, and articles 

to inspire your journey.

Has something you read or heard here been helpful? I'd be deeply grateful for the support of any donation big or small.

Tim Ream in the Big Sur backcountry


a closer look

Tim Ream author photo for Fallen Water

Tim Ream has spent most of his life trying to protect the wholeness of life on Earth. He’s done it as an outlaw, blocking roads and invading boardrooms; as an attorney, protecting endangered species and public lands; and now as a sometimes ecodharma teacher, helping activists build resiliency in the face of climate chaos.


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