While in Europe, I had the opportunity to catch up with Brother Phap Thanh (Bernard), the monastic in charge of the Deer Park Monastery solar project, which attracted significant attention in the San Diego region. Deer Park Monastery is part of the Plum Village Tradition of Bhuddhism run by Nobel Peace Prize nominee Thich Nhat Hanh.
The Go Solar! project was an intentional effort to engage the problem of global warming. The photovoltaic solar panel system was permanently installed in 2008, and now the Monastery is completely run off of solar power.
Monasteries and institutions can lead communities into the new environmental era with their own eco-friendly action. Recently, England’s Stanbrook Abbey also became solar powered with its new design.
Here is my brief interview with Brother Bernard describing the project and how it impacted the local San Diego community: