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Thank you, planet earth, for literally everything. Our oxygen, food, minds and bodies all come from nature, from our natural world.
Becoming aware of the debt of gratitude we owe to our blue planet and living with a sense of appreciation for it, actually increases our happiness. On the other hand, seeing the earth as a means to fulfill our social and economic objectives goes against the core teachings of Buddhism. This thinking is at the root of the climate crisis that threatens all life.
Buddhism is a philosophy for living harmoniously with the environment and those around us. Here are 3 green ideas from Buddhist teacher Daisaku Ikeda.
We Owe It All To Our Blue Planet
Daisaku Ikeda writes:
The destruction of nature is the destruction of humanity. Nature is our home. All life on this planet, including of course human life, was born from the natural environment. We don’t owe our existence to machines or science. We are the products of nature.
Discussions on Youth, p. 188
Buddhism is a philosophy for living harmoniously with the environment and those around us.
Recognizing the debt we owe to our planet fills us with a powerful sense of responsibility to protect it. It also helps us dig deeper to pull out our courage and wisdom to take effective action to preserve our world.
Everything Is Connected
Life is a chain. All things are related. When any link is harmed, the other links will be affected. We should think of the environments as our mother—Mother Soil, Mother Sea, Mother Earth. There is no crime worse than harming one’s mother.
We live in a web of interconnections with each other and the environment. As Martin Luther King Jr. puts it: “We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.” Buddhists take responsible action based on this truth.
We live in a web of interconnections with each other and the environment.
Oneness of Life and Its Environment
The desertification of our planet is linked to the desertification of the human spirit. War is the most extreme example of this destructive impulse. War destroys both nature and the human spirit. The twentieth century has been a century of war. We must make the twenty-first century a century of life, a century in which life is the top priority in all spheres of human activity—in commerce, in government, in science.
The destruction of the natural world is a reflection human attitudes, such as our egoism and greed. That’s why transforming these inner tendencies through our Buddhist practice, in addition to taking thoughtful action, is at the core of saving our planet.