The journey of a 1000 miles begins with a single step

Earth

Hear the sounds of the Earth crying

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“The Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh was once asked what we need to do to save our world. “What we most need to do,” he replied, “is to hear within us the sounds of the Earth crying.”

It is Earth Day today April 22nd, look deeply and hear the cries of the Earth. Then look deeply at your life and see what you can change to help to dry her tears and heal her wounds..”

~Coilla Drake‎
April 22, 2015


Dudjom Rinpoche on Climate Change 2012

Source: ECOBUDDHISM :: Dudjom Rinpoche 2012

http://www.ecobuddhism.org

Posted Dec 4, 2016

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Ecobuddhism:
Since the last time we spoke about this subject, five years ago Rinpoche, the gravity of the climate crisis is even better understood. The leading climate scientist, Dr James Hansen of NASA is publishing a large multiple-author study which makes it clear that there must be a great change in current policies if we are going to avert the danger of crossing a “tipping point” in the climate system–whereby the whole process will become self-generating and pass beyond human influence.  In essence, he says, we have ten more years to make fundamental changes in the way our society uses energy and treats the natural world.

The well-known Buddhist teacher, Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh, who is now 86, is making a tour of the world to emphasize what he calls “falling in love with the Earth again.” He considers that by the end of this century, there may be no human beings on the Earth.  He asks for a deep change of values. Therefore there seems to be the need for people to dedicate their practice, whatever that may be, for the protection of the Earth.

Dudjom Rinpoche:
There are excellent prayers focusing on protecting the Earth and environment written by Chatral, Dzongsar Khyenste Chokyi Lodro and Jigdral Yeshe Dorje Rinpoches. They are quite extensive, beneficial to recite and will have positive effects.

From a Tibetan Buddhist perspective, we could say that Guru Rinpoche is the source of all our dharma traditions. Not only the lineage of the Nyingmapa,  but even the Sarma schools like the Geluk, have a special relationship with Guru Rinpoche. The lineage of the Great Perfection is unique to the Nyingmapa, but all Tibetan traditions of Buddhism are based upon a Nyingma template.

We consider Guru Rinpoche, Tara and Chenrezig to be the three primary protectors throughout the three times. They are united within a single wisdom intent, gazing upon all beings with compassion, continuously raining blessings on the outer universe and its inner contents—the world and all the living beings it contains. We make Dharma prayers to invoke these blessings.

Now from a worldly perspective, I agree completely with the scientific findings on climate change.  When we consider the direction in which the global economy is moving and the kind of activities humans are engaging in, it is certain the outcome will be great harm for the world system.  The general situation is most precarious: there will be no stability for the entire world and the beings in it.

From a religious perspective – and I’m not talking here about exalted teachings like the Great Perfection – even ordinary religious followers cannot feel happy in view of what is going on.  We Buddhists believe the twelve links of interdependence are undeceiving. From that perspective too, the situation is very serious. I am just one religious teacher, without anything special to say. Yet I would ask that all people in this world think in terms of the common good, rather than focusing solely on their own benefit.

We share this one world. In order to uplift and preserve our environment, it definitely matters how we conduct ourselves in the collective sphere.   We have to consider what will really benefit sentient beings, both short and long-term, with respect to environmental change. It is important to give careful consideration to the long term continuity of the human race and future generations.

We might feel a year is a long time, but the fact is that a whole decade goes by quickly.  So it is essential to change our way of thinking and go beyond the obsession with private gain. Taking the state of the whole world into account is our universal responsibility now.  It makes oneself happy and it accomplishes the welfare of others.  It is our duty to care for the global environment. Let us reflect carefully on this.

To Buddhist followers, I would ask you to please examine the evidence, and determine the causative factors concerned.  On the basis of what you find, please act accordingly and ethically.  Non-Buddhists who see validity in this approach can also choose to act appropriately, in light of their own enquiry and values.

When we reflect on the unfolding of recent history, it is clear how great the scale is of what has already occurred.  We used to have all these beautiful and pristine snow mountains. Now their glaciers are undeniably melting. Many places in the world are experiencing tremendous heat.  Other places are experiencing great floods. New diseases are coming up and are reducing life expectancy for some. Things have certainly changed, and they are continuing to do so.

Although we must disseminate this information, there is the difficulty that it has the potential to bring about fear.  Nonetheless, it is beneficial for the scientific community to spread the evidence they have gathered as extensively as possible. A religious leader who talks about these issues can influence only those persons with devotion—the advice is unlikely to spread far.  Out of 100 people, perhaps one will listen. Yet those who consider these topics deeply can make significant changes by taking their inner meaning to heart.

Ecobuddhism:
Another problem has arisen in that climate science is being actively undermined by the proponents of the industrial economy, and even certain governments and the media.   Scientists are feeling increasingly anxious that their advice is not being communicated to the general public. Some senior scientists now acknowledge this is primarily a moral issue and a question of values. It is beyond the scope of science.  That implies that the global ecological crisis is a spiritual crisis. Finally, there has historically been contention between religion and science. A meeting of minds between them is not easy to accomplish.

Dudjom Rinpoche:
Yes, a partial conflict between science and religion exists. As does a conflict between climate science and modern industrial society.

If we examine the opposition between science and religion from a Buddhist perspective, the law of cause and result (karma) is what underlies the Buddhist belief in past and future lives. Scientists generally address themselves only to this one life, in an individualistic manner.

The scientific focus on this single life could be associated with materialism and used to justify neglect of the common good. What appears to our senses or instruments comes to define truth. What is not perceived in that way becomes insignificant and has no value.  Only phenomena said to be “objective” are believed to truly exist.

The Buddhist view holds that virtuous causes bring happiness, and prepare the ground for full awakening.  A conventional scientific perspective would dismiss the phenomena of lower realms and of deity as non-existent. Nonetheless, I think it would be excellent to find common ground between the scientific and religious worldviews.  It might be difficult for them to become very close. But it is also not desirable for there to be a great divide.

I am not just speaking about the Buddhist religion.  When we consider the religious traditions of the world, such as Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and so forth, the followers of Buddhism are relatively small in number.  Most people follow one of the first three traditions.  All possess teachings on compassion, and in some way focus on a process of mental transformation. This is really what religion is about: developing the mind.

People unaligned with any spiritual tradition may find it easier simply to proceed on the basis of scientific evidence.  If this leads them to a clear sense of how to address collective and environmental issues, that will be excellent for themselves and others.

Some materialists assert this is the only life we have. This view could limit their understanding of the global environmental crisis. Buddhists believe that in future lifetimes we experience the karmic consequences of our present life’s actions. There is an added significance to the choices we make now. We ourselves are the ones who will experience the world we leave to future generations.

Dudjom Rinpoche, Sangye Pema Shepa, born in Tibet in 1990, is the head of the DudjomTersar lineage of Nyingma Buddhism. This interview took place in Pharping, Nepal in March 2012. Thanks to Christina Monson for her capable translation.


Relax with Jellyfish for 10 minutes

Take a deep breath and relax. All is well. All is as it should be.


Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can transform the world

 “We are Life, in human form. Descendants of the stars and galaxies, children of the oceans and forests, creative expressions of Nature. As much a part of this planet as the rivers, trees, mountains and butterflies.

As more and more of us wake up to that deeper sense of identity we will be more easily able to transcend old thought patterns and beliefs. Observing Nature’s Systems closely, studying her ways, we can re-write and delete old programming.

To truly bring an end to the destructiveness of humanity- to really transform the world- a deeper wisdom has to first arise from within. We must “be the change” as Gandhi put it. We have to free ourselves first, transform our ways of thinking, feeling and behaving.

Then take the wisdom of our wholeness and apply it to everything we say and do, to all fields of human activity. Economics, entertainment, education, law, medicine, transportation, energy technologies- they all can (and must) be transformed.

We are not the solitary individuals we have believed ourselves to be. We are expressions of Universal life, Children of our Galaxy. We are the “leaves of grass” Walt Whitman spoke of – the Awakening voices of Eden, instruments of the great turning.

Nature’s Agents of Transformation- The Global Butterfly Effect.

~Christopher Chase

The Global Butterfly Effect
https://creativesystemsthinking.wordpress.com/2014/02/14/the-global-butterfly-effect/

Creative Systems Thinking

 


Woe Unto Us!

ECOBUDDHISM :: Robert Aitken Roshi.

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Aitken Roshi with Michael Kieran at his 91st birthday celebration

With kind permission of

http://www.ecobuddhism.org

Robert Aitken Roshi
July 2008

Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!
Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!
Woe unto them that are mighty to drink wine, and men of strength to mingle strong drink:
Which justify the wicked for reward, and take away the righteousness of the righteous!
Therefore as the fire devoureth the stubble, and the flame consumeth the chaff, so their root shall be as rottenness, and their blossom shall go up as dust[1]

The Lord shall wreak such retribution according to Isaiah. Even without the Lord, cause leads inexorably to effect. What goes around comes around:
Woe unto those who continue to stop at the pump as prices rise twentyfold in a lifetime!
Woe unto those who encourage us to stop at the pump as primordial ice falls into the sea!
Woe unto those who maintain the many industries that induce unprecedented flooding and fires:
They gather for minuets as the deluge threatens to separate their heads from their bodies!
Therefore the flooding shall reduce all to rubble, and fires shall consume the chaff. Our homes shall collapse as babies die in the arms of their mothers who then soon follow. Shakespeare himself shall vanish, together with Bach and Rembrandt. Kumarajiva shall vanish, together with Zhaozhou and Yunmen. The entire animal kingdom will be gone. The entire bird kingdom will be gone. Tall grasses and insects shall inherit the Earth!

[1] Isa 5: 20-24


The Hour’s Getting Late: Time for Humanity to Wake Up

The Hour’s Getting Late: Time for Humanity to Wake Up | Creative by Nature.

creativesystemsthinking.wordpress.com

Creative by Nature

With permission of

by

April 6, 2015

“Let us not talk falsely now,  the hour’s getting late.” ~Bob Dylan

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Looking out at the ecological crisis we humans have created, the analogy of mass murder or collective suicide could be applied. For centuries we’ve been steadily and methodically killing off other life forms in the Natural world. Now our greed and selfishness seems to be destroying us as well.

Is there a way out? Hopefully, yes, but it will require more creativity, collaboration, love, and wisdom then modern “technologically advanced” humans have exhibited (as a whole) in a very long time. It requires large numbers of us “waking up” and caring deeply, becoming less “techno-logical” and much more “eco-logical” in our behavior and thinking.

Do most people realize what we’ve been doing and the “inevitable” outcome of our actions- if we do not change? I think large numbers of us do, though its like someone struggling with a drinking problem, sugar craving, drug or food addiction.

You may realize that what you crave is hurting others (and slowly killing you) but you cannot stop. As the Buddha pointed out, “craving” is at the “root” of most of our problems. Craving paired with dualistic thinking, the idea that each of us exists somehow separate from other people and the rest of the Universe.

Buddha was wise to illuminate the dangers of ego-centric thinking and how it leads to desires for sense pleasure, as well as fearful thoughts, anger and hatred. He taught how dualistic thinking and craving is what creates all the suffering in our lives, spins the wheel of samsara.

As humans have grown more powerful technologically, the levels of destructiveness and suffering have been magnified. Forests all over the earth have been destroyed, “precious” metals and other resources being dug up, polluting water supplies. Radioactivity leaking into the air and oceans, crime and violence overcoming ghettos and slums, then spilling out into larger populations.

We’ve reached a point of crisis, where a greater collective awakening is required. We’ve been like a cancer that’s grown out of control, or a virus that spreads without consideration for its host. There really is no other choice, either a majority of us wake up and change, soon- or the Web of Life implodes upon itself and we all go the way of the dinosaurs…

What’s needed right now isn’t a blissful “rapture” type of awakening, where we all fly off into the heavens. Neither is it about running off into the mountains to meditate and do yoga all day. We need spiritual paths to help us stay optimistic, mindful and compassionate, but our destination is not somewhere far off in the distance.

We need to wake up here, on this planet, right where we are. To wake up in our apartments and cities, wake up on our farms, in our schools, governments and work places.

Wake up to the beauty and miracle of this Universe we live in, wake up to the value and sacredness of all life. Change our priorities, live more mindfully, with greater wisdom and love.

We have to think of people and other living beings as being sacred and “precious” – rather than valuing only money, possessions and certain metals. We have to care about the forests, oceans and animals. Care about our bodies, our families, neighbors, children and ourselves.

We need to become wiser when we try to fix things that don’t work in our world. Take the time to patiently investigate relationships and interconnections when difficulties arise, to gain a deeper understanding of the causes of problems. We have to think less mechanistically and more ecologically.

We need to open our hearts, and seek guidance there. Recognize love, joy, compassion and gratitude as natural sources of wisdom. Let go of this idea that “knowing” is something that happens only in our heads.

Realize also- as Buddha, Jesus and others have taught- that happiness is not something we need to continuously “persue” – but that it arises naturally when we truly love and support one another.

Our Planet is a Garden of Life, a Global Eden that can be saved and restored to a state of balance. But time is running out.

For decades now we’ve been at a turning point, a fork in the road. The problems we see in the world around us exist because we’re still moving in the wrong direction, we haven’t changed course yet.

The decisions we make over the next decade will decide how Life unfolds on this planet for hundreds, thousands, perhaps millions of years into the future.

How shall we be remembered by our children’s children’s children- as People of the Great Change, or the Great Catastrophe?

There’s still time to turn around but our window of opportunity is narrowing. And what happens next is up to ALL of us.

~Christopher Chase
Creative Systems Thinking