Thursday, 16 June 2011

The Green Buddha - Environmentalism and Buddhism

Would the Buddha have been ‘green’ in the modern use of the word? Would he have cared about saving the planet as well as your ‘soul’?

The Buddha of course taught that our unhappiness is a result of craving. In order to end suffering, he suggested self-restraint, a minimalist approach to possessions and things , and sharing what we had rather than a self-centred focus on "I, me, mine."

Modern belief that our self is something separate from the rest of the world is just that - an illusion – you could say that it is our most problematic delusion. The world in which we live and interact is not a collection of objects: it is truly a communion of subjects.

The rampant greed, relentless materialism and alienation from our natural environment that are hallmarks of our corporate-dominated planet are supported by the supine approach of "democratic" governments, which nowadays are largely controlled by the businesses they should be regulating. Their common worldview focuses on endless economic growth regardless of the long-term consequences. This "corporatocracy" is seemingly impregnable. Some environmental scientists have suggested that large-scale crop failures will be the trigger for a collective awakening. Sadly only extreme situations with extreme consequences will rouse us from our un-mindful stupor of excess.

A "perfect storm" of climate chaos is rapidly approaching and with it suffering on a scale the world has never seen. The teachings of the Buddha and his example which has been passed down to us by over 2500 years of the Buddhist tradition is surely needed more today than it has ever been. AMEN

"Were there a mountain all made of gold, doubled that would not be enough to satisfy a single man: know this and live accordingly" Buddha

The Buddha's Face

1 comment:

  1. Bonjour! I would like to know who is the artist of the green Buddha painting and if it is for sale somewhere. I cannot find it. Merci.