Author Topic: Can Buddhism save the Planet?  (Read 5318 times)

RedLantern

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Can Buddhism save the Planet?
« on: March 10, 2013, 03:43:04 PM »
There is a wide recognition that the planet is in trouble.Climate change,overpopulation and the depletion of natural resources threaten the future of humanity.
Do Buddhist have something unique to offer towards the solution of these problems?
Thich Nhat Hanh warns that the future of all life on earth hangs in the balance of whether humans can be mindful of mother earth.The quiet solution of meditation and the mindfulness it cultivates is integral to Buddhism in action,so that humans can see clearly and cause no harm.

AnneQ

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Re: Can Buddhism save the Planet?
« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2013, 04:47:41 PM »
Climate change, over-population and the depletion of natural resources are basically the result of human greed, selfishness, lack of self-control and the lust for power. Simply put, this is a reflection of the degeneration and degradation of the human spirit, resulting in all the woes our poor mother earth is suffering today. There is only one hope to save our dying planet and that is if spirituality can be restored in mankind. And what better way to restore this hope is through the teaching of our Lord Buddha Shakyamuni.
However we must also acknowledge that if everyone also practice the true essence of their own other religion in this world, our planet need not be in such a miserable state.
So to answer Redlantern's question, yes Buddhism, or the true spiritual practice of other religions, can save the Planet.

fruven

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Re: Can Buddhism save the Planet?
« Reply #2 on: March 10, 2013, 06:18:08 PM »
Climate change, over-population and the depletion of natural resources are basically the result of human greed, selfishness, lack of self-control and the lust for power. Simply put, this is a reflection of the degeneration and degradation of the human spirit, resulting in all the woes our poor mother earth is suffering today. There is only one hope to save our dying planet and that is if spirituality can be restored in mankind. And what better way to restore this hope is through the teaching of our Lord Buddha Shakyamuni.
However we must also acknowledge that if everyone also practice the true essence of their own other religion in this world, our planet need not be in such a miserable state.
So to answer Redlantern's question, yes Buddhism, or the true spiritual practice of other religions, can save the Planet.

When everyone practices what their religions taught fully then the world will heal and become a better place. What people believe in today is materialism. The religion they practice is what can I get from others for my comfort, the religion in their citizenship just became a label only. Spirituality is second place or non existence all together. From the grass root to leaders the mindset must evolve to a holistic view that whatever actions and decisions we made do impact the environment and the ecosystem.

dondrup

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Re: Can Buddhism save the Planet?
« Reply #3 on: March 10, 2013, 07:14:49 PM »
Mother Earth has been and continues to be abused by humans in the name of development.  Its eco-system will not be able to sustain its delicate balance if humans do not stop their selfish actions.  Humans must be made mindful and aware of their actions and consequences of their actions. These can be developed through the practice of Buddhist Meditations.  The United Nations, NGOs, World Leaders play important roles here to effect the change.  There is no necessity to become Buddhist to practise the Buddhist Meditation as the meditations are merely performed to sharpen the concentration, mindfulness and awareness of the minds.  A perfect reference would be the Vippassana Meditation Programmes that were successfully implemented and taught in the prisons of the World few years ago.

yontenjamyang

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Re: Can Buddhism save the Planet?
« Reply #4 on: March 11, 2013, 10:31:36 AM »
I find the question of "Can Buddhism save the Planet?" impractical. It is the same as asking "Can Buddhism save the house on fire?" The planet and as a matter of fact the universe exist because of the collective karma of sentient beings. It is already doomed since day one. It is the law of Impermanence. We are not even sure that we will be here tomorrow. So, save the planet is furthest from the majority of our minds.  But all is not lost!

This aeon is said to be a fortunate aeon where there will be 1000 Buddhas and we only had 4. So, 996 to go.
If we practice well Buddhism can "save" us individually. If one practices Buddhism correctly and inspires others to do that same then we will magically transform the "planet". In that way Buddhism can save the planet but it will be a different one, wouldn't it? An individual one!

Positive Change

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Re: Can Buddhism save the Planet?
« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2013, 02:29:57 AM »
Buddhism per se cannot possibly "save the planet"! It is like saying the Church is your saviour... similar disparities for me. However, the Buddhist way of life most certainly helps develop a certain sensitivity and all encompassing outward focus that helps bring about a better understanding of the world in general and how to value our planet and its resources.

Hence with this in mind, Buddhism and what it represents and focuses on does help in developing care and compassion which in integral in facing the problems our planet is facing. The strange thing is we all live and use our planet as if it was a never ending resource which is to the detriment of the human race. If Buddhism can help change the mindset of the innately selfish mind of humankind, all the better I say... in fact if any religion and adapt such characteristics why not? Buddhism is just a label!

pgdharma

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Re: Can Buddhism save the Planet?
« Reply #6 on: March 13, 2013, 03:49:34 PM »
Our planet is dying due to global warming which is happening much faster than predicted a few years ago. Buddhism offers no easy solution to our environmental crisis. However, its teachings on impermanence, interdependence, and non-self provide valuable insights into the nature of our ecological predicament.
Destruction of nature and natural resources results from ignorance, greed, and lack of respect is the cause of global warming and it is the future generations who will inherit a vastly degraded planet if world peace does not become a reality and destruction of the natural environment continues at the present rate. It is a sign of degeneration.

Buddha's teachings say that we are all interconnected. All living things on Earth are interdependent; we need to act to protect the environment as a matter of our own survival and happiness. This is known as the ethical path. We may not be able to control the world around us, but we can try to understand and self-reflect on our own actions. As Buddhists we need to discover our own path and how we want to live. This puts the responsibility on each individual to improve the world around us. When we die, we will reincarnate back and we will not want to come back to our planet that is dying.

brian

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Re: Can Buddhism save the Planet?
« Reply #7 on: March 16, 2013, 07:48:16 AM »
I find the question of "Can Buddhism save the Planet?" impractical. It is the same as asking "Can Buddhism save the house on fire?" The planet and as a matter of fact the universe exist because of the collective karma of sentient beings. It is already doomed since day one. It is the law of Impermanence. We are not even sure that we will be here tomorrow. So, save the planet is furthest from the majority of our minds.  But all is not lost!

This aeon is said to be a fortunate aeon where there will be 1000 Buddhas and we only had 4. So, 996 to go.
If we practice well Buddhism can "save" us individually. If one practices Buddhism correctly and inspires others to do that same then we will magically transform the "planet". In that way Buddhism can save the planet but it will be a different one, wouldn't it? An individual one!

Can't agree more here with you dude. I think not only Buddhists are looking into this matter. in fact earthlings are, and they derive from all sects of cultural and places. People are doing conservations to help prolong the life of earth and not only Buddhists do that. I agree many Buddhists have taken steps to do recycling projects and cut down on polution to the earth. Yes again, non Buddhists are doing this too.

Buddhism can offer in a way that people are made aware of greed and ignorance etc that have caused the massive destruction to our mother nature but having said that, it is still down to the people who knew what they shouldn't do but yet still doing it. The responsibility has to be from everyone of us who lives in this planet to make it sustainable as long as it can be.

Midakpa

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Re: Can Buddhism save the Planet?
« Reply #8 on: March 16, 2013, 11:05:57 AM »
I think that Buddhism alone or for that matter, Buddhists, cannot save the planet. But we can contribute towards a better planet by practising and advocating wholesome deeds like abstaining from killing living beings and preserving the environment. There are many organisations that help to protect animals but there should be more campaigns that promote vegetarianism. As not all human beings are Buddhists and are not aware of the law of karma, it is wiser to educate them on the advantages of being vegetarians and the disadvantages of eating meat from the point of view of health and well-being.  It is important to teach our children, when they are still young, to develop kindness and compassion towards other living beings.

Big Uncle

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Re: Can Buddhism save the Planet?
« Reply #9 on: March 16, 2013, 12:54:52 PM »
Buddhism per se cannot possibly "save the planet"! It is like saying the Church is your saviour... similar disparities for me. However, the Buddhist way of life most certainly helps develop a certain sensitivity and all encompassing outward focus that helps bring about a better understanding of the world in general and how to value our planet and its resources.

Hence with this in mind, Buddhism and what it represents and focuses on does help in developing care and compassion which in integral in facing the problems our planet is facing. The strange thing is we all live and use our planet as if it was a never ending resource which is to the detriment of the human race. If Buddhism can help change the mindset of the innately selfish mind of humankind, all the better I say... in fact if any religion and adapt such characteristics why not? Buddhism is just a label!

Actually, I think out of many of the world's religions, I think Buddhism is the only religion that has many aspects and teachings that promotes qualities that would save our world. The religion on its own cannot save the planet but it is awareness of the interdependence of all living creatures that can really save us from all the problems that was mentioned. I like what AnneQ said and I am more inclined to think along her thoughts. I think the most important quality is to develop awareness of how all of us interdependent with each other for a sustainable and long term happiness.

WisdomBeing

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Re: Can Buddhism save the Planet?
« Reply #10 on: March 16, 2013, 05:23:14 PM »
I think that genuine, practising Buddhists could contribute to saving the planet. Why? Because the reason why people abuse the planet is because they don't believe in reincarnation or karma. Landfills are for people who don't think about what will happen to that area in future. What will happen to the ozone layer - after all, we'll be dead and gone by then, right? Wrong. We'll be back - in all forms, no doubt. Cockroach? Dog? Spirit? But definitely we will be back. And we will inherit the earth that we created! That is karma, isn't it.
Kate Walker - a wannabe wisdom Being

Q

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Re: Can Buddhism save the Planet?
« Reply #11 on: March 16, 2013, 06:09:10 PM »
It really is quite a simple equation on how Buddhism can contribute to save the earth from mass pollution and destruction.

If we look at the core of the problem here, the very reason of planet if being destroyed is due to the lack of care and awareness that people fail to put upon their surroundings. It is so obvious... if we can go on hurting the people around us without being aware that we're doing it, then what more the environment, something that cannot retaliate back to us.

On top of that, the other reason for all these pollution to come about is always due to human's greed for money and luxury. Take for example, deforestation... what is the purpose of it? It is all about money, no matter what we try to say about it.

By applying Buddhist principles, we will train ourselves to be more aware, caring and most importantly be more selfless. Anything that fall in the middle way will not cause harm in either side of the coin. So, yes... Buddhism definitely can save the Planet... but now the next question would be... would people actually practice the Dharma... one can be Buddhist but not know anything about Dharma at all.

Klein

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Re: Can Buddhism save the Planet?
« Reply #12 on: March 17, 2013, 05:02:28 PM »
Climate change, over-population and the depletion of natural resources are basically the result of human greed, selfishness, lack of self-control and the lust for power. Simply put, this is a reflection of the degeneration and degradation of the human spirit, resulting in all the woes our poor mother earth is suffering today. There is only one hope to save our dying planet and that is if spirituality can be restored in mankind. And what better way to restore this hope is through the teaching of our Lord Buddha Shakyamuni.
However we must also acknowledge that if everyone also practice the true essence of their own other religion in this world, our planet need not be in such a miserable state.
So to answer Redlantern's question, yes Buddhism, or the true spiritual practice of other religions, can save the Planet.

I agree with AnneQ. In essence, if we all practice the true spiritual practice in Buddhism and other religions, we can definitely save our planet. This is because we will all learn to not be greedy, not be selfish, have more self control and not have the need for power that's destructive. The key is to put into practice the essence of any religion. All religions teach us to be kind, compassionate, loving, caring and selfless. The methods vary but the essence is pretty much the same.

So instead of spending so much time debating and analysing, we should get started immediately and challenge our selfish ways and thoughts.