Caring for the environment is a natural part of the Buddhist path. The Buddha encouraged us to understand more deeply the underlying unity and interconnectedness of life. Values such as simplicity of lifestyle, sharing with others, taking responsibility for one’s actions, and compassion for all living things have always been at the heart of the tradition.
In today’s world, we need to hold to these values ever more strongly. More and more, we are finding it appropriate to identify clearly Buddhist ethics with ecological awareness. This involves conscious choices in the way we lead our lives and run our own buildings and organisations. Many of our Buddhist centres are now using eco-friendly services and supporting local green initiatives, while some people in Triratna are also involved in campaigning for wider change.
From a Buddhist point of view, bringing about outward change is only half the story. Ecological awareness is an opening of the heart to the whole web of life, and a warm appreciation of the natural beauty we see around us. In this way, through ‘green retreats’, workshops and other events, we can find within ourselves the strength and inspiration
to bring about change in the world.
Read Saving the Earth, by Akuppa, and Vegetarianism by Bodhipaksha. Samacitta has also written a thought-provoking essay on veganism and its ethical and environmental perspective.
Listen to talks on ecology.
Visit EcoDharma, a wonderful resource for approaches to sustainable living drawing on the Buddha’s teaching.