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"ecology Of Spirit" - Lama Shenphen Rinpoche

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Umanotera Conference - Ljubljana 21/02/2007

Lama Shenphen Rinpoche

Buddhist Congregation Dharmaling


"When we are talking about environment, and the troubles which are arising nowadays, we have no difficulty to understand that most problems are human caused. But why humans are so blind to destroy the world as they do?


The answer could be found in political decisions and actions, to increase benefits at all cost, including the cost of our health.

Another answer can also be found in how the religions are teaching their followers on this issue, the issue of environment. And Buddhism does have a significantly different approach.


Indeed, we do not place the humans as the unique center of this world, with an environment created by an almighty God with the goal to serve men and women, to be used, consumed according to tastes and wishes, sacrificed on the altar of their vanity.


Our relationship with the environmental world is set on the basis of inter¬dependence and law of causality. Whatever we do creates a cause that we will experience in return in a soon or later future; in this very life, or next. “I am creating the world in which I will live later”! This perspective creates a deep sense of responsibility.


If I am an actor of pollution, killing, and destruction, I will definitely experience the conse¬quences of it. If the human justice is very flexible, manipulated, and often blind, the law of cause to effect never fails to place the result in accordance with the cause.

If I act in a positive way, I will experience a positive future. If I commit negativities, and degrade this world, I will suffer in it.


Furthermore, of course, by compassion for all beings, we understand the responsibility we have in keeping the nature healthy, and transmit it as such to the following generations. And we are taking in consideration all realm of existence, animal one and all those we usually can't see.


As the proverb says: “We shall not do to others what we wouldn't like to experience ourselves”; do we wish to live in a polluted world, suffering from all kind of cataclysms, consequences of our careless and selfish attitudes?

Surely not, so how could we create the causes that our children, grand-children, and all the others, will suffer this way?


Buddhism teaches to act in respect with all beings, and the environment, with which we are closely connected. We develop a genuine sense of responsibility and respect for all sentient beings, which implies to respect the environment in which we are all living, now and in the future.


We think it is very important that religious communities do show the example in this matter, not by reading Holy texts trying to prove how much they love the environment, but by actions in the daily life.

The destruction of our planets is motivated by an increasing materialism. Unfortunately, religions are often taking part in this materialism, developing greed and attachment to wealth and property, creating enterprises and giving into finances a lot of interest. How later on to preach about simplicity and ethical life? We have first to be an example, and then to teach our followers the values that we are respecting.


We promote a certain amount of objective to bring a difference in the actual situation of the World. These objectives are going from:

* creating a change in the economical systems, searching for sustainable industrial products;

* reducing the consumption of petrol, gas, coal;

* developing a more respectful agriculture, producing better quality and more healthy products;

* stopping the extension of infrastructures, preserving the natural areas;

* increasing the modes of transportation less greedy in fuel, reducing the more polluting ones;

* preserving the natural heritage, protecting the ecological functions of some areas and species;

* promoting a better prevention of health rather than curing the effects of a degraded environment, limiting seriously the usage of pesticides and GMOs projects;

* encouraging research about how to achieve a sustainable society;

* establishing as a priority at all international levels the care for ecology and resolution of actual and coming ecological threats.


We also encourage all citizens of all countries to bring awareness of the seriousness of the situation within political campaigns, requesting clear statement and actions from candidates.


Thank you."

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