Reversing Global Warming - Prayers and Aspirations

Discuss the application of the Dharma to situations of social, political, environmental and economic suffering and injustice.
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Kim O'Hara
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Re: Reversing Global Warming - Prayers and Aspirations

Post by Kim O'Hara »

Queequeg wrote: Tue Aug 22, 2023 1:04 pm
Kim O'Hara wrote: Tue Aug 22, 2023 3:46 am
Queequeg wrote: Mon Aug 21, 2023 4:11 pm ... I would only add, we can't rely on the protectors and bodhisattvas to do all the heavy lifting. ...
A Christian perspective ( :emb: sorry, but I need to describe it so that we can look at Buddhist parallels) on this is that God does act in the world but acts through ourselves, uses our hands and minds. That is, he doesn't actually do anything like make it miraculously rain on the Canadian wildfires or send jaguars rampaging through the Amazonian jungle to stop people cutting it down, but inspires us to act to protect (His) creation.

In Mahayana terms, I think the same applies. Prayers and aspirations are the seeds of compassionate action, but the action has to be ours.
We save the spider from drowning in the tub by picking it up and taking it outside. Similarly, we save the lives of countless small animals in a patch of forest by organising a community grpup or petition convinging the council to leave it as wilderness, and we reduce the horrific impact of climate change by reducing our own environmental footprints and voting for governments who will take similar actions on a larger scale.

Sure, it starts with the dharma. But dharma that doesn't leave the cushion is ... I don't know; I would have to be rude about it, and I don't want to offend anyone so I will leave you to fill in the gap for yourselves.

:namaste:
Kim
I've been thinking about a "Buddhist" paradigm of practice that goes from the cushion to installing renewable energy, etc. Arguably many people are already doing that but not quite as part of an integrated view of practice. I'd like to see a teaching for modern people in the developed world, like the ones we find in sutras that relate Dharma practice to being a merchant or farmer or sovereign. I've ad hoc included what I suppose are shinto inspired animism in my daily life as a way to relate to the world around me, but something broader is needed I think. Something that would relate solar panel installation and the like to merit making.
Zen and the Art of Saving the Planet (2021) by Thich Nhat Hanh is the closest thing I know of to what you're looking for. I think I posted about it here a few months ago, soon after I read it. If not, I can say more about it now.

In any case, his 'interbeing' answers the same need as your 'shinto inspired animism' (and perhaps my Taoist leanings) in embedding a broader compassion in our practice.

:namaste:
Kim

P.S. Here's something else of his that's relevant - https://www.dharmawheel.net/viewtopic.p ... 68#p650168
:meditate:
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Kim O'Hara
Former staff member
Posts: 7187
Joined: Fri Nov 16, 2012 1:09 am
Location: North Queensland, Australia

Re: Reversing Global Warming - Prayers and Aspirations

Post by Kim O'Hara »

This seems to belong here rather than on the other Global Warming thread...
Forest bathing therapy offers path forward in times of stress and climate trauma, nature guides say

...Forest therapy, or forest bathing, is the therapeutic practice of immersing the senses in nature often with the help of a guide.

Originating in Japan in the 1980s, it is becoming increasingly popular in other countries with scientists studying its health benefits and accredited courses for practitioners.

"We need nature to feel whole and human," Phil says.

Phil remembers working 50 hours a week and looking out from his desk in a Sydney office building and seeing hundreds of humans hunched over computers in little glass-windowed boxes.

"As human beings, we aren't evolved to spend so much time on our computers," he says.

Searching for ways to escape technology and reconnect with nature led Phil to forest therapy.

He is so convinced of the benefits of the practice that he became one of 62 certified Association of Nature and Forest Therapy (ANFT) guides in Australia. ...

And there is growing interest in using the practice to help people reconnect with landscapes that have been ravaged by climate-related disasters.

Phyllis Look has been leading therapy walks in the forests of Hawaii for five years. But her work took on a new purpose after Maui was devastated by wildfires last year.
"This place in your homeland has always been there, and now it's no longer there. Forest bathing is really good about re-establishing connection to place and your connection to your identity," Phyllis says.

She uses forest therapy to help Hawaiian bushfire survivors and firefighters deal with their trauma. ...
:reading: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2024-04-03/ ... /103644804

:namaste:
Kim
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