How Buddhism could be a way out of the environmental mess we are in
Anybody that spends any time looking into the condition of the world today cannot help but see we need to make some major changes. But if we can’t make changes within ourselves we will never be able to make them in society as a whole. With that in mind let us look at what Zen teacher Thich Nhat Hanh has to say.
From The Guardian UK environment blog:
“In my mind I see a group of chickens in a cage disputing over a few seeds of grain, unaware that in a few hours they will all be killed,” he writes.
Above all else, Thay – as he is known – teaches that the world cannot be changed outside of ourselves. The answer is for each one of us to transform the fear, anger, and despair which we cover-up with over-consumption. If we are filling our bodies and minds with toxins, it is no surprise that the world around us also becomes poisoned.
He also argues that those who put their faith in technology alone to save the planet are bowing to a false god.
Like many other spiritual leaders, he sees the genesis of our pain as coming from our dualistic mindset that sees our connection to god, or Buddha, or spirit as outside ourselves and accessible only after our death. As a result we have developed a strong ego that sees itself as separate and threatened and needs to amass things like wealth to feel strong and protected. But none of these can fill the chasm created by our deep sense of separation.