Buddhism is the Solution to Our Current Environmental Problems
The destruction of the environment is a major problem in the world today. The exploitation of natural resources, over population, pollution and the spread of human’s impact has negatively affected the quality of the Earth. All life is suffering from the environmental degradation. Air and water quality in cities and surrounding areas is poor. Greenhouse gas emissions are causing a global climate change that is displacing many species out of their natural habitat. The root cause of these issues is that human action negatively effects the environment. Western culture exploits the Earth as a resource for materialist growth. We are driven to develop without fully considering the future effects of our resource use. If environmental destruction continues at the current rate, then the Earth will not survive for future generations.
There are many different strategies to solve environmental destruction. Western society uses technology to solve our environmental problems. Building cleaner cars, efficient factories, and new sources of energy are western culture’s attempt to reduce its impact on the environment. This is a shallow and shortsighted way to help the environment; it fails to see that a root cause of environmental problems is that humans in the modern world have lost connection to the environment around them. Cities, roads, malls, and parking lots have separated modern humans from nature. We are no longer under the influence of the Earth. We live inside, sheltered from outside contact. Without a connection to the Earth, there is no reason to protect it. When something has no value, it can be thrown away. To help solve environmental problems, we need to reconnect to the world around us and thereby give people reasons to protect the Earth. Tibetans have developed a deep connection to the natural world through their belief in Buddhism. I will show how the principal teachings of Buddhism create a connection to the Earth, thereby helping preserving it.
I have focused of four concepts of Buddhism that connect to environmental prosperity. These four ideas are central to Buddhism and very influential in a Buddhist’s life. The first principal is the simple yet very profound concept of having compassion for all sentient beings. This idea, when taken to heart, connects all life into a harmonious relationship which each other. The second Buddhist practice that I will connect to environmental prosperity is the everyday practice of meditation. Meditation can have many effects that help promote the environment by connecting to the Earth on a personal level. The Middle Way is the third Buddhist concept that is discussed. The Middle Way is a life of non-extremes in every aspect. This leads to proper relationships with people, the land, material goods, and the self that creates a life in balance with nature. My forth topic is the connection between Buddhism and...