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Thread: Buddhists Must Awaken to the Ecological Crisis

  1. #1

    Buddhists Must Awaken to the Ecological Crisis

    An article at the Lion's Roar website which was written last month by Zen teacher David Loy:

    Buddhists Must Awaken to the Ecological Crisis

    https://www.lionsroar.com/can-we-awa...ogical-crisis/


    Any thoughts about the article?



  2. #2
    Forums Member trusolo's Avatar
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    I would have replied to this article with my opinions but it engendered some strong emotions and irritation in me and what I wanted to say would have sounded critical on philosophical and other levels, so instead I am trying to figure out why did this article written by this person is evoking such strong reactions in me - usually that doesn’t happen. So for now, I m keeping silent and focusing on that.

  3. #3
    Forums Member Element's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trusolo View Post
    ... engendered some strong emotions and irritation... trying to figure out why did this article written by this person is evoking such strong reactions....
    I found the article similar. The article appears to reject what we can practically achieve (namely, personal lifestyle changes and personal understanding) and then asserts various cliches of Mahayana Bodhisattva magic & superpowers to revolutionize the world's economic and political institutions. It appears to be saying each of us will be the 2nd Coming of Christ and bring peace to the whole earth.


  4. #4
    Well I'm very relieved to know that I'm not the only person to feel extremely bemused and irritated by this article!



  5. #5
    Global Moderator Esho's Avatar
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    Sorry, but I read the article and I am neither irritated nor bemused. It urges us to act actively in order to fix the terrible damage we are doing to ecosystems. The author takes the archetype of the Bodhisattva as a model of conduct as it is the aspiration for Mahayana buddhists. We can engage in an active action to improve our environment not necessarily becoming a Bodhisattva . We can engage into active participation as the persons we are.

  6. #6
    Here's a Zen/Mahayana person talking about Bodhisattva vows for approx 10 minutes.






    .

  7. #7
    Forums Member Element's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Esho View Post
    We can engage into active participation as the persons we are.
    I must have mis-read the article, then. I got the impression the article was saying, unless we are a Bodhisattava, our efforts, even our renunciation, are not good enough.

  8. #8
    The Zen author of the article says:


    In the Pali canon, the earliest texts we have, nibbana signifies the end of rebirth into samsara, thereby the liberation from this world of suffering, craving, and delusion. Insofar as we escape it individually, one by one, ultimately my well-being is distinct from your well-being. Yes, I hope that you will awaken too, but nevertheless my enlightenment is separate from yours. Such a dualistic understanding of the Buddhist path does not invite us to engage with ecological and social problems. Rather, it can encourage a belief that we should not waste our time trying to reform this unsatisfactory world; instead, we should concentrate on transcending it.
    To me he appears to have a very biased outlook towards early Buddhism and seems to be implying that if one is a Buddhist who hasn't taken a "Bodhisattva vow" then its likely that one isn't interested in social and ecological problems,... which in my opinion is absolute nonsense.


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    I remember a similar discussion at the Buddhist centre. When I said that perhaps it would be a good thing to save the Earth and have somewhere to live rather than accepting that we are all going to die soon the guy leading the discussion said that it shouldn't bother us, and that's just how the universe is. Things live and die and that's it as far as Buddhists are concerned. In our practice we should take the view that it doesn't matter whether we are alive or not, as individuals or a species.

  10. #10
    Forums Member Element's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by philg View Post
    When I said that perhaps it would be a good thing to save the Earth and have somewhere to live rather than accepting that we are all going to die soon the guy leading the discussion said that it shouldn't bother us, and that's just how the universe is. Things live and die and that's it as far as Buddhists are concerned.
    Its true all things have a life-cycle & this reality should not bother a Buddhist. However, it also remains Buddhist practice to live in way to save the Earth; even if we are the only person living in an ecologically sustainable manner.

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