If we are Buddhist, then there should be a strong concern about our environment. Not our problem? Because we are going to heaven or Buddha’s pureland in our afterlife?
Well, how sure can we be?
Perhaps that selfish thought will cause us to be back on Earth? Karma for heartlessly turning a blind eye towards environmental damages and refusing to do our part.
I am not sure if you experience it but the weather is definitely hotter here. I cannot imagine how it will be like in the future. Perhaps, many parts of the world will be submerged. Perhaps there will be more storms. Perhaps the temperature will be unbearably high. If we believe in rebirth, then shouldn’t we be concerned and try our very best to protect the environment. We will not want to be reborn in a world that is on the edge of extinction, right?
Even if we are going to Pureland or heavens, we ought to be compassionate and considerate for beings still stuck in rebirth. Therefore, there is every reason for a Buddhist to become aware of environment protection.
In the past, Buddha had forbidden his monks and nuns from damaging even a branch in the forest. This is because damaging a branch may inevitably cause harm to living beings that are dependent on that tree for survival. In olden days great masters had also cautioned their disciples to respect the spirits living in forest, mountains, rivers. lakes and oceans. There was this reverential respect of nature.
How does this apply to our modern world? The Buddha did advice us not to associate with fools. If any company is damaging the environment for profits; then it seems appropriate for us to disassociate ourselves from them by not buying from them.
Besides that, we can also consciously limit our consumptions. Instead of changing our sneakers just to catch up with fashion, why not stay with it until it is really worn out. That way, we catch up with karma. If we limit our consumption, many things in life can be repaired and use for extended period of time. That way, human beings will take less from Mother Earth. Let’s try our best to live simply and reuse the things that we own.
All in all, Buddhist also has a responsibility for environmental protection. Therefore, let us be aware and mindful of our impact on the environment. Let us do our part and create the right karma for a livable Earth. Don’t wait, go google it and learn how we can do our part,
May all be well and happy.