from BARDO

The stars are in our belly; the Milky Way our umbilicus.

Is it a consolation that the stuff of which we’re made

is star-stuff too?

– That wherever you go you can never fully disappear –

dispersal only: carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen.

Tree, rain, coal, glow-worm, horse, gnat, rock.

Roselle Angwin

Monday, 1 June 2015

and more: the view from Buddhism on deep ecology

Following on from one aspect of my blog yesterday, to do with our arrogant notions that we humans are the culmination of consciousness (or perhaps the only being that possesses it in our vast, luminous, electromagnetic, pulsing cosmos) here's Thich Nhat Hanh, the Vietnamese Buddhist teacher whose work on interbeing/interconnectedness moves so many of us. This arrived synchronously in my inbox this morning:

The Diamond Sutra is the oldest text on deep ecology

The Diamond Sutra advises us to throw away four notions...The second notion that the Diamond Sutra advises us to throw away is the notion “man,” human being. This is not too difficult. When we look into the human being, we see human ancestors, we see animal ancestors, we see vegetable ancestors, we see mineral ancestors. We see that the human is made of non-human elements. We see that we are at the same time a rock, a river, a cloud, a squirrel, a rose. And if we take away all the non-human elements, the human being is no longer there.

This is the deepest teaching on deep ecology. In order to protect the human being, you have to protect elements that are not human, because these elements are our ancestors, and if you destroy them there is no way we can be here. That is why discrimination between man and nature is a wrong view. You have to see you as nature, one with nature.

That is why harmony, respect of life, is possible. So throw away the idea that the human being is the boss, man is the boss, man can do anything to nature. The key is contemplation on impermanence of non-self.

The first to be thrown away is the notion of self, the second is the notion of man. With liberation from that notion, we become less proud, less arrogant as a species. We have to respect and protect other species in order for us to have a chance

That is why we said The Diamond Sutra is the oldest text on deep ecology.

From a dharma talk by Thich Nhat Hahn


“As a lamp, a cataract, a star in space, an illusion, a dewdrop, a bubble, a dream, a cloud, a flash of lightning, view all created things like this”

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