Meditation for BeginnersMechanism # 4 : Practising our Dutise in the Six Directions & Conserving the Environmentusing a tree to die an offence at the level of pacittiya;
When talking of our environment, the Lord Buddha meant both the people that surround us and the natural environment that surrounds us:1. The people in our surroundings: The people who are closest to us in society are the six groups mentioned in the ‘six directions’. For a person to achieve true success and happiness in life, they have to keep up a good relationship with all six groups mentioned in the six directions, while at the same time taking responsibility for the duties owed to each of tem (as detailed in Chapter 6)2. Our natural surroundings: as already mentioned in the definitions, our natural surroundings means the earth, the waters, atmosphere, forests and biodiversity. The intactness of the natural environment is an essential factor for the survival of the human race and all other life-forms. Thus, having obtained benefits from our natural surroundings, in the form of minerals, etc. we need to return the benefits to the environment by taking continuous responsibility for environmental conservation. If we continue to remove the natural resources from the environment but do nothing to sustain it, eventually those natural resources will become scarcer and scarcer until none remain. The resources that remain will be so seriously affected by pollutants that they will be unusable and will present a health hazard to the human population of the world.Our natural surroundingsThis is easily seen from the state of the environment in most major cities of the world. Often the waterways in these cities are so seriously polluted that fish can no longer survive, the stench of stagnant water affects the health of those who live at the waterside and pests that inhabit the water are the vectors of all sorts of diseases.The atmosphere is another major victim of environmental neglect in the big cities. Carbon monoxide from the continuous streams of traffic stifles the air the city-dwellers have to breath day and night. This has added to the incidence of allergies and other diseases which cur tail life without any clear medical evidence.Even though the level of pollution in the upcountry districts is relatively low as compared with the cities, warming of the climate has been brought about by depletion of forests. Heavy rain, instead of being absorbed by the forests, leads to erosion of the topsoil which would normally have been held in place by the tree roots. Those living on low ground are assailed each year by mudslides and flooding, to the point that their very lives and possessions have been put at risk.our natural surroundings means the earth, the watersAll of the environmental problems mentioned can be traced back to the behavior of a human population lacking Right View and Noble Self-discipline, who overlook the value of the natural environment, who indulge in selfishness or are interested only in the interests of their own group. The nature of environmental problems is a gradual degradation rather than a sudden environmental breakdown. Thus often by the time the human population realizes the seriousness of the environmental damage, it is often too late.The Lord Buddha, through his wisdom, realized the importance of the natural environment, as can be seen from many of the rules he laid down for his own monastic community. He made:1. Causing a tree to die an offence at the level of pacittiya;2. Burning a forest and offence at the level of duggata;3. Urinating, defecating or spitting on foliage and offence at the level of duggata;The people in our surroundingsThe Buddha, chose to spend almost the whole of his life in close contact with the natural environment, at the time he was born, renounced the world, became enlightened and passed away. This would indicate that the natural environment had an important role to play in the wellbeing of the human body and mind.From the foregoing discussion, it can be concluded that we, as human beings, have to rely on our natural environment, whether it be the immediate surroundings of our homes, the land, the atmosphere or the waterways – or the more remote environment like the mountains, the forests or the oceans. However, when discussing the environment in the context of this book, the emphasis will be mainly upon our immediate natural surroundings.Thus, having the Noble Discipline to defend the Six Directions while conserving the natural environment is counted as the fourth quality of a virtuous person.
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Mechanism # 4 : Practising our Dutise in the Six Directions & Conserving the Environment
When talking of our environment, the Lord Buddha meant both the people that surround us and the natural environment that surrounds us:Dhamma Articles > Meditation Articles and Techniques > Meditation for Beginners
[ May 9th, 2011 ] - [ : 10656 ]