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Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Healing Our Environment and Ourselves.

In one sitting meditation, when I focused my attention on my heart--breathing in, I am aware of my heart, breathing out, I smile to my heart--suddenly I realized that this is not the only heart that I have. I have many other hearts. Suppose that I look at the sun in the sky. I know that it is also another heart of mine. If this heart failed I would die right away. But if the other heart, the sun, explodes or stops functioning as the sun, I would also die right away.

~Thich Nhat Hanh, The Mindfulness Bell, winter/spring issue 47, 2008.

James: Another heart is our planet Earth, it is literally alive and very much like our own bodies. For example, most of our planet consists of water just like the human body. Deep inside the Earth a constant movement of hot liquid rich in iron keeps the planet alive much like our blood (also rich in iron) keeps us in health. If this plasma like layer where to cool and harden then life would eventually cease, not unlike too much blood loss causes the heart to stop.

The Earth's ozone and magnetic field act as shields that protect life here from harmful radiation emitted from the sun. Radiation is important and helpful in some respects but in small doses just like some bacteria is helpful in our bodies but again in small doses. If too much bacteria grows within our body then our white blood cells are stimulated to neutralize the dangerous levels of bacteria to return our body back to a stable, balanced environment. In that regard the Earth's atmosphere acts as those white blood cells to maintain the right balance to enable life to flourish on this planet.

So when seen through mindful openness an intricate interconnection unfolds within this Universe from the tiniest molecules to the largest stars until it can no longer be described and becomes parinirvana which is beyond our limiting labels, concepts and knowledge.

But let's return back to the present moment as I look out the window and gaze upon the gentle breeze dancing through the branches of the mock pear tree out front. That tree is apart of me as it relies upon the same sun to grow as I do, therefore if I do not care for that tree and millions like it then I will in turn die off. Trees thrive off of the carbon dioxide that we emit from breathing oxygen which is in turn partially created by those very trees and other plants. This leads to recycling.

We humans have not existed in harmony with the other organisms that share this planet with us, we have not been good neighbors over time. We have become in many ways a parasite or a cancer on the Earth because we have taken so much and given so little back to the circle of life that is our environment. Yet all is not lost, we can heal the scars that we have inflicted and return our lovely celestial body back to a more balanced state of being by recycling and using renewable energy sources.

In our city we have a recycling program that we participate in. We save our plastic bottles and recyclable metal and plastic containers in one bin and all our newspapers and paperboard waste such as old pasta boxes go in another bin. Then once a week a truck comes along and picks it all up to be sorted through at the recycling factory who then sell the metals and paper back to companies to make more metal and plastic containers and paper products and the cycle continues. Every time I put those bins on the curb I smile in peace knowing that I am giving back to my fellow organisms that share this planet with me.

The same goes with renewable energy, we harness the abundant clean energy available to us in using solar power, wind power, water, geothermal and others to meet our needs without harming the very body (Earth) that we are apart of. Through these measures we begin to cease being the separate, destructive cancer and return to being just another variation of being on a vast and beautiful heavenly body.

It is true that we can not prevent the eventually destruction of Earth but we do not want to have the karma of speeding up that process by our less than skillful actions. Life ebbs and flows of it's own accord and it is not our right to take life away from any living being and that includes our living Earth.

The Deer Park Monastery in the Zen tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh threw the switch that makes their property environmentally friendly. They are now completely off the grid, what a great example for the rest of us!!

~Peace to all beings~

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2 comments:

Poetryman said...

Energy Independence Now!


No more Oil Wars!


Stop funding the terrorists!


Drill in Anwar.

Build more nuclear power plants

Use More coal.

Use more natural gas


Turn trash into energy


Double the efficiency of windmills and solar cells.



If France can do nuclear power so can we.


If Brazil can do biomass/ethanol power so can we.


If Australia can do LNG power so can we.


Domestically produced energy will end recession and spur the economy.

They call him James Ure said...

Poetry Man:

I agree with most everything you have said. Except my concern over building more nuclear plants is what to do with the waste. We still haven't discovered a safe way to deal with it--as far as I know.

So my concern is that the dangerous waste would cancel out the benefits of nuclear power.

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