Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Learning from Nature

Trees provide beautiful flowers, green leaves, and peaceful shade, and fruit. They are very helpful. When they are cut by human beings, it means they hurt their best friends. The life of Buddha was mostly spent in the forests. He became enlightened while meditating beneath a great Bodhi Tree. The Buddha stood for one week gazing at the same Bodhi tree. The Buddha demonstrated his gratitude and appreciation to the tree that had sheltered and nurtured him. The Buddha always taught followers to realize the value of nature and live in harmony with nature.
The Buddha used the natural environment as curriculum because nature served many examples or illustrations for Dhamma lessons. Nature is honest, green leaves turn to yellow leaves and later fall down. However, currently, people find it difficult to notice nature and learn uncertainty or change because they live in urban area- residences that are comfortable and far removed from nature. it is a pity, humanity lacks the chance to witness non-ego, impermanence, and suffering. When humanity comprehends or is able to access nature, insights into the Dhamma is gained- Buddhist teachings become instantaneously recognizable.

The Buddha realized the helpfulness of nature: he provides the teachings for us to be grateful and to conserve nature. he also enacted the monastic regulations, making forbidden: killing living beings, cutting trees, digging the ground or releasing the waste into revers or reservoirs. The Buddha encouraged monks to travel during most of the year and live in the forests, or in one location during the rainy- season to preserve new growth.
For the layman, the Buddha enacted regulations forbidding killing living- being as the first of five precepts which requires adherents to abstain from engaging in violence. The Buddha taught in the Vinaya Pitaka which is the collection of monastery rules laid down by the Buddha for the four assemblies: (Monks, Nuns, and Laypeople)

Reference: Dr. Phra Dhamakosajarn, Dhamma and Environmental Preservation, the 8th International Buddhist Conference on the United Nations Day of Vesak Celebrations, 2011


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