Buddhism originated about 2,500 years ago when Siddhartha Gotama, known as the Buddha, was himself awakened at the age of 35. At 29, he realised that luxury did not guarantee happiness, so he immersed himself in the different teachings, religions and philosophies of his day to find the key to happiness.
After six years of study and meditation he finally found ‘the middle path’ and was enlightened. After enlightenment, the Buddha spent the rest of his life teaching the principles of Buddhism, called the Dhamma, or Truth, until his death.
SAFCEI patron, Bishop Geoff Davies and SAFCEI Board Director and Buddhist nun, Venerable Ani Tsondru attend an anti-nuclear vigil outside Parliament in 2015.
The Buddhist Path
The Buddhist way of life lends itself to living in balance with Nature and focusing on our needs rather than on greed. The Buddhist Path is about acknowledging and understanding the interconnectivity of all life and the implications of cause and effect (Karma
Buddhists believe in the interconnectivity of the living and non-living elements in the universe and a relationship between all things. The Buddhist view that our lives and those of all beings are part of a giant web spread across the planet and indeed beyond, sends a strong message for respecting and caring for the natural world.
Individual responsibility is one of the strongest ethics promoted by Buddhism in support of positive action to address the current environmental crisis. Buddhists believe that there is a moral law operating in an essentially ethical (karmic) universe but no law giver.
Earth Sangha encourages `Buddhist Values in Action’ under the following headings:
Through meditation and environmental work, we aspire to see things as they really are. We recognize that all things, including ourselves, arise and pass away, that nothing is permanent, and that all life is profoundly interdependent. We strive to express this understanding through compassion for all living things.
We accept the science of ecology as a guide to the impermanence and interdependence of living things. We strive to apply both ecological principles and political skill to the task of building healthier relationships between people and the lands they inhabit.
We realize that conservation requires strong public support if it is to endure, so we work to improve public understanding of nature.
We strive to live in ways that are environmentally aware and environmentally benign, and we aspire to help other people do the same. We believe that other species have a right to their own existence, and that we have a moral obligation to preserve them.