Friday, 04 March 2016 15:29

Global Buddhist Monks Call for Tackling Climate Change

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Global Buddhist Monks Call for Tackling Climate Change

Buddhist monks from around the world gathered at Thailand's ancient Ayutthaya city on Thursday for the last day of the International Buddhist Confederation (IBC) during which they laid emphasis on actions to tackle climate change.

"What is exciting is that we heard a lot of young voices coming up with their ideas on how we should spread the message. I think it's novel for us to hear that people are talking about Facebook, about internet, about tablets, iPads, new methods of communications, how to raise funds. Totally different from the traditional, you know, view point of Buddhist leaders who talked about sermons," said Lalit Mansingh, a former Indian diplomat and founder president of Kalinga Langka Foundation.


The delegates from 320 organisations in 39 countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Mexico and Brazil, participated in the second gathering of the IBC. One of the key issues discussed were how the monks in different countries find ways to address the climate change.

Buntenh But, a Buddhist monk from Penom Penh, Cambodia, said he has initiated a movement in his home country to create awareness for people to preserve the forest. He explained that he learned through the 2011 flood disaster in Southeast Asian countries, including Thailand and Cambodia, which faces severe flooding nationwide. "Land is the life, forest is the backbone of our life. If we lost the land, we lost the life. We lost the forest, we lost our backbone. No one can live without backbone. Backbone is very important so I use this message, simple message to attract those people, those young people. That is why they joined me freely," he said.

As China faces health-damaging pollution problem, Beijing's fourth-quarter pollution woes were mirrored elsewhere in northern China, where concentrations of PM2.5 were significantly higher than in 2013 and 2014, Greenpeace said. China has worked to toughen environmental protection laws in recent years. Amended legislation took effect this month giving authorities more power to punish firms and officials responsible for violations.

On the religion side, a temple in Boshan, east of China's Shandong Province, is pioneering to become an eco-friendly temple by installing solar power energy. "We installed the 600 kilowatt solar system in our park and in our rooftop. So that we have enough electricity generated by solar, so we can really be 100 percent self sufficient. And that is very good example, right now, all of our fellows that devoted to our temple wanted the solar," said Ven. Miao Haiyan.

The meeting also realised the importance of concerning global issues including various conflicts around the world, said the IBC's Governing Council vice-president Jamie Creswell, where he believes that Buddhism can contribute to enhance the religion's wisdom and peace values to people in disturbed areas.

"We believe that Buddhism can help in many of those situations. For example, we're already very involved in the environmental issues, climate change, looking after animals properly, all the various things that goes along with environmental issues. And also, we're getting more and more involved in issues like gender issues and human rights, but also conflict problems," Creswell explained with regard to the significance of the IBC's forum.

Source: The Buddhist Channel

Read 451 times Last modified on Wednesday, 09 March 2016 15:38
Rich Wermske

My pedigree and bona fides are published elsewhere. That said, I respect that a few may wish to learn more about the private person behind the writing.  While I accept I am exceptionally introverted (tending toward the misanthropic), I do enjoy socializing and sharing time with like-minded individuals. I have a zeal for integrity, ethics, and the economics of both interpersonal and organizational behavior.

The product of multi-generational paternal dysfunction, I practice healthy recovery (sobriety date December 11, 2001).  I am endogamous in my close personal relationships and belong to a variety of tribes that shape my worldview (in no particular order):

☯ I participate in and enjoy most geek culture. ☯ I am a practicing Buddhist and a legally ordained minister. I like to believe that people of other spiritual/faith systems find me approachable.  I am a member of the GLBTQA community -- I married my long-time partner in a ceremony officiated by Jeralita "Jeri" Costa of Joyful Joinings on November 18, 2013, certificated in King County, Seattle WA. We celebrate an anniversary date of February 2, 2002.  I am a service-connected, disabled, American veteran (USAF).  I am a University of Houston alumnus (BBA/MIS) and currently studying as a post baccalaureate for an additional degree in Philosophy and Law, Values, & Policy.  I am a retired Bishop in the Church of Commerce and Capitalism; the story arch of my prosecuting and proselytizing the technological proletariat is now behind me.  I am a native Houstonian (and obviously Texan).  At 50 years old, I am a "child of the sixties" and consider the 80's to be my formative years.

As I still struggle with humility, I strive to make willingness, honesty, and open mindedness cornerstones in all my affairs. Fourteen years of sobriety has taught me that none of "this" means a thing if I'm unwilling, dishonest, or close minded.  Therefore I work hard on the things I believe in --

  • I believe we can always achieve more if we collaborate and compromise.
  • I believe that liberal(ism) is a good word/concept and something to be proud to support.  The modern, systematic corruption of liberal ideas is a living human tragedy.
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  • I believe in advancing balance in civil, social, and privacy rights such that all of humanity is continuously uplifted.
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While change and the uncertainty of the future may be uncomfortable, I do not fear the unknown; therefore:

    • I believe I must be willing to make difficult choices, that those choices may not be all that I desire, and that such may result in undesirable (or unintended) consequences;
    • I believe we must be willing to make mistakes or be wrong; and I am willing to change my mind if necessary.
I undertake to abide the five precepts of Buddhism; therefore:
  1. I believe it is wrong to kill or to knowingly allow others to kill.
  2. I believe it is wrong to steal or to knowingly allow others to steal.
  3. I believe in abstention from sexual misconduct.
  4. I believe it is wrong to lie or to knowingly allow others to lie.
  5. I believe in abstention from non-medicinal intoxicants as such clouds the mind.

Suicide, major depression, borderline personality, and alcoholism are feral monsters ever howling at my doorstep. However, despite my turbulent and tragic past, rare is the day where I have to rationalize, defend, or justify the actions of that person I see looking back at me in the mirror...

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