The Next Buddha is Sangha

At the recent International Vipassana Teachers’ meeting, “Earth Care Week” was born.  Each year, during the first week of October, teachers and members of the greater community will come together to celebrate our planet and engage with environmental issues, including climate change.  We will explore ways to bring care for the Earth into our practice.

Exhorted by the Buddha to contemplate the “body as a body internally, externally and both internally and externally,” we know viscerally our direct connection by being mindful of, and taking care of, our planet.  My friend and colleague Catherine McGee expresses it beautifully:

“It is here we awaken: knowing body as body, knowing earth as earth… we… come to know we are of this earth. When we sit in the solidity of our bones, the firmness of the flesh, the density and weightiness of our human presence, we… know what it is to sit ‘as earth sitting on earth’. [We know] our basic elemental nature [which] we share with everyone and everything…Our intimacy with earth, [breathtakingly immediate and unmediated] is primary …We are literally ‘in our element’ as embodied creatures.”

“And it is here…that we take our place as human beings –…marvelous human animals that can respond and act together:… speak up for those yet to be born, … say ‘no’ when justice and respect for life is undermined… Through love and humility, [we can live simply], for the benefit of the whole…

“[Can] you live your life as if you really knew, in the depth of your heart and … cells, that you are not separate from this earth and [its] beings?”

How do you contribute to the care of our home?