September 28, 2011
Trees, Butterflies, and the Buddhist Moral Life: Week Four of the Green Bodhisattva's Twelve-Step Recovery Program
Step Four of the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous reads: “Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.” That's where we're at with Clark Strand's 12 Steps of Ecological Recovery. In order to recover from a culture addicted to consumption we have to undertake a process of moral accounting: where have we fallen short in our efforts to live in harmony with the world? Later we will have to confess these shortcomings to our Higher Power, the Earth. To do this, Strand suggests reconnecting with our Original Mind:
When it comes to reconnecting with our Original Mind, we could do worse than climb a tree. When it comes to getting a bird’s-eye view on our culture—how it works, where we stand in it, and where it is headed—we couldn’t possibly do better. The ground is too low a vantage point. A satellite is too high. A treetop shows us the world we live in and, provided we are willing to look very carefully, how we live in it. The view from a treetop shows us how the planet keeps us alive.