Environment

  • Prayer flags a problem in Bhutan Paid Member

    The Bhutanese government is facing an unexpected threat to its country's natural environment: prayer flags. Each year, Bhutan's citizens cut down thousands of trees to use a poles for Buddhist prayer flags, according to a Reuters report posted on the Buddhist Channel. This is making for a legal conundrum. Bhutan's famed Gross National Happiness index requires that forest-cover make up at least 60 percent of the Himalayan kingdom's landscape—but Buddhism, a guiding philosophy of the policy, is now contributing to the gradual deforestation of the region. Fortunately, it seems that a solution is in the works. The government is growing bamboo plants, with the hope that these will make for an acceptable substitute. [Image: TiagoPereira] More »
  • Tricycle Community 1 comment

    Thailand's Forgotten Elephants Paid Member

    A stunning photo gallery from the New York Times. Image: Brent Lewin/Redux More »
  • Can Buddhism Save the Planet? Paid Member

    Can a bodhisattva vow for the earth help to halt or reverse manmade climate change? Two articles make the case for the dharma helping us restore balance to the planet. How? It starts within each of us: In the Bangkok Post, Chompoo Trakullertsathien says that as the world heats up, so do our minds. Cooling our anger, greed, and delusions can't help but lead to good things for the earth. John Guerrerio writes that the current environmental crisis offers us a chance to overcome our dualistic view of Economy vs. More »
  • Boycott Whole Foods? No Way, says Way. Paid Member

    So, have you decided to boycott Whole Foods because the very green grocer's Libertarian founder John Mackey sounded off against universal health care in the Wall Street Journal? If you haven't yet decided, you should read what our favorite green Buddhist has to say first. The Elephant Journal's Waylon ("Way") Lewis made it pretty clear over at the Huffington Post last week that things are never as simple as they seem. Take a look—Way has initiated quite the lively exchange. Why am I writing about this now? More »
  • Tricycle Community 2 comments

    The Green Buddha: Bringing Dharma to Environmentalism Paid Member

    David Rome writes on tricycle.com: What does it mean to be “green” and “Buddhist?” The Green Buddha is traditionally the Laughing Buddha, bringer of prosperity and mirth. His iconic image can be found everywhere from curio shelves to a 1950s film about art theft. But in this age of environmental loss and degradation, “green” and “Buddhist” together should come to mean something new, something about the imperative to face the loss and work to protect the future. The connection between environmental activism and Buddhist practice exists, though it is not always easy to draw. Read the entire piece here. More »
  • Tricycle Community 2 comments

    Clark Strand on calling the the Earth to witness Paid Member

    Or was the Earth calling the Buddha to witness?: A legend about the Buddha's enlightenment has profound implications for Green Meditation. According to tradition, on the night of Shakyamuni's awakening, as he sat in deep meditation under the bodhi tree, the tempter Mara assailed him with numerous threats and distractions, including vast armies of demons and seductive dancing girls. When these failed to unseat the aspiring Buddha, as a last ditch effort Mara challenged his right to sit upon "the throne of enlightenment." "Who bears witness to your attainment of Buddhahood?" demanded Mara. In answer, Shakyamuni is said to have reached the fingers of his right hand down to touch the ground. More »