The Green Bodhisattva

  • Tricycle Community 9 comments

    Trees, Butterflies, and the Buddhist Moral Life Paid Member

    The 9th-century poet Po Chü-i (pinyin, Bai Juyi) once visited an eccentric Chan master known as Bird’s Nest. Finding the monk meditating in a tree, the poet cried, “Hey, master! It looks dangerous up there!” “Not so dangerous as where you stand!” replied Bird’s Nest. Po Chü-i, who served as governor for several small provinces, considered the precariousness of his political position and concluded, a bit ruefully perhaps, that the master was probably right. “Then please explain for me the teaching common to all of the buddhas,” he implored. In answer, the master quoted a familiar passage from the Dhammapada: Avoid evil, Practice good, And purify your mind—Such is the teaching of all buddhas. More »
  • Tricycle Community 5 comments

    The Care of Earth Paid Member

    Ask ten people on the street if they believe in God, and—depending on where you live—you could get ten different answers. Ask ten Buddhists if they believe in Amida Buddha, and the responses will likewise vary: “He’s a fairy tale.” “He’s a metaphor.” “I plan to be born in his Pure Land when I die.”But what if you ask ten people if they believe in Earth?A few ecology-minded souls might get what you were up to, probably the younger ones. The rest wouldn’t have a clue. A typical answer might go something like this: “Earth is what we stand on. Earth is where we live. It doesn’t matter whether we believe in Earth or not. Earth is simply real.” More »
  • Tricycle Community 41 comments

    Restored to Sanity Paid Member

    What will it take to restore us to ecological sanity? If what we are suffering from in this hot, flat, crowded 21st century is an Earth-destroying addiction (and the sheer scale of our denial suggests that it is), then that is the only question worth asking. We might not know the answer right away, but at least we know what it isn’t. The answer isn’t us. More »
  • Tricycle Community 9 comments

    The Path of Recovery Paid Member

    We are headed for a fall as a species, and it seems that all we can do is watch. Some say our imaginations are not big enough to take in the full scope of the catastrophe—the extinction of up to one half of Earth’s plant and animal species by century’s end. Others claim that we can’t help ourselves. We’re sick, addicted to everything from petroleum products to that ubiquitous soporific we call “media.” They’re killing us. Still, we remain stuck to them like glue. Of the two explanations, addiction seems more apt. Our imaginations are better than ever. They tell us that we can invent our way out of this problem, that by digging the hole of human progress just a little deeper, somehow we will come out on top. More »