James the Giant wrote:I've met more than a few monks who have scoffed at and poo-pooed the idea of an engaged Buddhism that is deeply concerned with the state of the world and our environment. I was quite shocked when they scoffed. (Western Thai-Forest-Tradition monks, in a couple of the Ajahn Chah branch monasteries. )
Yes, very disappointing to say the least. What happened to sila as the pre-requisite for spiritual progress?
James the Giant wrote:There are two books which I know about but have not read, which you may be interested in.
One is Dharma Rain: Sources of Buddhist Environmentalism, edited by Stephanie Kaza and Kenneth Kraft, Shambala, Boston & London, 2000, ISBN 1-57062-475-5
It's published by Shambala and has excellent reviews.
The other is...
Buddhism and Deep Ecology, by Dr Daniel H Henning. I've heard not much about this, so I don't know.
Thanks for those references. I had heard of the first but not the second, and haven't read either of them ... yet.
Amazon't page about Henning's book http://www.amazon.com/Buddhism-Deep-Ecology-Daniel-Henning/dp/1403370060
suggests other related books, in typical Amazon style. It also presents his CV, which is pretty impressive, but there is only one 'review' and it's not a very good one.
The only substantial review I found online was 15 pages of pdf - http://www.icundv.com/vesak2011/panel3/12AKSinghFINAL.pdf
. It looks worthwhile for its own sake but I haven't had time to read it all yet. It begins ...
Buddhism and Deep Ecology: An Appraisal
Dr. Arvind Kumar Singh Department of Buddhist Studies, University of Delhi
We are now in 21st Century, where the human community is in search of new and sustaining relationships to earth amidst an ecological crisis that threatens the very existence of all life forms on the planet. Here, Buddhism needs to be re-examined in the light of current ecological crisis and to generate world views and ethics which underline fundamental attitudes and values of different cultures and societies. Ultimately, deep ecology is manifestation of the spiritual realization of individual. It is born in the individual and comes to fruition through the individual’s religious understanding and practice. According to Daniel H. Henning, “Deep ecology can be considered as the spiritual dimension of the environmental movements. It is a holistic approach to facing environmental problems which brings together thinking, feeling, spirituality and action”.1 Moreover, deep ecology has become sheer necessity for the very survival of the human race2 which has become a menace to living creatures. It is said that the Buddha had foreseen such a crisis long ago by virtue of His deep insight.3 According to Buddhism, the solution to these problems calls for preservation of everything that is bestowed on man by nature and overcoming the obstacles created by nature. Although, Buddhism is a doctrine expounded with the air of spiritual emancipation, yet it contains a great deal of advice to make the worldly life comfortable and happy.4 Buddhism, in fact, was selected for the pilot project in new perspectives for ecological education because it is an ancient, enduring philosophy, embodying strongly themes of awareness and compassion for all life.5