Summary: June 5 is environment day. How is environmentalism connected with Buddhism? Greenpeace’s plan for June 5 in Bangkok.
Environmentalism is not Buddhism. You do not have to be an environmentalist just because you are a meditator, but there is a connection. Being a person of few wants, is a necessary quality of a monk, so that they are of little burden to the laypeople who support them. It is not much of a push to apply this to the environment. If you are of few wants and needs, and have fostered a sense of contentment – a perception that is of immense benefit to conjour up and maintain – then you will be of little burden to the environment. It is hard if not impossible to throw out trash that does not contain plactic bags and other environmentally damaging containers, and harder still to get by without modern technology, like the computer screen you are looking at right now. But the sense of ‘enough’ is a perception worth developing, as the King of Thailand has directed in his encouragement of the ‘sufficiency economy’. A few days ago, in his Dhamma talk to the Little Bangkok Sangha Steve Weissman, meditation teacher at the Wat Kow Tahm Centre on Kog Pa-gnarn spoke about this sense of ‘enough’ that arises from the practise of generosity. Through giving to others you create within yourself the perception that you have ‘enough’ , which leads to the abatement of desire. Could then the practise of generosity be the cure for environmental destruction? Of course, we will never find out. There will be no sudden shift of the world’s people in this direction. That does not mean you cannot make the shift in yourself though.
June 5 is world environment day, and Greenpeace have a plan for Bangkok:
On World Environment Day, June 5, Greenpeace invites you to send a message to the government to protect the country´s water sources.
Economic expansion and industrial development have caused the continuous rise in water demand.
Climate change has worsened the scarcity of consumable water
Polluting human activities have further deteriorated and reduced the already limited amount of fresh water for consumption.
Greenpeace invites all supporters to join the campaign to urge the government to solve the water pollution problem and protect our remaining clean water sources before a crisis happens.
We invite you to collect water sample(s) from your neighborhood which you think is “polluted”, “dirty” or “not suitable for consumption” and put it in a bottle. Write your full name, place of collection, and time collected, along with a message showing you are concerned about our endangered water sources.
Greenpeace Southeast Asia
138/1, 2nd Floor, Thong Building,
Sutthisarn Road, Samsennai,
Phayathai, Bangkok 10400
Deadline: May 31, 2008
For more information, please contact Greenpeace Southeast Asia, Supporter Services, tel: 02 357 1921 ext. 133, e-mail: supporterservices dot th [at] greenpeace [plus] .org