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Sunday, September 12, 2010

The World We Have (a book review)

I just finished reading The World We Have - A Buddhist Approach to Peace and Ecology, by Thich Nhat Nanh. I absolutely loved it. I think this book is a must-read for anyone who cares about the well-being of our Earth, Buddhist or not. The first half of the book speaks abut collective awakening, with the second half focusing on "our message is our action". It really made me think about how in tune (or not!) I am with our Earth, and how I can be more mindful of the effects of my actions.


The World We Have: A Buddhist Approach to Peace and Ecology

Following the chapters are a number of practices for mindful living. I think the one that struck me the most was the gatha (short verses that bring mindfulness to daily activities) for taking out the garbage.
In the garbage, I see a rose.
In the rose, I see the garbage.
Everything is in transformation.
Even permanence is impermanent.
He speaks about how without one, the other cannot be. The rotting garbage will be compost to grow the rose. The rose will eventually rot, and become garbage.

Amazing how speaking about garbage can be so beautiful!


During our training, a few of us did a photoshoot entitled 
"if you can't see it, is it not there?"

At the very end of the book is an "Earth Peace Treaty" commitment sheet. I think this is great as a way to see how much we are already doing, and get new ideas to help us on our journey. Some new ones for me will be walking/biking to work (once I learn how to ride a bike that is - gasp!)  and of course, as I am now, encouraging friends to make commitments on the list :)

Which new commitment(s) will you make?

Namaste,
Callah
article and personal photos copyright of Callah at callahyoga.blogspot.com

1 comment:

Vern said...

Callah, I really like this gatha! Who would expect such a profound concept to come from taking out the garbage? Just shows that there are truths to be gleaned from any activity when we allow ourselves to focus on the moment and reflect.

The Earth Peace Treaty is full of good ideas! I'm probably doing at least 90% of them, but will give careful thought to the others to see what else I can do. The simplest one I saw at a glance: getting books from the library instead of buying. Such a simple idea, and I know it's greener, but I've put off getting a library card since I moved to another city almost a year ago. I will stop by the library on the way home today and apply for a card!