Monday 16 May 2016 at 18:11Compassionate Climate Action
by Global Buddhist Climate Change Collective (GBCCC)
Join Buddhists around the world on Vesak (21, 22 May) and celebrate the birth of Gautama Buddha, his enlightenment and passing away. On this special day, we wish you peace, tranquillity and joy. We invite all sanghas to come together to acknowledge Buddha's realization of dependent co-arising, which interconnects all things in the universe by celebrating a Green Vesak.
Remembering Buddha on this day gives us the opportunity to consider that like the intricate petals of a lotus, our lives are inextricably interwoven with one another and with the natural world. In particular, this year we emphasise the threat of climate change — it is already seriously impacting economies, ecosystems and people worldwide.
Left unchecked, climate change will cause tremendous suffering for all living beings.
Vesak is an opportunity for Buddhist sanghas to come together, affirming our root connection from the Buddha and to create deeper relationships across traditions. Together we can raise awareness on climate change, recognizing that a greater ecological awareness and awakening of consciousness is needed.
#GreenVesakAs Buddhists, we must appreciate all that we have in common and turn our pluralism and diversity into strength for greater Buddhist climate action and changing our lifestyles and expectations to protect our planet. As Buddhist leaders said in the Buddhist Climate Change Statement to World Leaders (Oct 2015), “Cultivating the insight of inter-being and compassion, we will be able to act out of love, not fear, to protect our planet" – otherwise, “when the Earth becomes sick, we become sick, because we are part of her” (The Time to Act is Now (2009).
We can choose to awaken new disciplines to engage in a greener life.
"Without discipline, life is made up of successive indulgences and confusion based on aggression, passion, and greed," says Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche. Let Vesak inspire us to deepen relationships with one another and with nature, and to exercise and maintain new green disciplines. How fortunate for Buddha’s birth.
Here a few simple ways to celebrate Green Vesak:
– Reach out to your and other local sanghas and talk about the risks and solutions to climate change
– Discuss ways you can work together to influence action and reduce your carbon footprint on Vesak and throughout the year
– Walk or take public transport
– Switch to high efficiency light bulbs and appliances
– Turn off unused electrical appliances
– Reduce your meat consumption in favour of an ethical plant-based diet
– Abstain from excessive use of digital devices and spend more time with your loved one’s
– Use your own reusable water bottles, cutting down on plastic bottle waste.
– Use your own reusable bags, recyclable bowls, paper cups and plates
– Share the above Celebrate Green Vesak lotus image above on Twitter and Facebook using the hashtag #GreenVesak
– Switch your Facebook profile to the above Celebrate Green Vesak image
Image Credit: Binesh Amarasekara via Flickr