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Lions Roar : September 2008
48 SHAMBHALA SUN SEPTEMBER 2008 WE ARE LIKE SLEEPWALKERS, not knowing what we are doing or where we are heading. Whether we can wake up or not depends on whether we can walk mindfully on our Moth- er Earth. The future of all life, including our own, depends on our mindful steps. We have to hear the bells of mindfulness that are sounding all across our planet. We have to start learn- ing how to live in a way so that a future will be possible for our children and our grandchildren. I have sat with the Buddha for a long time and consulted him about the issue of global warming, and the teaching of the Buddha is very clear. If we continue to live as we have been living, consuming without a thought to the future, destroying our forests and emitting greenhouse gases, then devastating climate change is inevitable. Much of our ecosystem will be destroyed. Sea levels will rise and coastal cities will be inundat- ed, forcing hundreds of millions of refugees from their homes, creating wars and outbreaks of infectious disease. We need a kind of collective awakening. There are among us men and women who are awakened, but it’s not enough; the masses are still sleeping. They cannot hear the ringing of the bells. We have built a system we cannot control. This sys- tem imposes itself on us, and we have become its slaves and victims. Most of us, in order to have a house, a car, a refrig- erator, a TV, and so on, must sacrifice our time and our lives in exchange. We are constantly under the pressure of time. In former times, we could afford three hours for one cup of tea, enjoying the company of our friends in a serene and spiri- tual atmosphere. We could organize a party to celebrate the Only when we combine our concern for the planet with spiritual practice will we have the tools to make the profound changes needed to address the coming environmental crisis. In his important new book, The World We Have, THICH NHAT HANH offers us the guiding principles for a new ecospirituality of mindful living. The World We Have SEPT 48-55.indd 48 SEPT 48-55.indd 48 7/3/08 2:00:08 PM 7/3/08 2:00:08 PM