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Lions Roar : September 2008
SHAMBHALA SUN SEPTEMBER 2008 52 myself and in society by practicing a diet for myself and for society. I understand that a proper diet is crucial for self-transformation and the transformation of society. The Fifth Mindfulness Training is the way out of the difficult situation our world is in. When we practice the Fifth Training, we recognize exactly what to consume and what to refuse in order to keep our bodies, our minds, and the Earth healthy, and not to cause suffering for ourselves and for others. Mindful consumption is the way to heal us and to heal the world. As a spiritual family and a human family, we can all help avert global warming by following this practice. We should become aware of the presence of bodhisattva Earth Holder in every one of us. We should become the hand, the arms of the Earth Holder in order to be able to act quickly. You may have heard that God is in us, Buddha is in us. But we still have a vague notion of what Buddha is in us and God is in us. In the Buddhist tradition it is very clear. Buddha resides inside us as energy—the energy of mindfulness, the energy of concentration, and the en- ergy of insight—that will bring about compassion, love, joy, togetherness, nondiscrimination. Our friends in the Christian tradition speak about the Holy Ghost or the Holy Spirit as the energy of the Buddha. Wherever the Holy Spirit is, there is healing and love. We can speak in the same way of mindfulness, concentration, and insight. The energy of mindfulness, concentration, and insight gives rise to compassion, forgiveness, joy, transformation, and healing. That is the energy of a Buddha. If you are in- habited by that energy, you are a Buddha. And that energy can be cultivated and can manifest fully in you. It’s wonderful to realize that we are all in a family, we are all children of the earth. We should take care of each other and we should take care of our environment, and this is possible with the practice of togetherness. A posi- tive change in individual awareness will bring about a positive change in the collective awareness. Protecting the planet must be given the first priority. I hope you will take the time to sit down with each other, have tea with your friends and your families, and discuss these things. Invite bodhisattva Earth Holder to sit and collaborate with you. Make your decision, and then act to save our beautiful planet Earth. Changing your way of living will bring you a lot of joy right away. Then the healing can begin. ♦ Adapted from The World We Have: A Buddhist Approach to Peace and Ecology, by Thich Nhat Hanh. © 2008 by Unified Buddhist Church. With permission from Parallax Press, www.parallax.org. GATHAS HELP US to practice mindfulness in our daily lives and to look deeply. Reciting these short verses will bring awareness, peace, and joy to the simple activities we may take for granted, like eating a meal, washing our hands, or taking out the garbage. These gathas remind us that Earth provides us with precious gifts every day. TURNING ON THE WATER Water flows from high mountain sources. Water runs deep in the Earth. Miraculously, water comes to us and sustains all life. Even if we know the source of our water, we often take its appearance for granted. But water is what makes all life on Earth possible. Our bodies are more than 70 per- cent water. Our food can be grown and raised because of water. Water is a good friend, a bodhisattva, which nourishes the many thousands of species on Earth. Its benefits are infinite. Reciting this gatha before turning on the faucet or drinking a glass of water enables us to see the stream of fresh water in our own hearts so that we feel completely refreshed. To celebrate the gift of water is to cultivate awareness and help sustain our life and the lives of others. LOOKING AT YOUR EMPTY BOWL My bowl, empty now, will soon be filled with precious food. Beings all over the Earth are struggling to live. How fortunate we are to have enough to eat. When many people on this Earth look at an empty bowl, they know their bowl will continue to be empty for a long time. So the empty bowl is as important to honor as the full bowl. We are grateful to have food to eat, and with this gatha, we can vow to find ways to help those who are hungry. From The World We Have, by Thich Nhat Hanh. Earth Gathas SEPT 48-55.indd 52 SEPT 48-55.indd 52 7/3/08 1:31:29 PM 7/3/08 1:31:29 PM