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Lions Roar : January 2016
The Bell Tolls All of us know that our beautiful green planet is in danger. The bells of mindfulness are sounding. All over the Earth, we are experiencing floods, droughts, and massive wildfires. Sea ice is melting in the Arctic and hurricanes and heat waves are killing thousands. The forests are fast disappearing, the deserts are growing, species are becoming extinct every day, and yet we continue to consume, ignoring the ringing bells. All of us know that our beautiful green planet is in danger. Our way of walking on the Earth has a great influence on ani- mals and plants. Yet we act as if our daily lives have nothing to do with the condition of the world. We are like sleepwalk- ers, 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 Mother 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 learning how to live in a way that a fu- ture will be possible for our children and our grandchildren. The World We Have: A Buddhist Approach to Peace and Ecology (Parallax) ESSENTIAL TEACHINGS OF THICH NHAT HANH SAVING THE EARTH Touching the Earth Whenever you feel unhappy, come to the earth and ask for her help. With the earth you are very safe. In the Buddhist tradition I am part of, we do a practice called “Touching the Earth” every day. It helps us in many ways. You too could be helped by doing this practice. When you feel restless or lack confidence in yourself, or when you feel angry or unhappy, you can kneel down and touch the ground deeply with your hand. Touch the earth as if it were your favorite thing or your best friend. The earth has been there for a long time. She is mother to all of us. She knows everything. The Buddha asked the earth to be his witness by touching her with his hand when he had some doubt and fear before his awakening. The earth appeared to him as a beautiful mother. In her arms she carried flowers and fruit, birds and butterflies, and many different animals, and offered them to the Buddha. The Buddha’s doubts and fears instantly disappeared. Whenever you feel unhappy, come to the earth and ask for her help. Touch her deeply, the way the Bud- dha did. Suddenly, you too will see the earth with all her flowers and fruit, trees and birds, animals and all the living beings that she has produced. All these things she offers to you. You have more opportunities to be happy than you ever thought. The PHOTOBYPAULDAVIS SHAMBHALA SUN JANUARY 2016 64