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  Seeing God everywhere—the sanctity of nature Back to the List of Slideshows
Tengboche Monastery
in Nepal, with the peak of
Ama Dablam in the background
slide 4 of 17

In his essay "A Tibetan Buddhist Perspective on Spirit in Nature," His Holiness the Dalai Lama introduces both a spiritual and practical viewpoint to the discussion of how we interact with nature and the interdependencies that exist between us:
There is a direct connection between the correct understanding of ecology and the natural environment and the Buddhist principle of interdependence in terms of causes and effects and in terms of parts and wholes, factors and aggregates. But the correct understanding of the subtlest level of interdependence—that of the interdependence of things and conceptual constructions—has more to do with maintaining the balance of the outer and the inner world, and with the purification of the inner world.…

Our very existence is something heavily dependent on the environment.…The expressed aim of Buddhism is the purification and development of the mind through mental training in order to attain supreme liberation. But the meditation manuals place great emphasis on finding an ideal environment for the practice of training the mind because a cleaner environment does have a tremendous impact on one’s spiritual progress. The Buddhist literature mentions the sanctity of the environment as inspiring and blessing the practitioner, and in turn the practitioner’s spiritual realization blessing the environment. There is an exchange between human spirit and nature. In tune with such awareness, we find in Buddhist practice specific rituals aimed at regenerating the vitality of the earth, at purifying the environment, wherein certain precious minerals are buried underground, and then consecration rituals are performed.…

Taking care of the planet is nothing special, nothing sacred or holy. It’s just like taking care of our own house. We have no other planet, no other house, except this one.
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