Spiritual Ecology

Finding the Wisdom of a Peaceful Life

We might find ourselves caught up in conflicts or confrontations with others in life. May it be politics, economics, races, languages, or others, we must have faith in the compassionate intention. Genuine dialogue is the best communication. Commiseration is the conscience that every being possesses. Being able to hear the pain of others and to understand others are the key to overlook prejudice. Commiseration is the key to conflict resolution.

In our mind, we should pray to forgive ourselves and others. After a while, you’ll see the effect. Hatred is an idea. It bursted at that moment with the particular event and people. When the moment passed, all is gone. Then what’s left about “hatred”? It is insubstantial. Settle down yourself and you’d discover that all beings share a spiritual connection. Love is indivisible. Commiseration is innate within all beings. Bliss and wisdom are universal. They are completely open without any deceits. Suffering would come to an end and so is hatred.

While human survival is constantly improving, we’ve forgotten the importance of spirituality. People are easily distracted in the materialistic world when our spirituality remains stagnant. We can’t distinguish our “wants” from “needs”. Being bombarded by materialism, people’s desire is rationalized. The ultimate meaning and value of life have been labeled by expensiveness, over-spending, and luxuries. That’s why we see that some countries or government could be completely ignorant of the suffering of people for self interests (resources and greed). They turn a blind eye on the crying children under fire in wars; the starving people; and those in pain. Under materialism, profits would always outweigh the dignity, value, and meaning of a life. 

This is all because of human greed, the basis of materialism. Yet, fear and  insecurity are the primary features of materialism. Our greed would always outweigh our needs. That’s why we are caught up in the unsatisfactory and insecure feeling of not getting what we want. Greed makes us wanting to keep things forever. At the same time, we are living in the fear of losing. Insecurity and fear would provoke insane behavior from people. We’d want to defeat those who confront us, the opponents. The constant strife and plundering are devastating to oneself, others, and the environment. We couldn’t help but ask, “When will this madness come to an end? When will people stop and look at the insanity triggered by greed?” All the disasters, global warming, ozone layer depletion, ecological crises, etc., are triggered by human greed. They’ve only gotten worse.

How can we eradicate the greed in mind? Try to trace its origin. Learn about it and then work on it. Firstly, we need to quiet down our mind. With serenity, we can see the ultimate truth of life. Recognize that the flickering mind is impermanent with arising and ceasing moment by moment. We should acknowledge the principle of creation, duration, dissolution, and the state of being dissolved of life. When our mind is serene, we can acquire a better insight of life and the outer phenomena. All are compounded by temporary causes and conditions. With such understanding, we can transcend the constant insecurity of desiring and the fear of losing. When these two are gone, greed is also pacified.

When serenity breaks through the delusion of greed, the luminosity of our primordial wisdom would come into light. The ultimate power of love and compassion would emerge spontaneously. We’d experience oneness of interdependency of oneself and others. Serenity doesn’t mean stagnation. It is a holistic power that is positive and innate. When being serene, one can release the maximum energy and drive. This is a natural manifestation of spirituality and religious belief.

Buddhism teaches Chan practice to examine our mind and to experience our inner peace. The moment that all quiets down, we can experience the universe in a pore, even within a speck of dust. The profound wisdom is described in the Avatamsaka Sutra that the Dharmadhatu, or the universe, is within a speck of dust.  Serenity can be thoroughly present from inside out. Start with this very “mind”. Let’s get along harmoniously with sentient beings, the nature, and the whole universe. We can acquire serenity through Chan practice. This serenity roots from our origin. The primordial wisdom can bring forth the compassionate and loving energy. That kind of drive can accomplish a world that is free from obstacles and all is fulfilled effortlessly. Better yet, a global family of “when the mind is at peace, the world is at peace” can come true.