Dear Professor von Brück, dear friends up here on the panel, Professor Grim, Professor Tucker, Professor Habito. All of you friends who care for the environment – a big welcome to you.
The ecology is a complete system to sustain life. This ecosystem is organic. Once this organic system is destroyed, it’d become really disrupted with irreversible disasters. In recent years, ecological crisis has already reached its most severe condition. We have extreme climate, extinction of species – all of these filled up to severe apprehension. Recently, the UN has issued a warning that the next twelve years are crucial. It’s alerting us to take immediate action to address this situation.
I. Eliminating Five Poisons, Returning to Simplicity
Five poisons of the human mind: greed, ignorance, hatred, pride, and doubt, are the source of all suffering and also the source that brings about the ecological crisis. Hatred generates oppositions, conflicts, war, nuclear armed forces and terrorism. Greed is resulting in invasions of other people, plunder, utilitarianism, and competition. It leads to consumerism and capitalism, which in turn, stresses the natural resources of the Earth. And all of these contribute to the destruction of our ecology of Earth.
Life is based on genetic memory. The core of ecological system is spiritual. Only spiritual awakening can help us to understand the origin of the crisis. This understanding is really the way to heal the Earth and bring it back to health. We can purify our mind and let go of our attachments and eliminate the five poisons through spiritual practice. This will help us to develop the power of a harmonious resonance with all beings and understand that everything is deeply interdependent. And that we’d always need to help each other.
II. Ancient Civilizations, Learn from History
The history of the rise and fall of civilizations is much longer than just a few last thousand years. Possibly there were already highly developed civilizations in the past but perished for various reasons. But the point of commonality is that if human beings damage the organic nature of the ecosystem, it loses its sustainability. This will then create an irreversible ecological crisis that leads to the decay and disappearance of civilizations.
The reason for the disappearance of civilizations is always related to the destruction of the ecology. The destruction of ancient cultures has been caused by the overuse of natural resources. Development of science and technology can increase productivity of agriculture and industry, as well as the convenience of our daily life. But if we disregard the sustainability of the ecosystem, it will be very disastrous. When the natural resources are depleted, you’d have wars, hunger, and disease that guarantee the destruction of our civilization.
III. Spiritual Wisdom of Indigenous People
The wisdom of Indigenous People has preserved many principles of civilization. It’s a precious cultural heritage. There are certain principles:
First, respect for Mother Nature: The belief that everything has spirit. Respect for a harmonious and mutually benefitting relationship between human and nature.
Worship all and the respect for the spirit of ancestors would tell us how to live in harmony, how to treasure the earth, and how to recognize its sacredness.
The principle and attitude of living in harmony with nature: For example, to pray before hunting and only to take what is absolutely necessary to sustain life but not to over consume resources. Shamanism is based on the understanding that nature and humans are one body of life. This is quite different from our modern concept about conquering the nature.
We really have to learn from the spiritual wisdom of the Indigenous People to know how to coexist with the ecosystem in harmony and live accordingly with those principles.
IV. Promoting Spiritual Practice, Establishing Environmental Education
When we return to the origin of spirituality, we understand the power of awakening and realize that the Earth is a living being. Using meditation, prayer, spiritual practices to purify our mind and let us return to simplicity. This return, together with good deeds, creates a resonance and balances the energy of Earth.
Our individual spiritual practice will lead to an overall ecological awakening. If we use technology based on spirituality, the effect will be incredible which leads to the healing of Mother Earth. We are now planning to build a University for Life and Peace in Burma to explore and solve ecological issues; also to use the power of technology to mitigate the crisis.
Spiritual practitioners care for and love all lives. Love shows us how to prevent suffering, destruction, and disasters. I deeply care about the peace of this Earth and all of its beings. I’d like to do my very best to help achieve it. I always try to learn from the experiences of others, as well as my own, to expand my own thinking and find ways to help this world.
I hope you all agree that we need to develop this global ethics of ecology based on the spirituality. This principle of living together in harmony in diversity all relying on each other, all helping each other so that this world can be sustainable and continue to support life. Please join us in this very important mission. Thank you so much for listening.