How Buddhism Has Interacted With Nature And Environment Essay

753 Words Dec 13th, 2016 4 Pages
In this section, I will examine how Buddhism has interacted with nature and environment from its early stage up till today, especially focusing on the role of mindfulness. I will analyze ancient Buddhist texts and related writings, scholarly articles about the development of engaged Buddhism, and also modern practices.
a) Traditional Buddhist Mindful Meditation and the Environment: Non-harm and interdependence
The English word "mindfulness" is translated from the Pali term sati or Sanskrit term smriti (Gethin, 2011), which means remembrance with lucidity. Mindful meditation, in traditional Buddhist practice, aims for achieving a state of deep calm and attentiveness, and serves as an essential step towards reaching ultimate liberation (Buswell 2003: 520-530, 540-541). Unlike the definition of contemporary mindfulness practices largely used for self-care and psychotherapy, which focus a lot on nonjudgmental observation with no particular aims or goals, traditional Buddhist meditation has sets of rules and goals, and a requires remembering one’s purpose in meditating. Nowadays however, non-Buddhists who practices mindful meditation usually adopt Kabat-Zinn’s operational definition: “The awareness that emerges through paying attention on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally to the unfolding of experience moment by moment” (Kabat-Zinn 2003: 145). Attitudes and behaviors related to nature can be traced back to the earliest Buddhism teachings. It is worth noticing…

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