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Describe Buddhist teaching about how people should treat the environment and animals.

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Introduction

Jenna Wake Buddhism coursework a) Describe Buddhist teaching about how people should treat the environment and animals. Buddhists believe we should live in harmony with each other and nature. Buddhists try to educate people to respect the environment, this includes yourself, other people and nature. Buddhists believe people should show Metta, loving kindness to all things. Doing this promotes a person good karma, this results in Punna, skilful acts, which in turn earns Merit. Merit helps people gain enlightenment. Buddhists believe that Metta reflects collective karma. This is the idea that everything, everybody does are reflected onto everything and everybody, around them. So good karma makes the environment a better place and bad karma can cause bad changes to the environment. A Buddhists tries, through their karma to get rid of greed, hatred and ignorance, this also applies to institutions that run our societies and multinational corporations that work in our societies. Through institutions and multinational companies, the three poisons of greed, hatred and ignorance are spread across the world. Tich Nhat Hahn, a Buddhist from Vietnam, speaks of engaged Buddhism. This is the belief that Buddhism is concerned about the way people live and is engaged in trying to improve life for them. ...read more.

Middle

All the precepts are relevant when teaching people how to treat the environment and animals:- 1) Avoid taking life. That means not killing people and is interpreted as animals too. Many Buddhists are vegetarian. It is also interpreted as not killing the earth either, avoid destroying the natural world around us. Buddhists teach us to show loving and kindness towards all creatures. 2) Avoid taking what is not given. Don't steal, don't take more than your fair share, and don't grab at wealth or power or fame at the expense of others. Buddhism teaches us to be generous and willing to share. 3) Avoid harmful sexual activity. This means not hurting others through sex. Buddhism teaches is to be content with our sexuality. 4) Avoid saying what is not true. Don't lie, don't give the wrong impression, and don't be dishonest with yourself. Buddhism teaches us to be truthful and open in everything we say. 5) Avoid clouding out minds with alcohol or drugs. Don't get drunk or become addicted to anything that can take over your life and cause suffering to others. Instead try to keep our mind clear so that you can be aware of everything around you. The Five precepts are interconnected with the teaching in the Noble Eightfold Path. ...read more.

Conclusion

Mahayan Buddhists, including Zen, Tibetan and the western Buddhists order, on the other hand, believe that everyone contains Buddahood and by treating all humans, animals and the environment with care and respect it can help is to reach enlightenment. Tibetan Buddhists believe in interconnection, that you can't have healthy people without healthy environment. People therefore should be aware of what they need not of what they want. The western Buddhists order believes that a healthier environment is achievable if we overcome selfishness. Zen Buddhists teach that even a small change in tour actions has a big effect, like the ripples n a pond. For example, rid yourself of wanting more and instars of throwing away things, recycle them. The Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhists, promotes 'universal responsibility.' He teaches that the world has limited resources, that the world has an increasing population and that the environment affects everyone, and what we do affects the environment. Every action we take we have an effect on the rest of the world. A person's karma always has consequences. To generate good karma helps everyone. The Dalai Lama said we can deal with the world's problems if we are calm and have inner happiness. So by developing inner spiritual qualities we are performing social action. The first gives deep inner security which makes the latter possible. In Buddhism nothing has a fixed self; nothing exists separately from the conditions that bring it about. ...read more.

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