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

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Jenna Wake

Buddhism coursework

  1. 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. An example of engaged Buddhism in Britain is the group called “Network of engaged Buddhists”, who give help to the dying, poor and the homeless and help those in prison. This is showing respect to others.

Another example of Collective Karma and Engaged Buddhism are the associations of Buddhists running their own companies. These are known as TBRL’s meaning ‘Team Based Right Livelihood’. The TBRL’s only take money that is needed to on the Buddha’s teaching in the noble eightfold path on Right livelihood. That is interpreted as earning your living in a way that does not take advantage of other people or animals. Buddhists try to show kindness towards all living creatures. So it is important for then to live in a way that does not damage the earth.

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An example for Buddhists scriptures- Dhammapada 49, says this is show a sage, a wise person should live

“As the bee takes the essence of a flower and flies away without destroying its beauty and perfume, so that the sage wander in life”

Buddhism teaches us to stop Dukkha-suffering- for ourselves, for others, for animals and for the environment. To do this we must follow the Four Noble Truths. Buddhists believe that we should only take what we need from the earth like natural resources and no more. We should allow the earth time to replenish and be fruitful ...

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