Fostering a Gentler, Healthier and more Compassionate World for all Living Beings

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"People who eat meat often make the excuse that it is natural to do so, that people were meant to eat meat. They promote this idea, and then freely indulge in taking the lives of their fellow creatures, thereby creating extensive hatred and enmity-karma."

~ Great Master Lianchi Zhuhung - On Stopping Killing!

"Buddhism teaches the doctrine of karma, which is the law of cause and effect relating to our actions. Karma means that whatever one sows, one reaps, be it good or evil. The consequences of meritorious acts are always good. Evil acts, on the other hand, ensure painful retribution. Buddhists are aware that we are constantly creating new karma by our actions. One who believes in the law of causation, therefore, will be careful not to cause pain to people, animals, plants, or the earth itself, for harming them is simultaneously harming oneself."

~ Ven. Sunyana Graef - The Foundations of Ecology in Zen Buddhism

Cat and Bird are friends

"Perhaps it is part of being human to question who and what we are. Unfortunately, because we rely almost exclusively on our senses, the harder we look, the more we misinterpret what we see. We believe on the one hand that we are an insignificant dot in the universe, separate from all other humans, much less the natural world. But we also believe that we are the most highly evolved organism in creation, entitled to use whatever we can grasp for our own ends.

"Buddhists have a different view of humanity. In terms of their psycho-spiritual development people stand about midway between Buddha's and amoebas. However, on an absolute level, people, Buddha's, amoebas, dogs, streams, and mountains are one and the same. Buddhism addresses the apparent disparity between what we see and what we actually are. And it does so by delving into the roots of what it means to be human."

~ Ven. Sunyana Graef - The Foundations of Ecology in Zen Buddhism 

"A person of the deepest spirituality will also have a tender concern for every aspect of creation. Such an individual could no more harm a living creature than he or she could harm himself or herself. Buddhist scriptures contend that a bodhisattva will not even walk on grass lest it be harmed. Indeed, the first Buddhist precept is the admonition not to kill, but to cherish all life. This attitude is especially important with respect to food, since anything we eat must die to sustain us. Still, it is less destructive, on a relative level, to take the life of a carrot or an apple than to take that of a more highly evolved form of life, such as a cow, a chicken, or a lobster. Too, from a purely ecological point of view, it is less detrimental to the environment to eat as low as possible on the food chain. All this explains why many Buddhists are vegetarians."

~ Ven. Sunyana Graef - The Foundations of Ecology in Zen Buddhism

Squirrel loves nuts

"Usually when people look at the Buddhist precepts, they understand them in terms of human relationship. Do not kill. Do not steal. Do not lie. Of course these are about human relationships, but what do they mean in terms of the environment? There is a particular kind of stealing that we do when we clear-cut forests, when topsoil is washed into rivers. There is a particular kind of killing that we do when we wipe out whole species. These precepts are taught not only as they relate to humans but also how they relate to the environment, to the ten thousand things. Not only the sentient, 'feeling' beings' deer, muskrat, beaver, but to the rocks, trees and river. All of it."

~ John Daido Loori Roshi - "Zen's Radical Conservative," Shambhala Sun, July 2001

Dolphins - Ambassadors of the Oceans

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