Listen to “No Harm to Yourself, No Harm to the Planet”.
If you look at the state of the world today, the suffering of everything: plants and animals; forests and rivers; and local and indigenous peoples, is enormous. In the last century, the rate of harm has accelerated significantly, to the point of threatening the health of the ecosystem and the continuity of life itself.
As the Dalai Lama said,
“When we talk about preservation of the environment, it is related to many other things. Ultimately, the decision must come from the human heart. The key point is to have a genuine sense of universal responsibility, based on love and compassion, and clear awareness.”
We need a fundamental transformation towards a no-harm lifestyle and no-harm society. If every human being on the planet lived like the average American, 4.4 planet Earths would be required.
Humanity needs a transformation of belief and a drastic reshaping of human values. People around the world must come to see the planet as our common home; one that we share with other countries and other species.
No harm is a great concept to begin with, regardless of whether or not you are a Buddhist.
Non-harming, or ahimsa, is a central principle in Buddhist ethics. Understanding how deeply life is conditioned by suffering, Buddhists aim not to create further suffering and to reduce suffering wherever possible, in other words, to cause minimal harm.
Buddhists’ emphasis on harmlessness is explicitly directed toward both oneself and others. One should “intentionally benefit for self, for others, for both, and for the whole world.” So while the idea of harmlessness refers to the absence of harm, it also implies a loving concern for both one’s own self and others.
Such a compassionate response is said to arise naturally out of a broadly felt connection to other beings. Simply, living consciously with an open heart.
In easy, practical steps, we can bring change at a personal, communal and global level. Change has to begin within yourself—the world changes when we change. There is no other way.
2500 years ago the Buddha taught, “Do as much good as possible, avoid harm, and purify your mind.”
Reducing harm can mean:
- eating food produced organically and, if possible, grown by local farmers, thereby decreasing the energy expense of long-distance shipping.
- choosing fair trade products that reduce the toll on field labourers and producers in a competitive global system.
- going vegan.
- focusing on meditation and yoga and working towards the purification of the mind. When meditating, you nurture the four essential ingredients of happiness: kindness, empathy, playfulness, and inner balance.
There are many ways and steps to strive for a world with less suffering and more happiness and a more sustainable and ecological way of living. But all these ways start with yourself and the choices you make every day.
You can try to start with our Unconditional Love Meditation in the DeepH app meditation section to experience love and open your heart to oneness with all existence.