Buddhism and Nature

By Anam Thubten Rinpoche
Buddhistdoor Global
October 10, 2023

Imagine sitting in the foothills of Mount Kailash with its peak gently wrapped with an orange- tinted sunset. Almost everyone would feel amazed by nature’s magic and would have no trouble surrendering to such an indescribable sacred or great mystery, whether one is spiritual or not. This great mountain nestled in the high plateau of Tibet is regarded as sacred from its summit to the bottom. Tantric Buddhists and Hindus travel from far away to cleanse their minds and bless their hearts through the power of seeing its sacredness, which lies in the eyes of those devotees who believe it is an abode of the divine. This worship is the act of witnessing the sacred in nature, not just in man-made totems, temples, scriptures, and statues.

The question is, whether the sacred lies only in those chosen places or is all of nature sacred? If the sacred lies only in bounded spatial limits, then most of the realms of nature are not sacred. What impact would such an outlook bring to our relationship with the natural world? Would it bring harmony or conflict?

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