A Western Buddhist's Travels

Sightseeing & detours on the path of enlightenment

Archive for the tag “Christ”

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas

To all my Christian friends, may the season bring the warmth of good fellowship, the company of friends and family, and the peace that Christ promises to those who follow him. To the rest of my friends, may we refect on the reason for the season, and join in celebrating Peace on Earth.

This is our home!

A View of Earth from Saturn

A View of Earth from Saturn (Photo credit: alpoma)

I was having a discussion with someone I know. He mad a statement about the environmental movement, and it is similar to one I heard a few years ago from a pastor. “Heaven is our real home, here we only need to worry about doing the Lord’s work to save souls.” Yet in in the Bible in the book of Genesis, man is placed in dominion over the earth. So mankind is responsible for the earth, so why are so many trying to make the place we live hell. Destroying the world around us, regardless of your religious beliefs is wrong. The earth sustains us, gives us food, medicine, and everything else we need for life.

There are people who profess to follow Christ, Allah, Buddha, or another teacher, yet in their daily life it is all about greed. I can have this and you can’t, or I want this and don’t care about the consequences. Endangered species around the world, that are protected by laws to try and save them from extinction. Yet there are poachers who stalk and kill these beings to satisfy the demand for products made from parts of these beings. It does not matter if it is the last snow leopard, it will make a perfect fur collar for a coat. Or a Rhino’s horn used to make an aphrodisiac, so someone can have their few minutes of  physical pleasure, which won’t bring lasting happiness.

Regardless of your religion or beliefs, this is our home, we should respect it as such. You don’t burn your house to the ground, because it is a bit shabby looking. Also unlike our houses, our planet does not have an insurance policy in case of disaster. There is no restore it so you won’t notice a difference clause. Unlike the movie The Hitchhiker’s Guide to The Universe, there is no race out there to rebuild it all just like before the destruction of the planet. Also we share this home with countless other beings, who have the same desire for happiness that we do. We can not keep killing off species the way we have. Some reputable scientists are already saying we may be at the tipping point or past it for biological diversity. Also the transferring of species from one part of the world to another, where there is no natural predator is wrecking havoc on environmental systems.

Uncommon courtesy

Something has been at the edge of my conscious thoughts the last little while. The lack of common courtesy towards our fellow beings. It clicked today, after a lady thanked me for holding the door open as I was leaving a downtown building. As I usually I glanced behind and didn’t see anyone right behind me, so let the door start to swing closed. Just after I let go i noticed a lady with shopping bags in one hand, and the other balancing a tray of take out beverages. So I stopped and stepped back to open the door for her, yes I’m old enough to know my manners, even if I sometimes don’t display them. She thanked me, and as we waited for the light to cross, she commented on how seldom that happens anymore, holding the door for a moment for a stranger. After chatting for a moment we went our individual ways, but the thought that had been at the edge of my conscious thinking was out, lack of courtesy or respect for each other. Walking down a large pedestrian friendly sidewalk, one that wide enough for several, I encountered a large group of young people going the opposite direction. With their group of about 15 or so, they were taking up the entire width of the sidewalk, people going the opposite direction were having to step onto the street to get past. The reason I mention this, one of the girls was wearing a t-shirt with Christ‘s picture, one of the boy’s a shirt with the image of the Buddha. Both of these teachers taught respect for others, to treat others as you want to be treated, yet here this group was taking up the entire width of the sidewalk, as if only they mattered.

When did we lose the compassion to share, even something as simple as a sidewalk? Is it any wonder that we don’t respect the environment, or our neighbours. Perhaps it’s my generation that is to blame, for not passing along the lessons of common courtesy. Or maybe it’s the media, movies and videos that show people doing what they want and not having to care about others. I don’t watch music video’s often, but a few weeks ago one was on the news. It showed a young singer, dancing and singing, while using the opposite sex, as toys to be enjoyed and discarded. This video was in the top ten worldwide in views.

I think we need to start practicing the basic courtesies again, helping the elderly, holding a door for a stranger, not honking the car horn as soon as the light turns green, stopping to help that lost cat or dog, at the side of a busy road and shivering with fear, and all those other little things that remind us, all life is precious. Perhaps if we start on the small ways of showing loving compassion, we can learn the larger ones. So for today the song I am listening to is from over forty years ago What a Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong.

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