Environmental motives in the Buddhist ecology : A study of Thich Nhat Hanh’s ecology, engaged practice and environmental activism

University essay from Uppsala universitet/Religionshistoria

Abstract: Thich Nhat Hanh is one of the key actors in the contemporary engaged Buddhist practice. With his understanding of the traditional Buddhist doctrine, tradition and practice he constructs a view of ecology that he thinks encourage both the individual and the collective to environmentalist action. His cosmology is based on an understanding the reality as a non-dual, interconnected, interdependent and impermanent and sees all beings and the nature equal in their nature. He also bases his ethical and moral views on this cosmology and is an advocate for traditional Buddhist ethical and moral principles such as non-violence and non-judgementalism. The traditional doctrine of the 4 noble truths and the dependent co-arising is the base for his thought of why we should practice mindfulness with the goal of raising awareness of the true nature of reality and the environmental issues. According to him it is possible to stop the global warming with the use of mindfulness and action that are based on on the traditional Buddhist perception of cosmology and moral and ethical principles. 

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