Nowadays, humankind has faced the intensified environmental concerns which are water pollution, air pollution and deforestation. These cause the unprecedented consequence outcomes such as severe storm and flood. In addition, a climate change dues to green-house effect has caused many environmental problems such as ozone depletion. Thus, humankind has to find alternative energy to substitute oil and petroleum to protect the world.
Earth Day is very important day to protect the nature and environment around the world. The Earth Day is celebrated annually across the globe on every April 22. Its first celebration took place on April 22, 1970. It is the day that people around the world reconsider the significances of natures and environments and think carefully of how to protect our earth, the invaluable gift of nature to the humankind.
While the coronavirus (Covid-19) has been spreading around the world since 2020, approximately more than 100 million people got infection and several millions of the world citizen have passed away. Covid-19 pandemic is a reminder of the vulnerability of humans and the planet in the face of global scale threats. Unchecked damage to our environment must be addressed.
Moreover, the United Nations Secretary General, Mr. António Guterres responses to the socio-economic impacts of COVID-19 that “Had we been further advanced in meeting the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, we could better face this challenge.”
With the concerns of the world environments, there are many non-governmental organizations have observed and monitored all thousand-environmental activities around the world which are organized in schools and parks. Each country has organized the environmental activity on Earth Day to instill the consciousness on protecting the environment; it is the collective responsibility as the world citizen who share and utilize the world resources. Also, it is the proper opportunity for us to review all the activities which affect the world and environment and to create more activities with hand in hand to protect our beloved world.
The world problems which have been occurred recently have been mainly from human beings activities. Human beings are the main cause of environmental concerns in both direct and indirect ways. It is the time that we human beings have to change our actions that harm the earth. These improper actions are coming from the habits which are selfishness, greed and these habits are coming from the wrong thoughts and irresponsible attitudes.
Let’s imagine how much the world environment, both living and non-living beings, would be harmed by a person who has a bad attitude and selfish manner, who concerns only oneself and who does not care about the surroundings.
Moreover, if the persons in the community are also selfish and not caring about the environments, the negative consequences of the circumstances will be circularly expanded as a result and finally, it is very difficult to fix.
A bad attitude comes from the suffering mind. Those who are suffering, their minds are always cloudy, their speeches and actions will definitely affect the persons surrounding them. They will also suffer from the wrong actions and improper speeches. For example, the wastes and trashes which are thrown away into the oceans can travel throughout the world’s rivers and cause river water pollution and finally, the rivers will affect human beings both direct and indirect ways. Those who do this know that it is a wrong act but they’re still doing it because of their manner, habituation and negative attitude of not caring about others and environments.
On the other hand, those who care about others and environments are truly happy because their minds are always bright and pure. Consequently, their thoughts, speeches and actions will always encourage people around them to definitely care and protect the environments.
The Buddha said, in metaphor, the bright and pure mind is like clear water. When the water is turbulent, it is difficult to see but when it is calm everything becomes clear. Therefore, those with crystal clear minds will always have consciousness and be able to consider any situations carefully. Once they face the challenges, they will find the causes of the problems, and they will solve them wisely. Whether the problems are small or big, personal or national or even global level, finally all concerned problems will be solved completely.
How to develop a good attitude can be created by practicing meditation in daily life. If we keep practicing meditation, our minds will be purified and bright. The way to practice meditation is to close your eyes softly and gently, temporarily forget the various matters that occupy your mind. Make yourself feel as though your mind is empty of thoughts and clear.
Then breathe in and out deeply and gently several times. You will observe that the physical point at which your breath ends is the center of your body – it is the point of the greatest comfort and clarity. This point is the starting point for you to discover yourself and inner peace. As a matter of fact, this is the center of the body which all people possess.
Then imagine that you have a round, clear and bright crystal ball, like a midday sun, a full moon or a nighttime star shining brightly at the center of your body or around your abdomen. While you are doing this, various thoughts may occur in your mind. Please remain calm and softly repeat a short mantra; the sound seems to emerge from the bright crystal ball at the center of your body.
For example, use the short mantra “Samma Arahang” or “Clear and Bright”. Silently and gently repeat the mantra over and over until you feel free from worries and various thoughts. Then, you will be starting to touch the brightness and inner tranquility. This training method appears to be a beginner’s lesson. But we can train this way consistency at all times and in all positions by imagining a clear and bright crystal ball and quietly repeating the mantra continuously until your mind becomes still. At this moment, you will find that you will be peaceful with yourself and you are about to discover something amazing which you can observe the gradual changes in your body and mind. Moreover, you are experiencing the gradual start of good physical and mental developments. Even if you do not experience these results yet in one or two days, please continue to practice meditation daily like you take a shower or have a meal. You must maintain your effort like a tree you are planting. The seed will grow from a tiny plant into a big tree. This process is gradual and natural, so it takes time. We can’t measure its progression by measuring its centimeters in which the tree grows each day.
From various thoughts swirling around until there is only one remaining. And at the end, your feelings become one with the light of the bright crystal ball in the center of your body. When this occurs, you will find pure happiness and tranquility. It will be the happiness from within that you can find on your own and it is the true happiness which anyone can achieve regardless of a person’s ethnicity, language or religion. This is a universal human happiness which originates from yourself.It is the happiness that a person does not need to seek or pursue from external factors. And it is important that all human beings have both body and mind, the most effective tools to achieve inner peace. If you start to practice meditation, you will begin to know your mind and know how to control it. And this will let you to perform and exhibit the proper thoughts, speeches and actions. Moreover, you will understand others’ feelings and know how to control your desires properly.Finally, you will be able to distinguish right from wrong, good from evil. And if people in your family, in society, or anywhere in the world practice meditation as explained, they will be able to attain the true happiness from within what is called “inner serenity and peace,” this will make “external peace” happen, the pure true peace which does not come from using weapons or having victory in war.
The first training lesson which is already described is meditation practice. It is the path for building sustainable peace in human community. This is the great determination of The Most Venerable Dhammajayo Bhikkhu who has wished to spread this method of The Middle Way Meditation practice to people around the world in order to let them discover inner peace and inner self. This knowledge is not just a theory but something which a person can perform. A person can truly see the results and attain true peace.The human’s mind has great power but if the mind is shaped by greed, anger and delusion, human will fight, compete and exploit one another. In the long history of humankind, there are conflicts and wars in every era. What is the real reason for wars and world destruction? It is because the human mind has not achieved serenity, the prerequisite for true world peace. As The Most Venerable Dhammajayo Bhikkhu said:
“The human mind can be the starting point of both war and peace. If the human mind is in turmoil originating from greed, anger and delusion, these feelings are the cause of conflicts that arise. Wars and fighting exploded from the barrels of guns around the world and caused suffering for human beings; all these originated with the fire in peoples’ minds.
It is like the small flame from a lit match that spreads to burn down an entire city. At the same time, when the human mind is calm and cool, full of consciousness and wisdom, true happiness will arise. The result is peace for individuals, for families, for communities, for societies, for nations, and for the world. It is world peace that arises from inner serenity. Therefore, the mind is very important for it can cause of world war or world peace.”