A Pure Land on Earth 6

To transform our minds, we must understand the intimate relationship between the environment and the mind. Buddhists believe that if a person's mind is not pure and calm, whatever advanced technology he may possess, however pleasant the environment he may enjoy, he will not be happy. On the other hand, if a person's mind is pure and calm, even in a tumultuous and confusing environment, he or she can ride out the storm without losing composure. In the midst of disaster, he or she will not suffer, and will be able to help others.

Furthermore, if our minds are compassionate, we will tend to see the environment as deserving of our concern, and take steps to purify it through activism. The Buddha said, "The world changes according to our state of mind." In this way, environmental activism can be seen as an indirect result of cultivating meditation.


In the not too distant past, Buddhists believed that to practice Buddhism, you had to devote your entire life to a monastic style of practice. You had to stay in a remote place and devote your entire life to reading the sutras, prostrating before the Buddha's statue, and meditating. In modern times we have returned to the way Shakyamuni Buddha practiced Buddhism. The Buddha left home to become a monk because he saw sentient beings fighting among themselves and with themselves. Conflict existed in the inner mind and spread through words and action to the world beyond. All suffered from these fights, conflicts, and confusion. The Buddha vowed to find a way to help sentient beings alleviate this suffering.