Buddhist practice and Nature

Having conquered all temptations, Siddhartha touched the ground with one hand and asked the Earth to be witness to his awakening. ~ The Buddha was born under a tree, first meditated under a tree, became enlightened under a tree, and died under a tree. His relationship with nature was profound and intimate, and guided him on his journey toward enlightenment. Yet vipassana’s teachings contain precious little instruction on how we, like Siddhartha, might derive true insight through deep attention to the plants, animals and streams in nature.

There is an urgent need today to highlight aspects of Buddhist teachings that guide our actions in support of planetary wholeness, and to develop practices that deepen our own connection to that wholeness.   

For Thanksgiving Sunday’s session, Lorilee featured teachings by Micah Mortali from Kripalu Center, leading into a nature meditation. Lorilee also read aloud ecologist Matthew Zylstra’s comments on “What Vipassana Forgot”, regarding some potential missing pieces regarding teachings about nature. Finally, we heard a teaching on Sila, or right conduct by Ajahn Succito (linked below), which highlights the need for a great focus on nature from a Buddhist perspective.

You can watch Ajahn Succito’s talk here: