Ecology and the Eightfold Path
During this dialogue, Peter described the extraordinary complexity of our material culture, compared to the time of the Buddha. He also emphasized how easy it is to just think about pollution, global warming, and resource scarcity in the abstract, at a distance from the daily choices we make. He described the history of his developing concerns regarding the environment, beginning with such books as “Silent Spring”, “Diet For A Small Planet” and “Voluntary Simplicity”. The inspirational and informative quality of the books combined with the development of his Buddhist practice. He presented this as a realistic model of how the Four Clear Comprehensions (satisampajjana) can provide ways to make concrete decisions that are beneficial for the environment (in a small, personal way) and one’s sense of meaningful action in the world. During the ensuing discussion, examples from the persons attending the meeting were analyzed through the lens of satisampajjana.