http://www.UrbanDharma.org ...Buddhism for Urban America


The Urban Dharma Newsletter... March 18, 2003


In This Issue:

1. Buddhist Humor...
2. Letting Go
(The Dhammapada)
3. Acceptance and Letting Go
...by Venerable Lama Yeshe Losal
LETTING GO ...by Ajahn Sumedho
5. Temple/Center/Website- of the Week:
Orange County Buddhist Church
6. Book Review: Guided Meditations: For Developing Calmness, Awareness, and Love
...by Bodhipaksa
7. Peace Link: The Earth Charter


1. Buddhist Humor...

A youth asked,

What of Night and Day?

He then said: The darkness of Night is less in the sky than in the mind. For which of us cannot create the illusion of Night by holding a large hollow gourd over his head?

Far different the Day, the Master continued. It is beyond Man's capacity, even for an instant, to create the appearance of Day.

But the petulant youth persisted: What if one were to gather a thousand candles in a single room?

The Master responded: A thousand candles do not equal a Day, even in a small room - say nine and a half by eleven.

Ten thousand candles, Master?


Twenty thousand candles Master?


Sixty thousand candles, Master?


One hundred thousand candles, Master?


I give up, the youth exclaimed.

Too bad, the Master shouted. You were only off by six!

2. Letting Go (The Dhammapada)

Let go the past, let go the future, and let go what is in between, transcending the things of time. With your mind free in every direction, you will not return to birth and aging. (348)

3. Acceptance and Letting Go ...from 'Living Dharma' by Venerable Lama Yeshe Losal

* http://www.samyeling.org/Buddhism/Teachers/Lama%20Yeshe/4vlylLetting%20Go.htm

If meditators lead lives based on selfishness, they are likely to bring exactly the same approach to their meditation and will be short-tempered, angry, uptight meditators. If their ambition is to have a completely silent mind, and people close-by make noises, they will think that all these people around them are disturbing their meditation and taking away their peace of mind! Eventually, every noise will become their enemy. When we think like that, we become very emotional, and then where is our meditation? Therefore, if we notice that we are becoming short-tempered, uptight and getting headaches, we should know that we are meditating in a wrong way. Never allow yourself to meditate like that!

`Noise is a challenge. If we can make it part of our meditation, we will really make progress. If we are able to somehow incorporate the noise into our meditation, we will feel confident that we can literally meditate in the middle of the traffic. Noise can no longer bother us.

While meditating, some people get disturbed by what they see. They close their eyes in order not to see what is in front of them, but then something else will start disturbing them. They want to get rid of all sorts of things and their sight becomes their enemy. Meditation should not be an excuse to blame something or somebody for taking away our inner peace. This is a wrong way of thinking, because if we accept everything that comes our way, then nothing can bother us anymore and our inner peace is there all the time. The point is that whatever obstacle arises, if a meditator blames that for not finding inner peace, then eventually every object becomes our enemy.

Let me give you an example from my own life. When I began my long retreat in Woodstock, New York, I had a nice house next to the monastery and all the conditions were wonderful for practice, so I was very happy.

However, soon after my retreat started, the monastery decided to start a major building project right next to my house. The whole area became a building site, full of heavy machinery, so my whole house was shaking. They even cut off my electricity and water supply! I was very upset - I felt that my retreat was ruined.It gave me so much trouble I could hardly meditate.

Things got really bad and I was so upset by the noise and shaking, but then my teacher came to see me and said: the noise is your meditation. This really helped me. I stopped fighting it, and began to accept it. This was a real turning point. It is very important for a practitioner to accept noise. If you don't, if noise becomes your enemy, then eventually everything will be your enemy and you will be unable to practise. During your meditation if you are bothered with noise instead of seeing it as your enemy, you should make it your friend. So this was a very important lesson for me.

However, maybe my noise karma was not yet exhausted, because when I did my second retreat at Samye Ling in Scotland, I had a beautiful quiet house with a porch, and then the monastery decided to rebuild the Purelands Retreat Centre right on my doorstep. So again the whole place became a building site! In fact, the workers began to pile up their tools and dusty bags of cement right inside my porch! But it was okay for me. I began to think, Lama Yeshe, you must meditate for them. They are working so hard, they are building a retreat centre for others to practise the Dharma. You must practise for them. So I encourage all of you to work with noise and disturbance and not to feel that they are obstacles. Then you can meditate anywhere and find peace no matter what.

Meditation means simple acceptance. How can we talk about being non-judgmental, non-grasping, if we have so many judgements in our mind, expecting certain feelings out of our meditation and completely rejecting some other experiences? People who adopt such an attitude are in a way like boxers going into the ring. They are thumping and punching, but they are the losers, because there is actually nobody to box! For a good meditator, all mental activities are nothing more than clouds in the sky. They come from nowhere and disappear into nowhere.

Many people come to tell me that it's an easy thing to say, but that these are real things happening! Real things are happening because you let yourself think it is really happening! If you go on insisting that it's really there, I ask you again, how big is it, what shape, size and colour does it have? If you answer that it has none of these material characteristics, then how can you call it a real thing happening? You made it real!

We build up things like, for instance, friends. We think we really like a person and start thinking of all his/her good qualities. We build it up and that person gets better and better every day! But when things turn sour, we start seeing faults and the next day we notice more and more. Our belief in the reality of our feelings is what causes so much unhappiness - unnecessary unhappiness.These feelings may start as something very small but day after day we nurture them and make them grow. Whenever you meditate and you think that real things are truly happening, just investigate what is there. Instead of running away, confront them and say, OK, I want to introduce myself to you. I want to know you better. If you really approach it that way, you will realise that nothing is actually happening.

4. SKILFUL MEANS: LETTING GO ...by Ajahn Sumedho

* http://www.amaravati.fslife.co.uk/english/documents/cittavivaka/data/04lett.html

Truly, wisdom springs from meditation;

without meditation, wisdom wanes;

having known these two paths

of progress and decline,

let one conduct oneself

so that wisdom may increase.

Dhammapada 282

WE HAVE BEEN DISCUSSING the First Noble Truth – suffering – which becomes increasingly apparent as you sit here contemplating your own body and mind. Just be aware of what happens: you can see that when good thoughts pass by, or physical pleasure, there's happiness, and when there's pain or negativity, there's despair. So we can see we are always habitually trying to attain, or maintain or get rid, of conditions. The Second Noble Truth is that of being aware of the arising of the three kinds of desire that we have – desire for sense pleasure, for becoming, or for getting rid of something – and how this arises according to conditions. The penetration of the Third Noble Truth is to see how that which arises has a cessation. We become aware of the cessation, the letting go, and thus develop the Fourth Noble Truth, the Truth of the Eightfold Path – right understanding, right intention, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness and right concentration – in other words, the path of awareness.

To be aware we have to use skilful means, because at first we're mystified. We tend to conceive awareness and try to become aware, thinking that awareness is something we have to get or attain or try to develop; but this very intention, this very conceptualisation makes us heedless! We keep trying to become mindful, rather than just being aware of the mind as it tries to become and tries to attain, following the three kinds of desire that cause us suffering.

The practice of 'letting go' is very effective for minds obsessed by compulsive thinking: you simplify your meditation practice down to just two words – 'letting go' – rather than try to develop this practice and then develop that; and achieve this and go into that, and understand this, and read the Suttas, and study the Abhidhamma ... and then learn Pali and Sanskrit ... then the Madhyamika and the Prajña Paramita ... get ordinations in the Hinayana, Mahayana, Vajrayana ... write books and become a world renowned authority on Buddhism. Instead of becoming the world's expert on Buddhism and being invited to great International Buddhist Conferences, just 'let go, let go, let go'.

I did nothing but this for about two years – every time I tried to understand or figure things out, I'd say 'let go, let go' until the desire would fade out. So I'm making it very simple for you, to save you from getting caught in incredible amounts of suffering. There's nothing more sorrowful than having to attend International Buddhist Conferences! Some of you might have the desire to become the Buddha of the age, Maitreya, radiating love throughout the world – but instead, I suggest just being an earthworm, letting go of the desire to radiate love throughout the world. Just be an earthworm who knows only two words – 'let go, let go, let go'. You see, ours is the Lesser Vehicle, the Hinayana, so we only have these simple, poverty-stricken practices!

The important thing in meditation practice is to be constant and resolute in the practice, determined to be enlightened. This is not to be conceited or foolish, but resolute, even when the going is rough. Remind yourself of Buddha-Dhamma-Sangha, and stay with it – letting go of despair, letting go of anguish, letting go of pain, of doubt, of everything that arises and passes that we habitually cling to and identify with. Keep this 'letting go' like a constant refrain in your mind, so it just pops up on its own no matter where you are.

At first we have to obsess our minds with this, because our minds are obsessed with all kinds of useless things – with worries about this and that, with doubt, with anger, vindictiveness, jealousy, fear, dullness and stupidity of various kinds. We have obsessive minds that are obsessed with things that cause us pain and lead us into difficulties in life. Our society has taught us how to fill up the mind, jam it full of ideas, prejudices, regrets, anticipations and expectations – it is a society for filling up vessels. Look at the book stores here in Oxford, filled up with all the information you could possibly want to know, published in very nice bindings with pictures and illustrations.... Or we can fill our minds by watching TV, going to the cinema, reading the newspapers.... That's a good way to fill your mind up – but look at what's printed in the newspapers! It appeals to people's lower instincts and drives – all about violence, wars, corruption and perversities, and gossip.

All this has its effect on the mind. As long as our minds are obsessed with facts, symbols and conventions, then if we stuff any more into it, it becomes jam-packed full and we have to go crazy. We can go out and get drunk – it's a way of letting go! What do you think pubs are for? There we can dare to say all the things we want to say but don't have the nerve to say when sober. We can be irrational, be silly, laugh and cavort, 'because I was drunk, I was under the influence of alcohol'.

When we don't understand the nature of things, we are very suggestible. You see in our society how suggestion works on teenagers. Now it's the punk-rock generation – everybody in that generation thinks of themselves as punks and acts like it. Fashions are all suggestion – for women you are not beautiful unless you are dressed in a certain way. Cinema films suggest all kinds of delights to the senses, and we think maybe we should try that, maybe we are missing something if we aren't experiencing it.... It's so bad now that nobody knows what is beautiful or ugly any more. Somebody says that harmony is cacophony, and if you don't know and are still subject to suggestion, you believe that. Even if you don't believe at first, it begins to work on your mind so you start thinking: 'Maybe it is that way, maybe immorality is morality, and morality is immorality.'

We feel obliged to know all kinds of things – to understand and to try to convince others. You hear my talks, you read books, and you want to tell others about Buddhism – you might even feel a bit evangelical after the retreat – but keep letting go of even the desire to tell others. When we feel enthusiastic, we begin to impose on other people; but in meditation we let go of the desire to influence others until the right time for it occurs – then it happens naturally rather than as an aggressive ambition.

So you do the things that need to be done, and you let go. When people tell you should read this book, and that book, take this course and that course ... study Pali, the Abhidhamma ... go into the history of Buddhism, Buddhist logic ... and on and on like that... 'let go, let go, let go'. If you fill your mind with more concepts and opinions, you are just increasing your ability to doubt. It's only through learning how to empty the mind out that you can fill it with things of value – and learning how to empty a mind takes a great deal of wisdom.

Here in this meditation retreat, the suggestions I am giving you are for skilful means. The obsession of 'letting go' is a skilful one – as you repeat this over and over, whenever a thought arises, you are aware of its arising. You keep letting go of whatever moves – but if it doesn't go, don't try to force it. This 'letting go' practice is a way of clearing the mind of its obsessions and negativity; use it gently, but with resolution. Meditation is a skilful letting go, deliberately emptying out the mind so we can see the purity of the mind – cleaning it out so we can put the right things in it.

You respect your mind, so you are more careful what you put in it. If you have a nice house, you don't go out and pick up all the filth from the street and bring it in, you bring in things that will enhance it and make it a refreshing and delightful place.

If you are going to identify with anything, then don't identify with mortal conditions. See what identification is – investigate your own mind to see clearly the nature of thought, of memory, of sense consciousness, and of feeling as impermanent conditions. Bring your awareness to the slower things, to the transiency of bodily sensation; investigate pain and see it as a moving energy, a changing condition. Emotionally, it seems permanent when you are in pain, but that is just an illusion of the emotions – let go of it all. Even if you have insight, even if you understand everything clearly – let go of the insight.

When the mind is empty, say ' Who is it that lets go?' Ask the question, try to find out who it is, what it is that lets go. Bring up that not-knowing state with the word Who – 'Who am I? Who lets go?' A state of uncertainty arises; bring this up, allow it to be . . . and there is emptiness, voidness, the state of uncertainty when the mind just goes blank.

I keep stressing this right understanding, right attitude, right intention, more towards simplifying your life so that you aren't involved in unskilful and complex activities. So that you don't live heedlessly, exploiting others and having no respect for yourself or the people around you. Develop the Precepts as a standard, and develop nekkhamma – renunciation of that which is unskilful or unnecessary – and then mentally let go of greed, let go of hatred, let go of delusion.

This is not being averse to these conditions; it is letting go of them when you find you are attached. When you are suffering - 'Why am I suffering? Why am I miserable?' Because you are clinging to something! Find out what you are clinging to, to get to the source. 'I'm unhappy because nobody loves me.' That may be true, maybe nobody loves you, but the unhappiness comes from wanting people to love you. Even if they do love you, you will still have suffering if you think that other people are responsible for your happiness or your suffering. Someone says, 'You are the greatest person in the world!' – and you jump for joy. Someone says, 'You are the most horrible person I've met in my life!' – and you get depressed. Let go of depression, let go of happiness. Keep the practice simple: live your life mindfully, morally, and have faith in letting go.

It's important for you to realise that none of us are helpless victims of fate – but we are as long as we remain ignorant. As long as you remain ignorant, you are a helpless victim of your ignorance. All that is ignorant is born and dies, it is bound to die – that's all, it's caught in the cycle of death and rebirth. And if you die, you will be reborn – you can count on it. And the more heedlessly you lead your life, the worse the rebirth.

So the Buddha taught a way to break the cycle, and that's through awareness, through seeing the cycle rather than being attached to it. When you let go of the cycle, then you are no longer harmed by it. So you let go of the cycle, let go of birth and death, let go of becoming. Letting go of desire is the development of the Third Noble Truth which leads to the Eightfold Path.

5. Orange County Buddhist Church

* http://www.bca-ocbc.org/

909 South Dale Avenue Anaheim, California 92804 

TEL: (714)827-9590 FAX: (714)827-2860   

Orange County Buddhist Church (OCBC), located in Anaheim California, is a member of the Buddhist Churches of America (BCA), headquartered in San Francisco, California. The temple belongs to the Jodo Shinshu Hompa Hongwanji Ha tradition of Buddhism and the Mother Temple is the Nishi Hongwanji located in Kyoto, Japan.

Regular Sunday Services:    

10:00 a.m. Service in English

10:45 a.m. Dharma School

                Adult English Class

                Adult Japanese Class

1:00 p.m.   Service in Japanese

Meditation Service:

Sundays at 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.

OCBC Mini Chapel, next to the main sanctuary. 

The Meditation service consists of sitting meditation, walking meditation, sutra chanting, and a short Dharma message. The meditation service begins promptly at 8:30 a.m. so please try and arrive early so that you do not disturb the session once it begins. Wear comfortable loose clothing. You may sit on the floor on a meditation cushion, or you may sit in a chair.

Previous experience in meditation is not required.

On the Threat of War... Rev. Marvin Harada

    Recent world events leave us in an unsettling situation, wondering if our country is about to go to war with Iraq.  People are buying up duct tape from the stores in preparation for possible bio-chemical terrorist attacks.  The President speaks strongly that Saddam Hussein will be made to disarm, regardless.  How should we understand this situation that the entire world finds itself in?  Is peace a viable possibility?  Can we use force to create peace? 

    In the book, “The Teachings of the Buddha”, edited by Jack Kornfield, there is the following quotation from the Dhammapada, one of the oldest of Buddhist texts:


        “All beings tremble before violence.

         All fear death.

         All love life.

         See yourself in others.

         Then whom can you hurt?

         What harm can you do?

         He who seeks happiness

         By hurting those who seek happiness

         Will never find happiness

         For your brother is like you.

         He wants to be happy.

         Never harm him

         And when you leave this life

        You too will find happiness.

                 p. 8, “Teachings of the Buddha”

                 edited by Jack Kornfield

    In light of the recent current events, this passage to me carries great meaning.  “All beings tremble before violence.  All fear death.  All love life.”

    There is a universality of life expressed here.  All beings love life.  Who is there that does not?  When we understand that all beings love life, how can we propose to take that precious life away from others?             

    “See yourself in others.  Then whom can you hurt?” When we dualistically look at the world as us against them, friend vs. foe, then great barriers can arise between people.  This can occur between two people, between organizations, between countries.  When we look at the world non-dualistically, then the world is not divided between friend and foe, us vs. them.  We begin to see ourselves in others.  They seek happiness like me.  They wish the best for their children like me.  They feel joy and sorrow, pain and suffering, just like me.  How can they be so different than me?  When I can see a part of myself in others, then how can I bring harm on to others?

    Shinran Shonin also lived in a turbulent and chaotic time.  There was political unrest and fighting.  Even traditional Buddhist groups brought forth persecution to Honen, Shinran, and others who were proponents of the “new” Nembutsu movement.  Despite this chaotic time that Shinran lived in, he offered these words that were the sub-theme of our Buddhist Churches of America this past year:  “Spread the Buddha-Dharma and make the world at peace.”  (Buppo hiromare, yo no naka annon nare.)  These words from Shinran Shonin are also most important for our world today.  Perhaps one way to contribute to greater peace in the world is to share the Buddha-Dharma with others.

    Shinran’s teacher, Honen, experienced great personal tragedy in his life as a young boy.  His father lay dying from a violent attack by an opposing political group.  His last wish to his son was that he become a Buddhist monk, because hatred cannot be overcome by hatred.  Although Honen as a young boy must have felt great anger and hatred to those who killed his father, he followed his father’s wish and entered the Buddhist path at the age of nine. 

    I heard another version of this story from Honen from a talk or sermon somewhere.  That version related that it was Honen’s mother who pleaded with Honen to become a monk.  Upon the death of his father, Honen wanted to seek revenge and kill the murderer of his father.  His mother stopped him by saying, “If you kill the murderer of your father, then someday that man’s son will want to take revenge and kill you.  The killing will go on endlessly for generations.”

    How true those words are when we reflect on them in the context of today’s world and society.  Gang wars are always about retaliating for something done to them.  The opposing gang must then seek revenge and retaliate back.  Soon neither side remembers what the initial conflict was about, except that they must retaliate the most recent violence brought on to them.  The conflict between Israel and the Palestinians seems to be the same kind of example of retaliations that have gone on for decades, if not centuries.

Where does it stop?  When both sides have beaten each other into the ground? 

    The book, “Teachings of the Buddha” also has a very meaningful passage from Buddhist sutras that I would like to share.

Sand Castles

    “Some children were playing beside a river.  They made castles of sand, and each child defended his castle and said, ‘This one is mine.’  They kept their castles separate and would not allow any mistakes about which was whose.  When the castles were all finished, one child kicked over someone else’s castle and completely destroyed it.  The owner of the castle flew into a rage, pulled the other child’s hair, struck him with his fist and bawled out, ‘He has spoiled my castle!  Come along all of you and help me to punish him as he deserves.’  The others all came to his help.  They beat the child with a stick and then stamped on him as he lay on the ground....Then they went on playing in their sand castles, each saying, ‘This is mine; no one else may have it.  Keep away!  Don’t touch my castle!’  But evening came; it was getting dark and they all thought they ought to be going home.  No one now cared what became of his castle.  One child stamped on his, another pushed his over with both hands.  Then they turned away and went back, each to his home.”

       From the Yogacara Bhumi Sutra

        Translated by Arthur Waley

        p. 16, “Teachings of the Buddha”

        edited by Jack Kornfield.

    As we live in a time when there is threat of war, I hope that we do not become like this example of children destroying each other’s sand castles.  Countries and cities can be easily destroyed with modern warfare, almost as easily as kicking down a sand castle.  However, homes and schools, families and lives, cannot be rebuilt as easily as a castle in the sand.

Namuamidabutsu, Rev. Marvin Harada

6. Guided Meditations: For Developing Calmness, Awareness, and Love ...by Bodhipaksa


Book Description

Ideal for beginners to meditation, this CD will guide you through the most fundamental Buddhist meditation practices, and is a straightforward guide to working with your mind in order to become calmer and happier.

The Mindfulness of Breathing practice will help you to develop more calmness and peace of mind; the Metta Bhavana will help you to develop a more positive attitude to yourself and others; and walking meditation is a powerful method of bringing awareness into your daily life.

This audio CD contains three guided meditations:

The mindfulness of breathing (27.12)

The Metta Bhavana (development of lovingkindness) (26.50)

Walking meditation (19:48)

From the Inside Flap

Although these meditations are taken from the Buddhist tradition, you do not have to be a Buddhist or to abandon your current spiritual tradition in order to practice them. These are universal practices, speaking to the human condition and helping us to become more aware and more loving individuals.

Mindfulness of Breathing

This practice is in four stages. After setting up our posture, we become more aware of our bodies and relax as deeply as possible. We become aware of the breath naturally flowing in and out, and then:

1. Count just after each out breath. Count up to ten breaths, and then start over at one.

2. As with the previous stage, but count just before each in breath.

3. Let go of the counting, simply following the breath.

4. Focus on the place where we first feel the breath entering and leaving our bodies (usually the rims of the nostrils).

Whenever we become aware that our minds have wandered, we let go of our distractions and come back to the breath once again.

Metta Bhavana Practice

"Metta" is essentially untranslatable. It means "love", "friendliness", "lovingkindness", and "empathy". It's an attitude of caring, concern, and cherishing. It's something we've all experienced to some degree or another. We experience metta every time we feel concerned about someone we know, or when we practice patience, or when we spontaneously help someone who is in difficulties. "Bhavana" means "cultivation" or "development", and so this is the practice of the "development of lovingkindness". It is based on the insight that all beings desire freedom from suffering.

The metta bhavana is in five stages. As always, we begin by setting up our posture, becoming more aware of our body and relaxing as deeply as we can. We become aware of our emotions, accepting that whatever we feel is where we are starting from.

We then:

1. Cultivate metta (love, care, forgiveness, etc) towards ourselves.

2. Cultivate metta for a good friend.

3. Cultivate metta for a "neutral person" (someone we don't have any strong feelings for).

4. Cultivate metta for someone that we experience conflict with, or for whom we feel ill will.

5. Cultivate metta for all beings capable of experiencing suffering and of desiring well being.

Walking meditation

Walking meditation is an unstructured practice where we use the experience of walking as an object of awareness — being aware of our bodies, our feelings and emotions, our thoughts, and our senses. If our mind wanders, we bring it back to our present experience. This helps us to remain "in the moment".

You can do walking meditation as part of a normal walk to work or to the grocery store, or you can set aside some special time to do the practice in the countryside or in a park. Other forms of walking meditation are described on the Wildmind site.

About the Author

Born in Scotland in 1961, Bodhipaksa has been practicing meditation for 20 years, and has been teaching for over ten years. In 1993 he was ordained into the Western Buddhist Order, when he was given his Buddhist name, which means "Wings of Enlightenment." He has a degree in veterinary medicine, and has worked as a printer, an adult education worker, a youth worker, a retreat center director, and a meditation teacher. For two years he taught in the Religious Studies department of the University of Montana. Bodhipaksa currently conducts distance learning courses in meditation through his website.

Amazon.com- Reviewer: daffydu from Del Mar, CA United States This is hands-down the best meditation CD I've come across. I'd give it 6 stars if I could. It's not tarted up with hokey sound effects and New Age music but is simply the teacher's (very pleasant) voice, guiding you to calm and relaxation. His approach is highly accessible for Westerners and really taught me how to meditate. I'm such a big fan of this CD, in fact, that I've bought at least four to give as gifts to stressed-out friends and family members. (One of the recipients was a voice teacher who said she could listen to him all night.) If you like what you hear, you should also check out the outstanding online meditation courses he offers on www.wildmind.org. I can't recommend the CD or the courses highly enough.

Amazon.com- Reviewer: A reader from Kanata, Ontario Canada If you would like an introduction to Buddhist Meditation, this is the cd for you! The cd contains three lead meditations, 1) The Mindfulness of breathing practice. 2) The Metta Bhavana Practice (Loving Kindness) 3) Walking Mediation.

I found Bodhipaksa's cd to be a breath of fresh air. His soft clear voice is perfect to lead meditations. He carefully sets up each meditation in easy to follow steps. This kind of clarity is only found with someone who has been doing something for a long time. It is easy to tell that Bodhipaksa is passionate about what he does. (Bodhipaksa is a member of the Western Buddhist Order, and has been a practicing Buddhist for eighteen years, and teaching meditation for more than a decade)

Relevant to today's society, where the pace of life is way too fast, and stress is at an all time high. Relax and Rejuvenate with Bodhipaksa and this is guided meditation CD, it is like having your own private meditation teacher. I can't wait for the book!!!

7. The Earth Charter

* http://www.earthcharter.org/

The Earth Charter is an authoritative synthesis of values, principles, and aspirations that are widely shared by growing numbers of men and women in all regions of the world. The principles of the Earth Charter reflect extensive international consultations conducted over a period of many years. These principles are also based upon contemporary science, international law, and the insights of philosophy and religion. Successive drafts of the Earth Charter were circulated around the world for comment and debate by nongovernmental organizations, community groups, professional societies, and international experts in many fields.

Origin and history of the Earth Charter

In 1987 the United Nations World Commission on Environment and Development issued a call for creation of a new charter that would set forth fundamental principles for sustainable development. The drafting of an Earth Charter was part of the unfinished business of the 1992 Rio Earth Summit. In 1994 Maurice Strong, the Secretary General of the Earth Summit and Chairman of the Earth Council, and Mikhail Gorbachev, President of Green Cross International, launched a new Earth Charter initiative with support from the Dutch government. An Earth Charter Commission was formed in 1997 to oversee the project and an Earth Charter Secretariat was established at the Earth Council in Costa Rica.

Mission of the Earth Charter Initiative

A new phase in the Initiative began with the official launching of the Earth Charter at the Peace Palace in The Hague on June 29, 2000. The mission of the Initiative going forward is to establish a sound ethical foundation for the emerging global society and to help build a sustainable world based on respect for nature, universal human rights, economic justice, and a culture of peace.

The goals of the Earth Charter Initiative are:

To promote the dissemination and implementation of the Earth Charter by civil society, business, and government.

To encourage and support the educational use of the Earth Charter in formal as well as informal settings.

To seek endorsement of the Earth Charter by the UN.


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