Buddhism


Central to Buddhist teachings is the law of cause and effect, which states that every cause we make (in thought, word or deed) creates an effect in our own life and that of our environment. Whilst our environment can influence us either positively or negatively, it also works the other way round: we can influence and change our environment. This is because human beings and their environment are inextricably connected.

The Buddhist principle of the oneness of self and environment (esho funi) which means that life (sho) and its environment (e) are inseparable (funi). Funi means "two but not two." This means that although we perceive things around us as separate from us, there is a dimension of our lives that is one with the universe. At the most fundamental level of life itself, there is no separation between ourselves and the environment. Buddhism says that everything around us, including work and family relationships, is the reflection of our inner lives. Everything is perceived through the self and alters according to the individual's inner state of life. Thus, if we change ourselves, our circumstances will inevitably change also.

The single most positive action we can make for society and the land is to transform our own lives, so that they are no longer dominated by greed, anger and fear. When we manifest wisdom, generosity and integrity, we naturally make more valuable choices, and we will find that our surroundings are nurturing and supportive. Often, we cannot foresee the long-term results of our actions, and it is hard to believe that one individual's choices can really affect the state of the world, but Buddhism teaches that through the oneness of self and environment, everything is interconnected. And the more we believe that our actions do make a difference, the greater the difference we find we can make.