【All things that happen throughout the world are issues in common for all people】
Normally, by this time of the year, the hot days are about to pass, and we start to feel autumn approaching in the winds…this year’s summer in Manhattan continues to be very hot, however. Something is strange. And it seems Manhattan is not the only place such phenomenon is occurring.
Heat wave • hurricane • flooding • severe and extreme weather are occurring here and there in various places of the world. Yes, that is so.
We should not ignore the problems of climate change, a.k.a. global warming. This is an issue in common for all people.
It seems consensus among the scientists has actually yet to be reached regarding each individual phenomenon that occur as result of global warming.
Yet, carbon dioxide (CO2) that began to be discharged with the dawn of Industrial Revolution is recognized to be the main cause of global warming.
The possibility of global warming triggering various changes on earth has been indicated, and in the big picture, it has been said that global warming would greatly impact the climate • ecological system of the entire planet.
Needless to say, at present, researchers from many countries specializing in this problem that we human beings have been assigned, as well as the people of various disciplines, are tackling this issue head on.
Researchers associated with this have been saying: before this problem reaches a catastrophic state, how to delay this crisis from becoming a major threat and whether we individuals are able to adapt to such a society are hereafter huge challenges for the human society. I certainly share the same feelings.
Currently, it is essentialfor us to follow a symbiotic path to face this problem which has been assigned to us as a common issue for all humankind.
And yet, while a shared awareness is being nurtured in this area, now, at this very moment, when we turn our eyes to other areas, ‘conflicts between nations • civil wars’ are erupting here and there.
Someone said: “A world without conflict is not much better than being dead.” Yes, one can say that. Yes, I understand. It is not that conflict is bad, or that we should eliminate conflict. What we human beings need to do is to acquire wisdom so we do not end up with wars.
In 1978, our Founder addressed the First UN Special Session on Disarmament. He made an appeal for disarmament to the policy-makers saying: “Instead of taking risks to arm ourselves, we should take the risk for peace.”
The effort for peace is endless. So what is the basic stance we, as Buddhist, should have as we undertake the task of working toward realization of peace?
President Niwano often quotes from the Dhammapada: “It is true that hatred does not eradicate hatred. Hatred is only extinguished by compassion. Therefore, it is through this spirit of compassion that the chain of angeris cut and we are able to build a world in which we can live together.”
This is the viewpoint that we should hold as we endeavor toward realization of peace. Through the spirit of compassion, the chain of anger is cut. Yes, that is so. The compassionate heart spreads widely and wraps around anger.
The origin of the compassionate heart is from the Four Immeasurable Hearts (shi mu ryoh shin) called “Ji Hi Ki Sha” (Ji=mercy, love; Hi=grieve: the two togetherJihi=compassion) (Ki=joy) (Sha=free from attachment). Our compassionate heart is nurtured and developed by putting into practice these four spirits (hearts) beneficial to others that immeasurably spread.
By praying for the other person’s happiness, sharing their joy…and furthermore, as the circle of those to whom we want to give joy becomes wider, we become kinder to ourselves and others.
As Buddhists, doesn’t this practice become the way to walk toward peace?
At present, when we look at the problems of Climate Change • Global Warming, which are being raised as issues common to all human beings, we are reminded that all things are one with the Great Life Force, that the entire world is united as one life, and our realization that we have all mutually been gifted the Buddha’s life is revived.
It would be wonderful for each one of us to walk the path with the awareness of being a practitioner toward peace.Minister of New York Church