I promised I would write an article on conservation
for the Vayulila site. Preferably something close
to me I was told. But as I began to think of all
the issues that I cared about, they all began
to appear interrelated, and each one worthy of
attention. Should I summarise from a UN report,
focus on cost benefits, look at a small local
issue, a national issue, an American issue….rainforests,
salination, population, extinction….? The list
is endless it seems.
Well, as I despaired about where to start, what
topic to choose out of the thousands of worthy
international and local conservation issues I
was suddenly inspired by the thought of two (seemingly
unrelated) things. Firstly, studying the Mahasiddhas
in "Snowboarding to Nirvana", and secondly a young
Rama in "Surfing the Himalayas", and his desperate
plea to Master Fwap to explain how the world is
"empty and pure".
the 84 Mahasiddhas
"You may choose to study
one of them and the methods for attainment, several
of them, or all eighty four of them. The knowledge
of more is not necessarily better than the knowledge
of a few, or even one of them. It is a matter of individual
preference. Our concern here is not the quantity of
techniques that you come to know, but that you attain
the skillful means by which your enlightenment will
Handbook of Enlightenment - Snowboarding to Nirvana
So…I reflected on how I feel about the Mahasiddhas
and tried to relate it to conservation. I have had
the greatest opportunity to meet my root guru. He
and Vayu are my main inspiration, and most close to
my heart. So I will try to do justice most to discover
what Rama has said about conservation and power places.
This site is afterall, dedicated to him and Vayu,
his closest companion.
Then, there are several of the masters who I also
seem drawn to (like Padmasambhava, Milerapa, etc)
therefore I will also start to tackle those issues
I feel particularly drawn to.
And then again, I am also want to study all of the
masters - so will do a bit of everything. Mixing it
up I think is the term.
Empty and pure
"But Master Fwap, how can
you say life is empty and pure like snow? The world
man has created is a horrible place. It is filled
with noise and pollution. This is one of the few clean
places left on the earth. And that's not the half
of it. People are cruel to each other. They kill each
other in wars, steal from each other, and oppress
each other in a thousand different ways! How can you
say the world is empty and pure? I think it is the
opposite: it is crowded and impure."
quote from Rama captures perfectly all our pain
at seeing the world as it is, or as we think it
is. Without the wisdom of enlightenment, we see
problems. Is this not the way we feel when thinking
about conservation issues that plague the Earth?
I do. It all begins to add up into some huge insurmountable
problem, that I don't know where to start, and
so give up without trying.
recently bumped into a friend of mine at a street
corner. She was bright and cheery about starting
an environmental degree course. Several months
later I spoke to her again, and asked her how
the course was going.
She said she had given up, because it had been
too depressing. The more she had learned about
the severity of the current situation, the more
impossible it seemed to her that we could make
any difference. Does this sound familiar?
The world is empty and pure.
It has always been that way and it will be so, for
all time. That cannot be changed by any of us. …..
To suffer because of anything you see, feel or experience
here in the world of moment to moment is a mistake!
It is like becoming upset over a frightening dream.
The world is empty," Master Fwap almost whispered.
"All of the people and places, the earth, the seas,
mountains, deserts, forests and cities, and the beings
that inhabit them, are unchangeable."
For the first time I could relate to conservation
in a new way: as a means to practice. Not only the
obvious love and compassion, and not only to know
the interconnectedness of all things - these would
all be bonuses - but the epiphany for me, the most
exciting of all, is to try to see through the 'emptiness'
into eternal life. To try to push past the science,
the fabric, and 'feel' the reality more. By looking
out at the world I can actually practice what Rama
said in his "Insights" on the eighth road of being:
"Feel the pain of the world and be happy anyway!"
Because there is a shit load of pain out there to
Suddenly it feels Tantric again - and not just plain
"goody-two" shoes. It's actually a selfish exercise,
that can be a win-win. It's more of an exercise to
me to integrate what Rama has said, into a real experience.
Now I am ready to tackle the article.
I have a couple of personal experiences that will
start me off on a few adventures. So look out for
them here…and perhaps you will start on the path to
Conservation too, or maybe you are well ahead, and
can call out hello.
Happy earth to you.