Starting out on the path to a more
conservation practice

--- A R T I C L E ---


[  Himalayan Mountain  ]
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".

Studying 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 blossom."
The 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."

This 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.

I 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?
[  Himalayan Mountain  ]

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 practice with!

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.

TFDU-1 - July 2000

[  Himalayan Mountain  ]



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