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Dharma Master Hsin Tao Addresses the Climate Action Assembly

Dharma Master Hsin Tao addresses the Climate Action Assembly II at the 2023 Parliament of the World’s Religions in Chicago, USA.

Esteemed religious leaders, dear friends of the Parliament of the World’s Religions peace and blessings to you. Our topic today is “defending freedom and human rights” and we need to look at it from the sustainable development of humankind in order to make sense of it.

Right now, the Earth and human beings are facing a critical moment of survival. Climate warming has melted the icebergs in the North and South Poles and the sea is about to submerge the land. The forest fires in Canada have been burned to the ground. Floods and droughts continue everywhere, storms and hurricanes occur frequently, weapons of war and nuclear test explosions accelerate the heating of the earth transforming it into a big furnace. Spring, summer, fall and winter seasons are disappearing, plant seeds cannot grow, and the food crisis will be here in no time.

These are all present matters. How can we not find a way to change all of this?

Although the global political, business and technology sectors have already started to take action with the United Nations COP also actively discussing ways to solve the problem including the fast development of artificial intelligence I call for all of these approaches to be based on spirituality as a safeguard ethics and prevent the destruction of the environment. Technology and policies can only treat the symptoms, only the awakening of people’s hearts and minds and the change of their minds can cure the root of the problem. What needs to be awakened and changed? We need to realize that spirituality is ecology and spirituality and ecology are one. It’s an equal relationship, it’s a partnership. It’s not a predatory relationship.

Respecting the value of the existence of species, tolerating each other’s living space, and sharing common achievements means coexisting in diversity, relying on each other and helping each other is the common root of life and forms the DNA of the ecology.

Connected in the spirit all things form one body of life, one ecology of partnership. Through spiritual awakening we need to transform our lives. A common awakening of the human heart is the last chance for the Earth’s ecology and the survival of mankind. There is only one Earth and if we continue to destroy the ecosystem we will all perish together.

Therefore I once again sincerely invite you to be spiritually awake and work together across boundaries starting from the religious sector to jointly promote spiritual awakening so that those who act in destructive ways can reflect on themselves and make corrections and that we can cooperate together in finding ways to restore the ecosystem and combat global warming. At the same time, we need to put an end to wars and destroy nuclear weapons so as to eliminate the existential crisis of the Earth and human beings and return a clean, peaceful and sustainable living environment to everyone.

This is the real freedom, these are the real human rights.

I am currently establishing the University of Life and Peace in Myanmar, which integrates spirituality and ecological conservation into a system of practice and nurtures talents from various fields to solve problems through action based on a common philosophy. Finally may spiritual awakening bring about the power of change so that the ecology will be harmonious, the world will be at peace. Only when ecology is sustainable can humankind be sustainable.

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