cover image The World We Have: A Buddhist Approach to Peace and Ecology

The World We Have: A Buddhist Approach to Peace and Ecology

Thich Nhat Hanh, . . Parallax, $10.95 (141pp) ISBN 978-1-8883-7588-6

Past the age of 80 now, the indefatigable Vietnamese Buddhist monk Nhat Hanh continues teaching. As peace flows from Buddhist teachings, so too does an environmental ethic rooted in awareness and interrelatedness. Nhat Hanh's engaged Buddhism, a Buddhist school that emphasizes social responsibility, takes on the task of preserving and protecting the earth. A special bodhisattva (enlightened being)—Dharanimdhara, the Earth Holder—will guide human efforts to guard and restore the natural world. No effort is too small; an “Earth Peace Treaty Commitment Sheet” in an appendix lists nearly 60 easy behaviors to minimize ecological impact. The Zen monk's often poetic voice redeems what might otherwise seem repetitive writing or simplistic views; seeing with “the eye of the elephant queen” provides deep insight. A foreword by environmental journalist Alan Weisman (The World Without Us ) adds a fresh framework for understanding Nhat Hanh's Buddhist insights about interrelationships with the natural world. This is an urgent call from a revered spiritual teacher about the moral imperative to treat the earth with respectful awareness. (Oct.)