Stephanie Kaza – “Healing the Earth”

Stephanie Kaza’s, Healing the Earth, provides readers with brief insight of the caring nature of the Buddhist culture. Understanding that our Earth, as well as our body, withstands some type of turmoil each day, Kaza utilizes Buddhist teachings to educate readers on how to “move forward toward any hope of sustainability” (Kaza 62). While reading, it is easy to compare Kaza’s community-based essence as to that of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Frans de Waal, James. M Gustafson, and Alexis de Tocqueville. Each listed throughout their life and writings delivered a sense of dire need for the emergence of community. Although these figures walk various ways of life and encountered differing situations, they each found their way to “catalyze [a] desperately needed transition” (70). Kaza, with the help of her Buddhist faith and ecological knowledge, is able to show others a pathway to effectively contribute towards the process of healing the Earth.

Buddhist faith truly harps on the importance on community. The first thing Stephanie addressed was immersing yourself within those who are suffering because then you are able to “understand the nature of existence” (63). It is quite impossible to understand the sufferings of the world if, you aren’t there 2 or you don’t know the underlying causes. Kaza presents four questions that one could ask themselves to aid the suffering: “First, what is the problem or suffering? Second, what are the causes of the suffering? Third, what would put an end to the suffering? And fourth, what is the path to realize that goal?” (64). Having the ability to “[trace] the chain of cause and effect”, will permit a much more successful platform (65).

Change will surely not be made if someone does it alone. One person can bring forth the idea, but it takes “direct knowing”, direct action, in order for things to make a significant adjustment. The Earth though experiencing a “deeply ingrained history of assault” can still be repaired, piece by piece (69). It is what we do as a society, as far as “being with the suffering, cultivating systems mind, and practicing non-harming”(seeking peace) will allow us, those who may be outside of the internal issues to act as a third party and annihilate the detrimental factors (68).

 

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