Life is a chain. All things are related. When any link is harmed, the other links are affected. We should think of the environment as our mother—Mother Soil, Mother Sea, Mother Earth. There is no crime worse than harming one’s mother.
Nature is not something for human beings to use and exploit as they see fit, solely for their own interests. Both nature and humanity are and whole of the life of the universe. Nature and humanity are one. . . . To destroy the natural world is to destroy human life.
Only when we living things are connected to nature, engaged with nature, are we truly alive and vigorous. To really be alive, one must be under the sun, the moon, the shining stars, surrounded by the beautiful greenery and pure waters of the natural world. A dirty, fouled environment is not natural. When people live in such surroundings, their hearts become polluted, too. That is the oneness of life and environment.
The destruction of nature is the destruction of humanity. Nature is our home. All life on this planet, including human life, was born from the natural environment. We don’t owe our existence to machines or to science. We are the products of nature.
We are dependent on the Earth, not the other way around. In our arrogance, we have flagrantly overlooked this. . . . The essential teaching of Buddhism is that the life of the Buddha resides in every plant and tree, even in the smallest dust mote: it is a philosophy of the utmost reverence for life.