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The Asian Buddhist Network: a Buddhist's perspective

Dr Pema Gyalpo, Lambeth 2005:

I will not speak on the major theme of religion and conservation, because the audience is more experienced and well qualified than me, so my talking on this subject would be like preaching Buddhism to the Buddha.

My association with ARC is not very old, but this short period of contact has been very stimulating, rewarding and encouraging.

I was first introduced to ARC by his Excellency Mr. Enkhbayer, the former Prime Minister of Mongolia, who told me all about the wonderful experiences he had with such inspiring people.

He asked me in particular to help the hard working Martin Palmer to try and get some Japanese Buddhists and social leaders involved. I was given a copy of the book Faith in Conservation, written by Martin and Vicky but with plenty of co-operation from major religions as well.

When I started reading it, I thought “This is it!” It was something that I had been longing for a long time in my sub-consciousness. It was an eye opening experience.

Inter-faith dialogue was not new to me; I have been personally involved in organizing such groups for almost 14 years, as the representative of His Holiness the Dalai Lama for Asia Pacific.

I have travelled in His entourage to all five continents of the world, and so ecological issues were also not new to me.

I was also an eye witness to the environmental problems that Japan had in the 1960s when she was struggling to rebuild herself as a rich modern industrial power. In Japanese there is a proverb, saying “FURUKI O TAZUNETE ATARASHIKI O SHIRU”. It means learning new things by going through the old.

When we look at the world today, religion unfortunately sometimes seems to be the problem rather than the solution. But through this book and others I became more confident and convinced that all the major World Religions teach patience and love.

Unfortunately maybe at some times, and by some people, religion is misused, but the inherent essence of all religion is Love, Compassion and respect for all things, both with form and formless.

I am new to this and there is a lot to learn, but I feel that I have found a mission for my life in ARC. With your blessings, wisdom and care for our world you are making the world better and safer, and I am sure many more will follow as they come to know about ARC.

I once again thank you and pray for the happiness of all sentient beings.

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