Saturday, November 27, 2010

Monks as Trees, Trees as Monks

Cambodian monk Bun Saluth ordained (as if they were budding monks!) wide swaths of forest in northwest Cambodia. In doing so, he inspired local villagers to unite to protect the woodland and its animals, setting up patrols to ward off illegal logging. He was honored by the United Nations for his unique concept of preserving biodiversity.

Cornerstone of the program is livelihood diversification; various cottage industries have been cultivated, including mushroom cultivation and the collection of resin from the mouths of trees. Cutting the resin pools into the trees appears to give them black mouths, as if they were speaking!

Monk Saluth explains his philosophy: “The Buddha was born under a tree in the forest, he meditated under a tree in the forest, he achieved enlightenment under a tree in the forest and he died under a tree in the forest. You can say that the forest is the house of the Buddha. Since monks are considered sons of the Buddha, we have a responsibility to protect the house of the Buddha.”

Let's ordain! Let's see what's holy! Let's bless!

More on Bun Saluth

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