Internet notebook about my work: deep listening to facilitate positive change


Saturday 29 December 2007

Changing behavior on spiritual grounds

Tibetans inside and outside Tibet are changing their habits to use the skins of tiger, leopard and other endangered species in their traditional costumes. They destroy these skins along with ivory ornaments. In a massive response to a call from their worldly and spiritual leader, they pledge never to use endangered species again. Since a few years the Dalai Lama lectures the Tibetan audience during his Buddhist teachings on their attitudes and habits relating to wildlife. He urges Tibetans to remember the countless endangered species that have died for them and to pray that all human beings be guided by the compassion of the Buddha to live in harmony with nature.

The Tibetan conservation NGO Tesi Environmental Awareness Movement (TEAM) collects wild life possessions among Tibetans. These are burned and made into votive tablets. Since today they are stored in a special 14 feet pillar, near the temple of the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala, North India. The granite and marble pillar with inscriptions in both Tibetan and English contains within it 1,008 tsa tsa (votive tablets) made of clay mixed with ground parts of donated endangered species products such as skins of tiger, leopard, otter, fox, lynx, and ivory. A similar call to eat less or no meat, has led to big changes in the kitchens of many Tibetan schools and monasteries in India.

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