FaithInvest founder and CEO Martin Palmer has released a series of prayers and meditations focusing on climate change through the lens of various faiths. The six prayers have featured on BBC Radio 4's Prayer for the Day throughout the COP26 climate conference currently taking place in Glasgow.
Saturday 6 November saw a Christian prayer focusing on the idea that humankind's role in the environment is greater than that of simply being a steward. Instead, we are called upon to 'love all God's creation.'
'If we love everything, we will perceive the divine mystery in all things,' the prayer states.
In his Buddhist prayer, which aired on Monday 8 November, Martin carries forward this theme of humans not simply being managers but instead an active part of the world around them.
Buddhism – Right Mindfulness
In Buddhist thought, the entire cosmos is a vast collaboration – a cooperative if you like. From the planets, the sun and stars existing together down to the humans, animals, trees and the earth – we are a mutual interdependent cooperative enterprise.
Understanding that we are held in a web of relationships is about taking us, our species, our nation, our race or our religion out of the equation and instead seeing that all these are but parts of a Greater Whole. And this is best captured in our relationship with trees.
Some years ago faiths with major forests came together to explore the significance of environmental care through forests for the earth. Key Christian organisations proposed that all faiths should describe the forests they have as Faith Protected Forests.
The Buddhists and Japanese Shinto – were shocked.
'We don’t protect the forests,' they said. 'They protect us.'
And of course they are right. The forests absorb CO2; provide habitat for food sources, wood for making things, places for wildlife and beauty. They make life on earth livable. This is captured in a prayer from the Venerable Thich Nhat Hahn:
'Let us be aware of the source of being, common to us all and to all living beings.
Evoking the presence of the Great Compassion of the Divine, let us fill our hearts with our own compassion – towards ourselves and all living beings.
Let us pray that we ourselves cease to be the cause of suffering to each other.
Let us plead with ourselves to live in a way which will not deprive other living beings of air, water, food, shelter, or the chance to live.
With humility, with awareness of the existence of life, and of the sufferings that are going on around us, let us pray for the establishment of peace in our hearts and on earth.'