'Buddhists regard life, any life, as something sacred and important,
so even when a small insect is killed we respond with some feeling of
-- H.H. The Dalai Lama
browed rose finch courtesy of
The Greater Good.
People assume that concern for the environment and human rights is a
new concept, but the Buddha developed similar principles over 2500
years ago. Environmentalism is about considering the greater good.
When we talk about democracy or human rights, we refer to the welfare
of everybody. This is compassion in practice. In all religions
compassion and caring for others is important. Buddhism teaches that
the more you work for the welfare of others, the greater your own
Power to Change.
Humanity is the only species with the power to destroy the earth as
we know it. Yet, just as we have the power to destroy it, so do we
have the capacity to protect it. The same is true on a local level.
Nepal's economy, and that of Khumbu, is dependent on foreign visitors
who are in a position to ruin it or help conserve it. It depends on
you. Please come, but be aware your visit will have an impact on the
Tourism is one of Nepal's main sources of income. Since there are few
alternatives for development, it is vital that its tourism resources
are not over-exploited. Unfortunately, a lot of the money generated
by tourism remains in the pockets of foreign or Kathmandu based
trekking companies. However, the local people are asked to choose
between their own short-term well being and long term environmental
Food for Thought.
Please ask yourself why you are here. Why have you spent so much
time, money and effort to come to such a remote and poor place as
Tengboche? People rarely do anything without the hope of gaining
something: what do you expect to get out of your trip here? What will
you give in return?
You can help! Use your power as a consumer to ensure businesses
behave in a responsible manner. Ask your trekking company to help
too. Donate to local projects while you are here. Every little bit
'Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are
beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that
wilderness is a necessity; and that mountain parks and reservations
are useful not only as fountains of timber and irrigating rivers, but
as fountains of life.'
--John Muir, Naturalist, written in 1875
Nepalese flower. Courtesy of Eric