Meaning of Earth Sila

IMG_1534What Is Sila? The Buddha’s 8-fold path to the cessation of suffering, depicted in this carving as an 8-spoked wheel, is divided into 3 sections. Three spokes of the wheel are meditative qualities: wise effort, concentration, and mindfulness (Samadhi). Two are wisdom factors: insight into the nature of co-creation, and insight into one’s own intentions (Panna). And three are fruition factors: wise speech, action, and livelihood—or way of life. These three are collectively known as Sila (SEE-lah), which may be translated as “living in harmony with”.

What is Earth Sila? This is an expansion of the Buddha’s teachings on how to live in harmony with all sentient beings to how to live in harmony with the entirety of creation: how to speak, act, and conduct our lives in ways that lead to the cessation rather than the perpetration of environment suffering.

Regarding speech, the Buddha advised that it should be beneficially intended, useful, truthful, timely, and kind.

In the realm of action, he recommended that we honor the integrity living beings, take only that which is needed to sustain ourselves and not harmful to others, avoid misleading and exploitative conduct, and remain clearly mindful of the effects of our actions.

Regarding way of life, the Buddha advised that we do not obtain and manage our wealth in ways inflict violence and suffering on other sentient beings—human and non-human alike.

Thus, the seven program areas emphasized at the Earth Sila Community Center all focus on ways to abide by these teachings in the conduct of our environmental relations.