LJM Releases Film ‘Mother Earth Calling’ on Earth Day to Promote Spiritual Ecology
Dharma Master Hsin Tao, Founding Abbot of the Ling Jiou Mountain Buddhist Society(LJM), has been promoting the ‘Loving the Earth, Loving Peace’ campaign for decades to advocate Spiritual Ecology by engaging LJM’s affiliated enterprises in environmental initiatives ranging from mass education over go-green campaigns to beach cleaning actions. To play an active part in World Earth Day 2022 on April 22, the LJM released a special film production entitled ‘Mother Earth Calling’ with subtitles in English and Chinese to regain people’s spiritual awareness.
The LJM University for Life & Peace (ULP), meanwhile, runs an annual program on spiritual ecology under the project ‘Here On Earth’ with a focus on hands-on media training for young people who care about marine ecology. For five years running, the LJM beach-cleaning initiative in Fulong, Taiwan, has gotten more than 5,000 people and amassed more than 10 metric tons of waste and litter. In terms of spirituality, the annual retreat of the Great Compassion Mantra collective chanting always gathers members of the four Dharma groups to perfect the practice with chanting of over one million of the Mantra and dedicate the merit to sustainability of our Planet. The ‘Empty Your Mind Festival’ held by the Museum of World Religions, furthermore, promotes healing the Earth by going vegan and embracing the positive energy of peace.
The film ‘Mother Earth Calling’ is an effort to show why ‘Loving the Earth’ is of vital importance. It documents how mankind’s willful damages have been hurting Mother Earth. The closing part of the film with fond recollections of an unspoiled ecology aims to awaken people’s spiritual awareness and, ultimately, realize that lives on the Earth are a symbiosis for all. It is hoped that the film will help get the word out that people ought to awaken to the realization that we are all interconnected in one single living community of life here on the Planet.
The ULP recently ran a 3-day program on ecology from April 12 onwards, featuring Taiwan’s ecology scholar Chen Yu-Feng. Focusing on Taiwan’s ecology long-term and actively involved in the education of the subject, Professor Chen built the program around his specialties in land and forest conservation with stories of his childhood like how farmland youngsters would gather around at night on the Mid-Autumn Festival for frog-watching. The ideal of ecology protection thus became alive and outgrew textbook pages to form a real bonding for program participants between folklore and popular science.
Master Hsin Tao has often been quoted as saying that mankind’s future hinges on the future of the Earth. The ‘Here on Earth’ media boot camp, therefore, was curated twice to date by the ULP for young people of New York, London, and Taiwan to foster environmental awareness of these young generations, who were encouraged to speak for marine ecology with their visual creations.
The first ‘Here on Earth Marine Art Festival’ saw its wrap-up in the public screening of 14 video edits created by the young participants, plus 5 interactive panel discussions with interdisciplinary and multinational experience sharing and hands-on learning. The Second Festival went further by partnering up with the New York Ocean High School and local communities to enable diversification and localization of environmental education. The LJM outreach included sponsorship to help Ocean High’s rowing club and its ecological sustainability society with video documentaries. Last but not least, the LJM Chan (Zen) Space presented at the Earth Day parade in the Big Apple this year to promote the ‘Loving the Earth’ ideal on the planet’s special day.
Trees are essential in nurturing lives while purifying the air and tree-planting is a multi-purpose environmental initiative with a far-reaching impact globally and is given high priority in recent decades. In the span of 11 years since its initial Great Compassion Mantra Retreat, the LJM has held large tree-planting events twice in cooperation with the New Taipei City government. Both occasions saw the participation of more than 100 people consisting of the retreat practitioners, LJM followers, young volunteers, and children from the World Peace Corp. Together, participants planted Ilex Rotunda (commonly called the Kurogane holly) and water lilies to manifest joint forces of Buddha Dharma and education of ecology for the ‘Loving the Earth’ campaign to take a deep-rooting in the hope that there will be more green patches around the world, where life continues to sprint up.
Waste dumping and pollution at sea have given rise to global concerns. The LJM’s beach cleaning initiative under the banner of ‘An Hour A Month’ has grown from just a handful of volunteers at the beginning to impressive crowd events attracting over 100 volunteers including corporate partners such as the DHL Express Taiwan. It is obvious that people have become aware and hopeful to restore coastal lines to their unspoiled originals. The LJM herewith extends a cordial invitation to you all to join the monthly beach-cleaning event in the Dong Hsing Temple of Gong Liao District.