Peace Day 2019: Karmapa’s message on ‘inner climate change’

September 21, 2019

Today is the United Nations International Day of Peace, with the theme ‘Climate Action for Peace’. With millions of people around the world taking part in a climate strike, Thaye Dorje, His Holiness the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa, shares a message on the inner dimension of climate change.

Dear dharma friends

The theme for the 2019 United Nations International Day of Peace is ‘Climate Action for Peace,’ to reflect the importance of tackling climate change for a more peaceful world.

One way in which we might approach this is to reflect on the role of ‘inner climate change’.

In our global media, and in other facets of our lives, it feels as though there has been a sea change in the amount of anger and other heated emotions that are expressed. With unguarded minds, we have given rise to afflictive emotions. Anxiety, fear, anger have helped create storms, which sweep us up and cause internal devastation and destruction. Without paying closer attention to the environment of our minds, we are in danger of facing an inner climate emergency.

The good news is that we all have the tools necessary to help cool our minds. Through the practice of daily meditation, we are able to access our innate wisdom and compassion, and we learn to become aware of afflictive emotions. Meditation is a practical and powerful climate action.

As Buddhists, we understand that our inner and outer worlds are interdependent. If our inner climate overheats, we are at greater risk of harmful speech or actions in our material world. At the same time, when we are able to cool the mind, to subdue the emotional storms, we are more likely to speak and act in a beneficial way for ourselves, each other and our natural world.

With compassion

Thaye Dorje
His Holiness the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa