1 BUDDHIST APPROACH TO RESPONSIBLE CONSUMPTION AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

Thứ năm - 09/05/2019 13:32
by Ven. Sumedh Thero






 
BUDDHIST APPROACTO RESPONSIBLE CONSUMPTION AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

by Ven. Sumedh Thero*






ABSTRACT

Modern technological innovations have provided valuable inputs to improve human development over the past years. However, uneven development stemming from the effects of the resource intensive, linear economic growth model and the related changing lifestyles continuously aggravate human pressures on the limited environmental/ecological space available for the survival of all living beings on the planet earth. On the one hand, the earth is under tremendous pressure due to the resource intensive infrastructure developed especially during the period since the industrial revolution by the industrialised countries for their development and the related changing lifestyles. On the other hand the current and emerging demands from the developing countries to improve their standard of living create unprecedented challenges to the limited resource base available for all living beings for their existence. In light of globalisation, no country will be able to address the present multiple global challenges in isolation. The application of Cleaner production (CP)/Sustainable Production and Consumption (SPC) strategies at the local, regional and global level has become imperative to guide and help societies to achieve sustainable human development. Achieving such development



*. Dr., Sumedh Bhoomi Buddha Vihar, Dr Ambedkar Park, Jhansipura, Lalitpur, 284403, India.
 


needs collaboration between and among developed and developing countries and timely action together. Several widespread approaches to Education for Sustainable Consumption (ESC) have emerged from the tradition of consumer information. A major shortcoming of such cognitive-focused approaches is their limited capacity to facilitate reflection on the affective processes underpinning people engagement with consumption. More holistic pedagogies  are thus needed to increase the effectiveness of ESC. The concept of mindfulness has recently received growing attention in research on sustainable consumption, given its potential to address both cognitive and affective processes and to stimulate reflection on the drivers of often routinized consumption practices. Despite this recent interest, mindfulness has to date not been systematically connected to ESC (Laura, et al, 2017). The Buddhist worldview can inform and enrich the efforts to modify consumption into sustainable consumption” forms that can bring about and sustain better quality of life and well-being for humans and the living environment. Together production, consumption and exchange form the essence of economics as the study of livelihood activities and how people, communities and societies manage, distribute and utilize their scarce human and natural resources in the process of earning their living. Linking sustainability and Buddhist notions some approaches are described for assessing consumption in terms of its environmental and karmic” disturbance impact. Some of the studies of problematic modes of consumption are reviewed and major conclusions are presented examining the primary strategic needs for achieving sustainable consumption in light of the Buddhist economic perspective.
***

In most places of the world, we now have a higher standard of living than humans have ever known before. We have better medical treatment, more and better food, better housing conditions, better sanitation, more money, more welfare services and more access to education, justice, travel, entertainment and career opportunities. Yet, human misery is still everywhere. Psychologists and neuroscientists claim that happiness is a state of mind. So, how does our mind affect our happiness? What makes
 


us happy? What makes us unhappy? Can we train our mind for happiness? etc. People suffer from depression, discouragement, hatred, resentment, fear, and anger. And those feelings give birth to more and more violence. Road rage leads to traffic injuries and deaths. Young people either shoot at peers and teachers or commit suicide. Spouses kill spouses or parents kill children or vise versa. Thus our generation has chosen self motivated war, invasion, and occupation as the principle weapon for creating safety and peace in the world and for establishing democracy. Of course not everyone is functioning in negativity, but the energy of it surrounds us. We are swimming in the ocean with negativity even if we haven’t swallowed it. Those of us walking spiritual paths have a tremendous challenge if we are to counterbalance this negativity. First we have to overcome any negativity within. Then we can help to transmute the energies permeating the group psyche. How Can We Overcome Destructive Emotions (Narrated by Daniel Goleman, New York: Bantam Dell, 2003) It reports on a scientific dialogue between the Dalai Lama, Buddhist scholars, and Western psychologists, neuroscientists, and philosophers. The book is very grounding and encouraging. It provides evidence that meditation definitely effects change, physiologically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. For thousands of years spiritual teachers have taught that negative emotions alienate us from other persons and the world around us and have advocated meditation as a way to transform emotions, and Buddhists have a 2,607 year history of investigating the workings of the mind and learning how to overcome our tendencies toward destructive emotions. Now scientific research and advanced technology have proven the effectiveness of these techniques.

Western emotions tend to be judged good or bad according to their usefulness in structuring social life. Happiness, sadness, love, friendship, forgiveness, gratitude, regret (or remorse for having done something wrong), guilt and shame contribute to better interpersonal relationships, whereas anger, contempt, indignation and fear tend to break down the social fabric. Consequently, the Westerners in the dialogue were inclined to view the following as destructive states of mind: low self-esteem, overconfidence, harboring negative emotions, jealousy and envy, lack of compassion, and inability to have close interpersonal relations. They viewed as
 


constructive states of mind, self-respect, self-esteem (if deserved), feelings of integrity, compassion, benevolence, generosity, seeing the true, the good, and the right, love, and friendship. As you can see, nearly all of these emotions, or states of mind, are directly related to interpersonal relations.

Buddhists place far more importance on structuring ones soul than on structuring social life. Therefore, they view destructive emotions (also called obscuring or afflictive mental factors) as something that prevents the mind from ascertaining reality as it is, causing a gap between the way things appear and the way things are. This is a concern for those who seek to evolve spiritually by learning to discern what is true and real. Thus Buddhists view express us the desire, or excessive attachment, as destructive because it makes it impossible for us to see a balance between the pleasant and the unpleasant, the constructive and the destructive, qualities in something or someone. Instead, we view the object of our desire or attachment as one hundred percent attractive. Aversion, on the other hand, blinds us to some of the positive qualities of the object, causing us to feel one hundred percent negative toward that object, wishing to repel, destroy, or run away from it.
  1. EMOTION AND NEGATIVITY

Buddhist philosophy evaluates emotions as negative is that they cause you to experience less happiness, less well-being, less lucidity and freedom, and more distortion. Buddhist scriptures speak of eighty-four thousand kinds of negative emotions, but they can be represented by five main ones: hatred, hostility or anger; desire, attachment, or craving; confusion, ignorance, or delusion; pride; and jealousy (the inability to rejoice in othershappiness). In addition, the mental states of afflictive doubt and afflictive views are considered destructive. Buddhists are not so much concerned with the fact that the above mentioned emotions make it difficult for us to enter into and enjoy relationships. Instead, they know that these emotions make the one who experiences them unhappy, and to be unhappy makes it difficult to make progress on a spiritual path. Therefore, feelings were certain kinds of self-respect and self-esteem, self- worth, and self-accomplishment, as well as romantic love and friendship.
 




In blood vessels, it inhibits norepinephrine release and acts as a vasodilator (at normal concentrations); in the kidneys, it increases sodiumexcretionandurineoutput;inthe pancreas,itreducesinsulin production; in the digestive system, it reduces gastrointestinal motility and protects intestinal mucosa; and in the immune system, it reduces the activity of lymphocytes. With the exception of the blood vessels, dopamine in each of these peripheral systems is synthesized locally and exerts its effects near the cells that release it. Several important diseases of the nervous system are associated with dysfunctions of the dopamine system, and some of the key medications used to treat them work by altering the effects of dopamine-Parkinsons disease.
  1. BRAIN  ACTIVITY

People have high levels of brain activity in the left prefrontal cortex, they simultaneously report feelings such as happiness, enthusiasm, joy, high energy, and alertness. On the other hand, high levels of activity in the right prefrontal cortex correlate with reports of distressing emotions such as sadness, anxiety, and worry. In fact they found that people with an extreme rightward tilt in the ratio of the activity in these prefrontal areas are highly likely to succumb to clinical depression or an anxiety disorder at some point in their life. People in the grip of depression who also report intense anxiety have the highest levels of activation in those prefrontal areas. Right- to-left activation in the prefrontal areas that offers a barometer of the moods we are likely to feel day to day. That ratio represents what amounts to an emotional set point, the mean around which our daily moods swing. Persons disposed to anxiety and depression would benefit greatly if they would meditate daily on compassion, for themselves and for all sentient beings. Such meditation does not require training. Rather, a decision to sit quietly, breathing into the heart centre, and intending to awaken compassion within and breathe it out to all is
 


sufficient. Paul Ekman 1990 found  trained  meditators  is  that  they were quicker than other people at recognizing the emotional states reflected in the faces of others. Charles Darwin wrote in his 1872 book, The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals that facial expressions of emotion are universal, not learned differently in each culture. Persons who tend to get upset easily by the smallest surprise of one kind or another might try practicing the Open State meditation, described above, or one-pointed concentration, a fully focused concentration on a single object of attention.

Expressed emotions and adaptive functions

 
Expressed emotion Initial physiological function Evolved  communicative function
Fear Increased visual field and speed of eye movement from widened eyes Warning of potential threats. Appeasement to aggressor.
Surprise Increased visual field from widened eyes More research needed
Disgust Constriction of face openings reduce dangerous inhalations Warning of dangerous foods, behaviors, and ideas
Happiness More research needed Absence of threat
Sadness More research needed Vision handicapped by tears to show appeasement. Gain sympathy.
 

 
Anger More research needed Warning of impending threats. Signals dominance.
Pride Increased lung volume in preparation for encountering challengers Increased social status.
Shame/ Embarrassment Reduces and hides vulnerable body areas from potential attacks Decreased social status. Wish for appeasement.
A transparency between their personal and public lives. The second quality is selflessness, lacking concern about status, fame, or ego. The third is compelling personal presence that others find nourishing. And finally, the qualities of attentiveness and concentration preclude a wandering mind, whether in meditation or in interaction. Emotions can be controlled and modified if the mind is trained. One of the best ways to train the mind is through meditation. Thus the world today needs citizens and leaders who can work toward ensuring stability and engage in dialogue with the enemy’ no matter what kind of aggression or assault they may have endured. The mind and emotions are inseparable, but how they interact can be changed if we are intentional and persistent in our work with self (Mariamne Paulus, 2003).

Robert Zajonc, a University of Michigan psychologist, published two reviews in 1989 of the facial efference theory of emotion, also known as facial feedback theory Adelmann and Zajonc (1989) and Zajonc, et al (1989) which Zajonc (1985) first introduced to the scientific literature in an article published in Science in 1985. This theory proposes that the facial musculature of mammals can control the temperature of the base of the brain (in particular the hypothalamus) by varying the degree of forward and backward flow through a vascular network (a so-called rete mirabile). The theory is based on the idea that increasing the temperature of portions of the hypothalamus can produce aggressive behavior, whereas cooling can produce relaxation. Our emotional language has comparable descriptors, such as hot-headand cool-breezy.
 


The theory offers an explanation for the evolution of common facial expressions of emotion in mammals. Little experimental work has been done to extend the theory, however.

Location of the hypothalamus, in relation to the pituitary and to the rest of the brain

 
  1. MEDITATION

Meditation practices may differ in the modern Buddhist traditions and non-sectarian groups according to the founder but the main objective is to develop insight. Insight, is the intuitive light flashing forth and exposing the truth of impermanence, the suffering and the impersonal and unsubstantial nature of all corporeal and mental phenomena of existence. It is Insight-wisdom that is the decisive liberating factor in Buddhism, though it has to be developed along with the two other trainings in morality and concentration. The culmination of Insight practice leads directly to the stages of Holiness. Insight is not the result of a mere intellectual understanding, but is won through direct meditative observation of ones own bodily and mental processes. Thus Vipassana is a way of self-transformation through self-observation. It focuses on the deep interconnection between mind and body, which can be experienced directly by disciplined attention to the physical sensations that form the life of the body, and that continuously interconnect and condition the life of the mind. It is this observation-based, self- exploratory journey to the common root of mind and body that dissolves mental impurity, resulting in a balanced mind full of love and compassion. The scientific laws that operate ones thoughts, feelings, judgements and sensations become clear. Through direct experience, the nature of how one grows or regresses, how one produces suffering or frees oneself from suffering is understood.
 
 

Life becomes characterized by increased awareness, non-delusion, self-control and peace.



According to the Buddhas teaching of Dependent Origination, everything, including the psychophysical compound that we call individual, exists only in relation to other beings and things and undergoes constant changes responding and reacting to them. The next section examines the Buddhist perspective on the causes violence and ways to prevent violence and realize peace. The last section explores the potentials Buddhist contributions to the peacemaking efforts and the promotion of a culture of peace in todays world. Believing that the root of violence is located within the mind, Buddhism has placed a greater urgency upon inner reflection. With the awakening to the interdependent reality, selfish compulsive responses will be replaced by loving-kindness, compassion, sympathetic joy, and equanimity (Sumedh Thero, 2018).

 


On the behavioural level, one practices peace daily by observing the Five Precepts. To prevent in-group disputes, the Buddha teaches the six principles of cordiality in any community. As for inter-group or international affairs, Buddhist scriptures are rift with stories that teach nonviolent intervention. The Buddhist worldview is surprisingly in accordance with the insights of peace studies in its process oriented paradigm, its insistence on peace by peaceful means, and its holistic framework of peace, which would play a vital role in the efforts of bringing the culture of peace into existence around the world towards transforming Society. Thus Vipassana Meditation Process has high importance to get orient the individuals with better physique, psycho-social state that helps to become good professional with focused managerial aptitude schools. So that institutions can bridge the gap between what society wants and what institutions now providing. Vipassana is one of Indias most ancient meditation techniques. Long lost to humanity, it was rediscovered by Gotama the Buddha more than 2607 years ago. The word Vipassana means seeing things as they really are. It is the process of self- purification by self-observation. One begins by observing the natural breath to concentrate the mind. With a sharpened awareness one proceeds to observe the changing nature of body and mind and experiences the universal truths of impermanence, suffering and egolessness. This truth-realization by direct experience is the process of purification. The entire path (Dhamma) is a universal remedy for universal problems and has nothing to do with any organized religion or sectarianism. For this reason, it can be freely practiced by everyone, at any time, in any place, without conflict due to race, community or religion, and will prove equally beneficial to one and all.
  1. FEEDING  SYSTEM

 


The extreme lateral part of the ventromedial nucleus of the hypothalamus is responsible for the control of food intake. Stimulation of this area causes increased  food  intake. Bilateral lesion of this area causes complete cessation of food intake. Medial parts of the nucleus have a controlling effect on the lateral part. Bilateral lesion of the medial part of the ventromedial nucleus causes hyperphagia and obesity of the animal. Further lesion of the lateral part of the ventromedial nucleus in the same animal produces complete cessation of food intake.
There  are  different  hypotheses  related  to  this  regulation:
Theologides (1976).
    1. Lipostatic   hypothesis:    This    hypothesis    holds that adipose tissue produces a humoral signal that is proportionate to the amount of fat and acts on the hypothalamus to decrease food intake and increase energy output. It has been evident that a hormone leptin acts on the hypothalamus to decrease food intake and increase energy output.
 
    1. Gut Peptide hypothesis: gastrointestinal hormones like Grp, glucagon, CCK and others claimed to inhibit food intake. The food entering the gastrointestinal tract triggers the release of these hormones, which act on the brain to produce satiety. The brain contains both CCK-A and CCK-B receptors.
 
    1. Glucostatic hypothesis: The activity of the satiety centre in the ventromedial nuclei is probably governed by the glucose utilization in the neurons. It has been postulated that when their glucose utilization is low and consequently when the arteriovenous blood glucose difference across them is low, the activity across the neurons decrease. Under these conditions, the activity of the feeding centre is unchecked and the individual feels hungry. Food intake is rapidly  increased  by  intraventricular  administration of 2-deoxyglucose therefore decreasing glucose utilization in cells.
 
    1. Thermostatic hypothesis: According to this hypothesis, a decrease in body temperature below a given set-point stimulates appetite, whereas an increase above the set-point inhibits appetite.

Peptide  hormones  and  neuropeptides  that  regulate  feeding

(Malenka et al, 2009)
 

 
Peptides that increase feeding behavior Peptides that decrease feeding behavior
Neuropeptide  Y (α,β,γ)-Melanocyte-stimulating hor- mones
Melanin-concentrating hormone Cholecystokinin
Agouti-related peptide Cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript peptides
Orexins (A,B) Corticotropin-releasing hormone
  Glucagon-like peptide 1
Galanin Insulin
Ghrelin Leptin
 
  1. ANOREXIA

Anorexia nervosa, often referred to simply as anorexia, is an eating disorder characterized by a low weight, fear of gaining weight, a strong desire to be thin, and food restriction (Attia, 2010). Many people with anorexia see themselves as overweight even though they are in fact underweight. If asked they usually deny they have a problem with low weight. Often they weigh themselves frequently, eat only small amounts, and only eat certain foods. Some will exercise excessively, force themselves to vomit, or use laxatives to produce weight loss. Complications may include osteoporosis, infertility and heart damage, among others. Women will often stop having menstrual periods.


Bone density peaks at about 30 years of age. Women lose bone mass more rapidly than men.
  1. HOW TO SUSTAIN
Happiness is an ongoing practice. Im learning to spend more
 


time here, while reminding myself that happiness is a choice: I can choose to cling less to the past. I can choose to wander less to the future. I can choose to marvel more in the present. What are your happiest moments? Do they also involve a complete surrender to the moment?


Dictionaries provide more than 10 meanings for sustain, the main ones being to maintain,support,” or endure.However, since the 1980s, sustainability has been used more in the sense of human sustainability on planet Earth. One of the most widely quoted definitions of sustainability and sustainable development is that of the Brundtland Commission of the United Nations on March 20, 1987: Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of  the  present  without  compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.For humans, sustainability has environmental, economic and social dimensions. It is multifaceted and complex and often subject to varying definitions and interpretations by different organizations. BRANDS AND COMPANIES ARE WAKING UP TO A NEW INCONVENIENT  TRUTH.

From a consumer perspective, social and environmental issues are understood by consumers to varying levels, but sustainability is poorly understood as a singular term. As such, for the sake of measurability, many of Kantar Futures’ tracking study questions focus on key dimensions rather than the broader definition itself.
 




 
 
l·Global mindset Is an individual meta· competence

 
 
A meta-competence is gerl011111y "lirm and lnduslly non-spec Hie and can be utilized in the accomplishment  of variety of dHitrom tuka (Mr:Nog ?.Oill.it MII
 





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·Global rnndset as a meta­ competence supports and raciiHatn lhe appropriate use olother managerial competer1ces 1n global collaborationor   intArnational strategy executionsituations.
 


 

References


Adelmann, P. K.; Zajonc, R. B. (1989). “Facial efference and the experience of emotion. Annual Review of Psychology. 40: 249– 280.

Attia E (2010). Anorexia Nervosa: Current Status and Future Directions. Annual Review of Medicine. 61 (1): 425–35.

Laura Stanszus, Daniel Fischer, Tina Bˆhme1 , Pascal Frank, Jacomo Fritzsche , Sonja Geiger, Julia Harfensteller, Paul Grossman, and Ulf Schrader 2017 Education for Sustainable Consumption through Mindfulness  Training:  Development of a Consumption-Specific Intervention. Journal of Teacher Education for Sustainability, vol. 19, no. 1, pp. 5ñ21,

Mariamne Paulus 2003 What Can You Do About Negative Emotions Within You And Around You? http://www.consciousnesswork. com/Negative%20Emotions.htm

Malenka RC, Nestler EJ, Hyman SE (2009). Chapter 10: Neural and Neuroendocrine Control of the Internal Milieu – Table 10:3. In Sydor A, Brown RY. Molecular Neuropharmacology: A Foundation for Clinical Neuroscience (2nd ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill Medical. p. 263. ISBN 9780071481274.

Sumedh Thero, 2018 Depression/Anxiety and Stress Management ScholarsPress is an imprint of SIA Omniscriptum Publishing Brivibas gatve 197, LV-1039, Riga, Latvia, European Union

Theologides A (1976). Anorexia-producing intermediary metabolites. Am J Clin Nutr. 29 (5): 552–8. PMID 178168.

Zajonc, R. B.; Murphy, S. T.; Inglehart, M. (1989). “Feeling and facial efference: Implications for the vascular theory of emotion. Psychological Review. 96 (3): 395–416. doi:10.1037/0033-
295X.96.3.395. PMID 2756066.

Zajonc, R.B. (1985). “Emotion and facial efference: a theory reclaimed.   Science.   228   (4695):   15–21.   doi:10.1126/
science.3883492. PMID 3883492.

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