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Zen and Ecology

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God as Love; Love as God in the Context of Zen and Ecology

In the realm of Zen, the concept of "originating power" or "originating activity-originating presence" unveils a deeply profound and intuitive aspect of spiritual practice that effortlessly surpasses the confines of traditional religious doctrines. This idea moves away from conventional theistic frameworks that characterize God as a personal entity yet provides a profound source of spiritual support and direction. The "originating power" in Zen is both intensely personal and universally relevant, pointing to a reality that is beyond the limits of language, yet intimately “presenced” and continuously evolving with every aspect of existence.

Within this framework, "love" is perceived as a powerful testament to the fact that existence itself is an invaluable gift, “that there is something, rather than nothing;” it's a perspective that cherishes the sheer fact of being as opposed to non-being, acknowledging the fullness of existence and the vast array of opportunities it unfolds—a sharp contrast to the void of non-existence; it’s a view that fosters a sense of deep gratitude for the richness of life and its endless possibilities, underscoring a profound appreciation for the miracle of existence itself.

This interpretation offers a refreshing lens through which we can view our relationship with the natural world in discussions on religion and ecology. It suggests a form of spiritual ecology where the interconnectedness of life and the foundational role of love in our “simply being here, rather than not being here… and if we choose to accept it,” invite us to reflect on our housekeeping responsibilities -- or social-environmental opportunities. (For example, local volunteer days within areas of interest.) Through this lens, caring for our planet becomes an extension of this deep-rooted love, a manifestation of our appreciation for the gift of life and the interconnected web of being in which we find ourselves – always with the opportunity to participate … and grow.