Caring for the Environment

27 Sep 2016

Protect the earth. Live simply. Act with compassion. Our future depends on it.’

His Holiness 17th Gyalwang Karmapa

KarmapaWith his deep respect for all living beings and his tireless activity to promote and save life, it is no surprise that Akong Rinpoche dedicated so much time and effort to helping protect our Mother Earth from harm.

In response to increasing deforestation in Tibetan Areas of China, he set up tree nurseries and initiated tree-planting on a large scale.  He arranged for local people to be employed as rangers, to protect their local flora and fauna; and he educated villagers about their responsibilities towards their local environment.

As a result of his interventions, mainly through the charity ROKPA, sacred sites across Tibet at risk of being mined or exploited have now been awarded the protection they need and deserve.  And in response to the over-harvesting of Traditional Tibetan Medicinal plants, ROKPA has embarked on a unique and pioneering project to save endangered species by growing them from seed and repopulating the hillsides with the cultivated plants.

The importance of the Tibetan ecosystem cannot be overestimated.  The Tibetan plateau is the source of Asia’s major rivers, which support about 1.4 billion people downstream. The plateau also plays a key role in regulating regional climate systems, including the monsoon.  Traditional Tibetan Medicine is the only system available to most people living in remote areas and unable to access or afford other medicines.

But we do not need to go to Tibet to continue Rinpoche’s environmental work.  We can make a difference and support our Mother Earth wherever we live.  Right now, we have the capacity to reach out and play our part in Rinpoche’s vision of a better world.  We can initiate our own, local, small-scale projects; we can take responsibility for reducing and recycling our waste; we can start by taking small, practical steps to care for this world that is home to countless beings.

As the third anniversary of Akong Rinpoche’s passing approaches, we invite you to join us in reflecting on Rinpoche’s environmental achievements and to consider making your own commitment(s) to continue the work he started.  As in previous years, we will compile a list of all of your activities and commitments, which we will present to His Holiness 17th Gyalwang Karmapa and to Chamgon Khentin Tai Situpa.  Please email us with the details of your pledge(s) at:

This year we are also offering the opportunity for sponsorship of several hundred juniper bushes (at just £5 each), to be planted at Samye Ling.  If you would like to be part of this project, click the 'Donate' button below to make your donation.

Then please email us to let us know that this is how you are helping to make a positive difference.

The Buddhist principle is to be everybody's friend, not to have any enemy.
Choje Akong Tulku Rinpoche
Meditation means simple acceptance.
Choje Lama Yeshe Losal Rinpoche
Only the impossible is worth doing.
Choje Akong Tulku Rinpoche
Whenever we see something which could be done to bring benefit to others, no matter how small, we should do it.
Chamgon Khentin Tai Situ Rinpoche
Freedom is not something you look for outside of yourself. Freedom is within you.
Choje Akong Tulku Rinpoche
Hasten slowly, you will soon arrive.
Jetsun Milarepa
It doesn’t matter whatever comes, stop judging and it won’t bother you.
Choje Lama Yeshe Losal Rinpoche
Whatever obstacles arise, if you deal with them through kindness without trying to escape then you have real freedom.
Choje Akong Tulku Rinpoche
To tame ourselves is the only way we can change and improve the world.
Choje Lama Yeshe Losal Rinpoche
I find hope in the darkest of days, and focus in the brightest. I do not judge the universe.
His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama
In the practice of tolerance, one's enemy is the best teacher.
His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama
Strive always to be as kind, gentle and caring as possible towards all forms of sentient life.
Choje Akong Tulku Rinpoche
Every sentient being is equal to the Buddha.
Chamgon Kentin Tai Situ Rinpoche
Wherever and whenever we can, we should develop compassion at once.
Choje Akong Tulku Rinpoche
Reminding ourselves of how others suffer and mentally putting ourselves in their place, will help awaken our compassion.
Choje Akong Tulku Rinpoche