I am intrigued to hear Pope Francis’ encyclical on the environment. When I reflect on the theme of the environment from a Buddhist perspective I am reminded of a favorite passage of mine from the Buddhavamsa of the Pali Canon. Buddhism has spread all over the world, and as Buddhism spread through Asia it developed many different canonical texts (texts that are considered canonical from different schools of Buddhism). But all schools and lineages of Buddhism adhere to the Pali Canon. The Buddhavamsa intimates that the path of Nibbana is intimately linked with nature. In the “Account of Sumedha” the entire natural world is portrayed as rejoicing and being in harmony with the spiritual practice of the future Buddha. When he is first beginning his spiritual path all dimensions of nature celebrate: "Cold was dispelled and heat allayed . . . . The ten-thousand world-system was silent and undisturbed . . . . Great winds did not blow, streams did not flow . . . . Flowers arisen on dry land and arisen in the water all flowered . . . . As creepers and trees were fruit-bearing . . . . Treasures of the sky and of the earth were shining . . . . Various flowers rained down from the heavens…. The sun was stainless, all the stars were visible . . . . Though it had not rained, water gushed from the earth . . . . Hosts of stars and constellations are shining in the vault of the heavens . . . . (Animals) having lairs in holes, lairs in caves, came forth each from its lair (17-18)." The natural world is so enraptured with the spiritual path of the bodhisattva that all negative manifestations of nature remain still. Flowers bloom and fall from the heavens, trees bear fruit, the stars shine, animals emerge from their lairs and are free to roam safely, and the earth is fertile. The world is described as “silent and undisturbed” intimating that all of nature is also in a state of meditation. Rather than being detached from the world in a negative sense, the future Buddha is completely connected and manifest in every dimension of nature. Nature and bodhisattva: each strengthens and affirms the other. Indeed, their relationship is so interconnected that the text seems to suggest that one could not exist without the other. Many contemporary works are written on Buddhism and the environment. A few that people might enjoy are Teachings of the Earth: Zen and the Environment by John Daido Loori, Dharma Gaia: A Harvest of Essays in Buddhism and Ecology by Allan Hunt Badiner with a foreword by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, and The World We Have: A Buddhist Approach to Peace and Ecology by Thich Nhat Hanh. Works Quoted: Horner, I.B., trans. Buddhavamsa and the Cariyapitaka. Sacred Books of the Buddhists Vol. 9. The Minor Anthologies of the Pali Canon Part 3. London: The Pali Text Society, 1975.