10 Spiritual Principles for Climate Repentance

Resources from the Wisdom of Religions

Principle 10:

The life of attentive, intelligent love is embodied in compassion: in openness to the pain and vulnerability of the world. Care for the other is expressed in love and compassion as fundamental spiritual principles. These are to be applied to other humans, human communities, and other parts of creation. Compassion means suffering with others – to feel the pain of the earth, of the poor, and of those who suffer the consequences of climate change. Opening our hearts to their pain will lead us to change.


Buddhist rendition: Express love and compassion to other humans, human communities and all aspects of creation. Feel the pain of the earth, of the poor and of those who suffer the consequences of climate change, opening your heart to transformation and change.


Source 1: Thich Nhat Hanh (1926-2022), Vietnamese Buddhist Zen Master in “Nature and Nonviolence,” Awakin.org

“Causing harm to other human beings causes harm to ourselves. Accumulating wealth and owning excessive portions of the world’s natural resources deprives fellow humans of the chance to live. Participating in oppressive and unjust social systems creates and deepens the gap between rich and poor, and aggravates the situation of social injustice. While the rest of the human family suffers and starves, the enjoyment of false security and wealth is a delusion…”

“To bring about peace within the human family, we must work for harmonious co-existence. If we continue to shut ourselves off from the rest of the world, imprisoning ourselves in narrow concerns and immediate problems, we’re not likely to make peace or to survive. The human race is part of Nature. We need to have this insight before we can have harmony between people.”


Source 2: From the “Touching the Earth” meditation

There is a revolution that needs to happen and it starts from inside each one of us. When we realise that we and the earth are one, our own suffering will start to ease, and we will have the compassion and understanding to treat the earth with love and respect. We vow to look deeply every day to see that we and the earth are one. [BELL]

[Everyone touches the earth]

We and the earth are one



Source 1: I Corinthians 13

And now faith, hope and love abide, these three, and the greatest of these is love.


Source 2: [The Parable of the Good Samaritan] Luke 10: 25-37

30 Jesus replied with a story: “A Jewish man was traveling from Jerusalem down to Jericho, and he was attacked by bandits. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him up, and left him half dead beside the road.

31 “By chance a priest came along. But when he saw the man lying there, he crossed to the other side of the road and passed him by. 32 A Temple assistant[a] walked over and looked at him lying there, but he also passed by on the other side.

33 “Then a despised Samaritan came along, and when he saw the man, he felt compassion for him. 34 Going over to him, the Samaritan soothed his wounds with olive oil and wine and bandaged them. Then he put the man on his own donkey and took him to an inn, where he took care of him. 35 The next day he handed the innkeeper two silver coins,[b] telling him, ‘Take care of this man. If his bill runs higher than this, I’ll pay you the next time I’m here.’

36 “Now which of these three would you say was a neighbor to the man who was attacked by bandits?” Jesus asked.

37 The man replied, “The one who showed him mercy.”

Then Jesus said, “Yes, now go and do the same.”




Source 1: R. Moshe Cordovero, Tomer Devorah (The Palm Tree of Deborah), Chapter 2

[One’s]  eyes [should] not gaze at any disgraceful thing at all. Indeed, they [should] always be open to survey and have mercy upon all the despondent, according to his ability. And when he sees the distress of a poor person, he [should] not shut his eyes at all. Rather, he [should] contemplate about him in his mind – according to his ability – and arouse mercy upon him in front of the Heavens and in front of the creatures. And he [should] distance himself from all observation of evil, in the way that the Highest Eye is open and gazes immediately at the good.


Source 2: R. Moshe Cordovero, Tomer Devorah (The Palm Tree of Deborah), Chapter 3

And he [should] always seek mercy and blessing for the world – in the way that the Highest Father is a Merciful One upon His creatures – and always pray about the distress of those in distress, as if they were his actual children and as if he created them. As this is the will of the Holy One, blessed be He – in the way that the faithful shepherd stated (Numbers 11:12), “Did I conceive all this people, that You should say to me, ‘Carry them in your bosom.'” And in this [way], he [should] carry all of the people of God ‘as a nurse carries an infant’ – ‘with his forearm he gathers the lambs, with his bosom carries, leads the nurse-mothers.’ He [should] remember the hidden, seek the young, heal the broken, sustain the needy and return the lost. And he [should] have mercy on Israel and carry their load with a pleasant countenance – like the Highest Merciful One, who tolerates everything and does not wither nor ignore nor get sick [of them], but [rather] leads each one according to his need.

These are the traits of Wisdom, the merciful Father over [Its] children.

To have mercy upon all of the creatures: He must also have his mercy extend to all the creatures. He [should] not disgrace them nor destroy them. As behold, the Highest Wisdom is spread over all the creatures – the inanimate, the growing (plants), the living (animals) and the speaking (people). And we are warned about disgracing food for this reason. And about this thing it is fitting that [just] like the Highest Wisdom does not disgrace anything in existence and everything was made from There, as it is written, “You made all of them with wisdom” – so [too, should] the mercy of a person be over all of His creations, may He be blessed. And for this reason …when [Rabbi Yehuda the Patriarch] had mercy on a weasel and said, “It is written (Psalms 145:9), ‘and His mercies are over all of His creatures,'” he was saved from the judgement – since the light of Wisdom was spread over him and the afflictions withdrew. And upon this way, he [should] not disgrace anything in existence from that which exists, as all of them are with Wisdom. And [so] he [should] not uproot a plant except for a need nor kill an animal except for a need…[and] have mercy in as much as is possible.




Source 1: The Prophet Muhammad said in a hadith:

“Whoever helps his brother, God helps him.”


Source 2: Imam Al Ghazali, 12th Century:

“The value of a human being is a like a non-material gem. His excellence over all creatures is given by the differentiating and descriptive features of particular subtleties, among which are the soul, the self, the intellect, and the heart. Thus have we become humans, and by these descriptions we have become aware, knowing, and not merely a predatory animal. And this gem (of creation) is the one who is addressed, asked of, criticized and punished/rewarded.”

Of all creation, we shall be help responsible for our actions on earth in this life.


Religions of India

Source 1: Bhagavad Gita: Chapter 6, Verse 32

आत्मौपम्येन सर्वत्र समं पश्यति योऽर्जुन |
सुखं वा यदि वा दु:खं स योगी परमो मत: || 32||

ātmaupamyena sarvatra samaṁ paśhyati yo ’rjuna
sukhaṁ vā yadi vā duḥkhaṁ sa yogī paramo mataḥ

I regard them to be perfect yogis who see the true equality of all living beings and respond to the joys and sorrows of others as if they were their own.


Source 2: Bhagavad Gita: Chapter 12, Verse 13-14-15

अद्वेष्टा सर्वभूतानां मैत्र: करुण एव च |
निर्ममो निरहङ्कार: समदु:खसुख: क्षमी || 13||
सन्तुष्ट: सततं योगी यतात्मा दृढनिश्चय: |
मय्यर्पितमनोबुद्धिर्यो मद्भक्त: स मे प्रिय: || 14||

adveṣhṭā sarva-bhūtānāṁ maitraḥ karuṇa eva cha
nirmamo nirahankāraḥ sama-duḥkha-sukhaḥ kṣhamī

santuṣhṭaḥ satataṁ yogī yatātmā dṛiḍha-niśhchayaḥ
mayy arpita-mano-buddhir yo mad-bhaktaḥ sa me priyaḥ

Those devotees are very dear to Me who are free from malice toward all living beings, who are friendly, and compassionate. They are free from attachment to possessions and egotism, equipoised in happiness and distress, and ever-forgiving. They are ever-content, steadily united with Me in devotion, self-controlled, of firm resolve, and dedicated to Me in mind and intellect.

यस्मान्नोद्विजते लोको लोकान्नोद्विजते च य: |
हर्षामर्षभयोद्वेगैर्मुक्तो य: स च मे प्रिय: || 15||

yasmān nodvijate loko lokān nodvijate cha yaḥ
harṣhāmarṣha-bhayodvegair mukto yaḥ sa cha me priyaḥ

Those who are not a source of annoyance to anyone and who in turn are not agitated by anyone, who are equal in pleasure and pain, and free from fear and anxiety, such devotees of Mine are very dear to Me.


Source 3: Bhagavad Gita: Chapter 18, Verse 20

सर्वभूतेषु येनैकं भावमव्ययमीक्षते |
अविभक्तं विभक्तेषु तज्ज्ञानं विद्धि सात्त्विकम् || 20||

sarva-bhūteṣhu yenaikaṁ bhāvam avyayam īkṣhate
avibhaktaṁ vibhakteṣhu taj jñānaṁ viddhi sāttvikam

Understand that knowledge to be in the mode of goodness by which a person sees one undivided imperishable reality within all diverse living beings.


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