Water flows over these hands. May I use them skillfully to preserve our precious planet. --Thich Nhat Hanh
The Native and Eastern views of nature are simple and based on the premise of interconnectedness. In the belief that we are all connected; the wind, the rain, the rocks, and all races, creeds and colors of human beings, we understand that we are ultimately all responsible for one another; that our happiness is dependent upon the happiness of all other beings.
Ahimsa, the basic teaching of Buddhism (as well as in some Hindu castes), means that no intentional harm is inflicted upon any living being. Practicing ahimsa is practicing divine love and complete compassion, living in awareness of our interconnectedness. When we realize that we are intrinsically connected to every other being, it comes natural and is essential for us to protect and cherish the Grandfather Trees that grant us life giving oxygen, the Grandmother Stars that twinkle in the (Father) Night Sky and the Mother Earth that provides for and nourishes us unconditionally. We would not intentionally bring harm to ourselves but do so when not adhering to the law of ahimsa.
Ahimsa was Gandhi's guiding principle; one that he felt was the path to satya or truth. On ahimsa Gandhi said: "Truth and Love - ahimsa - is the only thing that counts. Where this is present, everything rights itself in the end. This is a law to which there is no exception." Ahimsa, truly understood, is in my humble opinion a panacea for all evils, mundane and extra-mundane. We can never overdo it. Just at present, we are not doing it at all. Ahimsa does not displace the practice of other virtues, but renders their practice imperatively necessary before it can be practiced even in its rudiments. Gandhi felt that ahimsa or nonviolence is the greatest virtue that a human being can possess and the path to peace.
In Taoism, the term wu-wei or effortless action, (more poetically translated as "going with the flow") is the sense of knowing that all things are connected, an acting in harmony with all one's fellow human beings, and all the other creatures. In practicing wu-wei there is a natural tendency to practice ahimsa, to strive for the highest good and to live a life based on truth.
In following wu-wei, one's actions are like that of flowing water, moving in a path of least resistance. The desire to control lessens its grip, replaced by a rhythmic fluidity that allows our life stories to unfold with effortless ease. In this we can then recognize the importance of all beings living in accordance to their inherent nature, with no desire to have power over others.
When following the tao of wu-wei, life becomes a graceful dance of effective spontaneity. We listen to our inner voice, align with the ancient wisdom of the elders and walk in synchronicity with our spirit, the spirit of life.