United Nations Association (New York) Lauds Gyalwang Drukpa's Contribution to Environment and Ecology Preservation

Oct 08, 2012, 09:00 ET from Live to Love Foundation

NEW DELHI, October 8, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --

His Holiness the Gyalwang Drukpa has just returned from a very fruitful visit to New York at the behest of the United Nations. His Holiness had gone to New York at the invitation of the UN to attend and speak at the Women Leaders' Forum and the UN General Assembly. During the visit, a gala evening was organised by the United Nations Association of New York (UNANY) to honour His Holiness the Gyalwang Drukpa, spiritual Head of Drukpa Buddhists, and founder of the humanitarian organisation Live to Love. His Holiness the Gyalwang Drukpa is a recipient of UN's Millennium Development Goals Award for his humanitarian and environmental work.

At the event in New York, UNANY premiered the screening of PAD YATRA: A Green Odyssey along with Live to Love International. The film centres on the Drukpa and his globally renowned Pad Yatra. As a much-beloved spiritual guide for many, the Drukpa is inspired by his own compassion for people as much as his love of the natural world. Recognizing that many of these current disastrous ecological events have been caused by a long influence of human activity centred on economic conquest, greed and relentless consumption, he advocates a gentle and highly grounded approach to making a difference in the world. In this case, what could be gentler than walking a pilgrimage?

UNANY President Paula Rice Jackson, talking about the evening and the Pad Yatra film, said, "The film is an amazing piece of work. It is a spiritual film, an eco-centred film… about faith and determination, and about wanting to do the right thing - a big policy with us at the United Nations Association of New York." The UNANY story on this event, His Holiness and the film may be accessed at http://unanyc.org/news/2012/20120927_pad_yatra_special.html

Photographs of the event may be accessed at http://drukpa.mediafire.com/?781ci7bqli8tp

In August 2010, a series of cloudbursts triggered torrential rain, mudslides, flash floods and debris flows, inundating local areas in Ladakh, causing tremendous damage very quickly, and traumatic experiences for the local inhabitants. "The impact of the rain alone caused skin to break and bruise," says Darryl Hannah in her narration during the film Pad Yatra, clearly transmitting the degree of impact experienced. His Holiness the Gyalwang Drukpa, a revered spiritual leader in the region, soon arrived to survey the outcome of this event, offering on-the-ground support and aid, as well as spiritual relief, to survivors.

Although the Pad Yatra adventure shown in the film took place the year before the catastrophic events in Ladakh, it was clearly meant to signal a newly inspired response to such events and their prevention. Several regions have now banned plastic products, and filtered water has become a popular new enterprise to eliminate the demand for plastic bottled water.

His Holiness invited the inspired among the audience to join the upcoming pad yatra to Sri Lanka, while illuminating its fundamental importance for a participant: to forge a deeper connection to the natural world which we have largely ignored, to get a sense of "understanding of how important are the mountains, trees and waters - for the world, and especially for the individual… all these beauties which we have ignored." Details of the Sri Lanka Pad Yatra are available at http://walking.drukpa.com

"Although there were many Buddhist monks and nuns on the pad yatra, the values of the Pad Yatra are universal: to have a simple life and responsibilities, and to be helpful. These are values we learn from parents or teachers at a young age, we just need to return to them… to return to our beginner's mind, to what we already know," the Drukpa said. "We can do that through simple actions, it doesn't have to be complicated… using reusable bags when shopping, drinking tap water instead of bottled water… you can even do your own little pad yatra, picking up some garbage on your way home from work."

Traversing hundreds of miles on foot, sometimes at altitudes above 17,000 feet, the participants educated many locals on ecological responsibility while passing through villages, as well as collecting plastic litter and removing tons of polluting material from drinking sources.

During his current visit to New York, while attending some of the current UN General Assembly sessions, he also addressed the Women Leaders Forum. "We all have to join together to help eliminate fear, especially among women; not only women, but children and everyone who is affected by fear. This is because everyone deserves to be fearless and fearlessness is a part of our primordial nature," he said.

About Live to Love

Live to Love is an international network of non-profit organizations, founded by His Holiness the Gyalwang Drukpa to create and to support lasting solutions to modern problems.  The organization focuses on education, environmental protection, medical services and cultural preservation.  

Live to Love's impacts the following regions: Bhutan, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Malaysia, Mexico, Nepal, Peru, Poland, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, Vietnam, UK, and USA.


Through the work of the United Nations Association of New York and the over 175 community-based chapters around the country, UNA-USA creates a powerful national constituency for a United Nations that advances American interests in a global system. UNA offers each and every American the opportunity to connect with the critical issues confronted by the U.N. - from global health and human rights, to the spread of democracy, equitable sustainable development and international justice. UNA educates Americans about the work of the United Nations, and builds public support for more effective U.S. engagement in the U.N.

For Further Information, Please Contact

Shreeya Roy, Live to Love, +91-9350335761, communications@drukpa.com

SOURCE Live to Love Foundation