It is often said that Buddhism is a pragmatic religion, because its teachings can be applied to all times, this non-dogmatic aspect being certainly its greatest strength. In your opinion, what is the teaching that best responds to current societal or ecological issues?
Doctor Dinh Hy Trinh: Dear Madam,
I believe that in fact the universal character of Buddhist philosophy means that it can be adapted and applied to all times. But ours precisely must face up to major societal and ecological challenges, as you have pointed out.
On a societal level, the teaching of the Four Truths can bring understanding of human suffering and its origins, and lead to remedies, i.e. the development of loving-kindness and tolerance, as well as the practice of mindfulness, in order to restore peace and harmony in our societies, troubled by all kinds of inequality, discrimination and violence.
On the ecological level, it is the understanding of the principle of conditioned co-production, which should make us aware of the close links that unite us all, humans, animals and plants, air, water and earth, in this immense universe of which we are a part. This holistic vision of the world must make us active defenders of the environment and nature, with a view to a brighter future for future generations.