HD Balancing Material and Spiritual Development - GPIW and the Gross National Happiness Center of Bhutan - Gathering in June 2013
Film by Kartikey Shiva — “Today GNH has come to mean so many things to so many people, but to me it signifies simply—development with values. Thus for my nation today GNH is the bridge between the fundamental values of kindness, equality and humanity, and the necessary pursuit of economic growth. GNH acts as our national Conscience guiding us towards making wise decisions for a better future.” – His Majesty Jigme Khesar Namgyel WangchuckThe Kingdom of Bhutan is leading the way in seeking a new development paradigm that has as it central values the happiness and wellbeing of its people and the health of its environment. The Gross National Happiness Index is designed to assess how the nation is doing in this regard. The Kingdom has taken many steps to ensure the health of its eco systems, including a commitment to maintain 60% forest cover, to grow its food organically, to ban plastics, to have one day each month be a carless day, among other efforts. It has also taken steps to maintain its cultural and spiritual heritage. The spiritual energy of Bhutan is in fact the foundation for its wellbeing. What we can learn from Bhutan is the deeper reality of interdependence and the understanding that the natural resources are living forces necessary for our survival. All nations will need to realize these two truths if we are to preserve the Earth’s ecosystems, the life forces that sustain us. This gathering is meant to explore how we together can become a Sacred Earth Community, a community of nations, which through our individual spiritual traditions and practices, knows to preserve, maintain and treasure all that the Earth has to offer, in a mutual exchange of love and appreciation.