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PHIL 431- Topic 8 Discussion: Tree Ordinations

Aug 23, 2023

Topic 8 Discussion


The tree ordinations are a particularly striking example of the re-framing of a Buddhist ritual to accomplish an environmental goal. Yet while they have now (largely) achieved acceptance in Thailand, they were initially deeply controversial. Many people felt that since trees, by definition, could not truly receive ordination, “ordaining” them in this way was a debasement of the ordination ritual, arguably the most important ritual in the Buddhist world.


What do you think? Are the tree ordinations a skillful appropriation of Buddhist rituals, justified by the dire state of deforestation in Thailand? Or do they go too far, debasing Buddhist rituals?


Remember that for each discussion post, you need to write:

  • your initial post, 2-3 paragraphs in length, that develops 1 or more arguments

Topic 8 Discussion: Tree Ordinations

Tree Ordinations”, is related to being one of the striking examples which can re-frame under the Buddhist so that they can accomplish the environmental goal while engaging in Buddhism rituals into it.  As stated by Darlington, (2012), narrates the image based on the ordaining tree which speaks about the strong reactions. Thus, the scholars have debated in detail the degree to of Buddhism has inherently caused an understanding of the environment, so that one can debate the primary abstract related to raising Buddha and their value, which concerns the suffering relevant to the natural world while it’s focused on the primary needs of the humans, as it is mentioned in the Buddhist scriptures, which often encompasses within the environment and its ethics related to the concept of Nature as narrated in the Buddhist concept. Moreover, the text of Darlington, (2012), trees are suffering in Thailand, thus, with the acceptance of Buddhism in Thailand, this deeply controversial notion can be removed. Buddhism acts like one of the auspicious religious efforts undertaken in Thailand by living on a religious aspect while responding to an ever-changing situation while relating to various agendas. Moreover, I think that ordaining tree is based on a radical note, which is provocative, or they are controversial and acts as a challenge for people to take up the responsibilities related to society and the natural environment.

Eventually, based on the analysis, Thailand is based on increasing development, however, it is growing to form deforestation. Moreover, acres of forests are been cleared under contract farming or have an ability of torn down systems that have room for new factories and industries, which causes massive flooding during the monsoon season. Moreover, the environmentalist eventually acts like an advocate for the Thai Buddhists who can answer the calls. Through this, it is based on the rituals like the Tree of Ordination, where the monks of Thailand integrated Buddhist principles with environmental movements. Moreover, I would want to state that as the rituals like the tree ordination, mostly the monks of Thailand integrated the Buddhist principles to garner support from all the followers while encouraging sustainable practice. Buddhist have been accumulating better merits through proper performance with all the good deeds, while it has been ensuring a better next life to take a step ahead to a close step so that one can reach enlightenment and ultimately it is Nirvana.

In my opinion, I would state that Buddhism is one of the rituals which is based on the significance of removing suffering from society. Apart from this, the primary goals are based on the Buddhist religion to end human suffering, while the Thailand monks are required to follow the policy to save the forest which is suffering. As stated by Darlington, (2012), a Buddhist monk in Thailand wraps orange clerical robes around the trees to protect them. The term “ordaining”, is mainly based on the tree to protect them while provocation the rituals to act like a symbol of a small influential monastic movement that aimed at reversing the environmental degradation with an unsustainable form to bring forth economic development and consumerism to fuel it.

I did not find that they have been debasing any Buddhist ritual, because research on the Thailand monks has denoted the facts which state that monks have been facing several obstacles as wanted to plant the ordaining tree system. Here, the monks face a loss of reputation, they got arrested and even had to face assassination, to reveal the difficulty to enact social justice. Therefore, the tree ordination itself is recognized as one of the withstanding formations which require to be appreciated by the Thailand government, as most of the trees are suffering. Thus, this is one of the fascinating, efforts that are engaged by Buddhism.


Darlington, S. M. (2012). The ordination of a tree: The Thai Buddhist environmental movement. Suny Press.

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