How Can Mindfulness Impact Climate Change?

Mindfulness Teacher - Jiva

An interview with mindfulness teacher, Rosalie Dores, exploring how mindfulness can impact climate change and why she chose to run a workshop addressing the challenges. 

 

What Has Mindfulness Got To Do With the Climate

A fundamental component of mindfulness is developing awareness. In particular learning how to see and be with things the way they are. We engage in meditation practices that allow us to connect more deeply with ourselves and with the world in which we live. 

In this way we find a deeply enriched experience of life. No longer living in a world mediated by constant patterns of thinking, we see life's beauty, sorrows and joys. 

Sometimes I think about it as a kind of sobering up. We let go of the fairytale of the perfect life and instead find the capacity and wisdom to meet life as it is. 

The verb to attend comes from the etymology to care. What we pay attention to we tend to care about. And so it is with the climate. 

 

Globe

 

How Can Mindfulness Impact Climate Change?

In our current, technologically dominated world. Our attention is called here, there and everywhere. We could say that mindfulness is a radical act of paying attention. 

If we're paying attention, we can't help but notice that our world is in trouble. Countries are threatened with extinction or major challenges due to flooding, drought, famine and extreme weather. 

 

Join our Active Hope: Climate Crisis Workshop on 3. July. 

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Mindfulness can impact the climate by supporting people in facing up to what's happening and being able to manage their responses, staying resourceful in the midst of great change and contribute to making positive change.

Historian activist Rebecca Solnit says that optimism and pessimism are certainties, hope doesn't know, but acts anyway. This is the invitation I am making in offering the workshop.

 

 

What Motivated You To Create the Climate Change Workshop?

I have been concerned about what is happening to our world for a long time. In taking the online Active Hope Course with Chris Johnston I felt inspired to do more. One of the components of the workshop is to consider how you might participate in contributing to positive change.

I'm a mindfulness teacher. And I'm a good mindfulness teacher. So I knew that I could do that. I could teach people what I was learning. How to move from the sense of powerlessness we face as humanity to a sense of empowerment. The workshop really does offer a sense that each of us has something of value to offer. 

I remember being told by an activist that the antidote to despair, hopelessness, anxiety and depression is action. I have certainly found this to be my experience.  By engaging with climate uncertainty I have been able to create a feeling of connection with the world around me. I feel more hopeful and want to support others to do so.

 

Can You Tell Us a Bit More About Joanna Macy’s Active Hope?

Active Hope is structured around the work that reconnects spiral developed by Joanna Macy. The work begins by cultivating gratitude for what we love. This is the foundation and the first of four stages. 

 

  • Stage One: Finding Gratitude

We find a foundation in a deep sense of gratitude for all that we are offered by the earth. In this way we come into touch with what we most care about. This care can bring us to connect with any sadness, depression and despair that might be present in regard to danger towards earth. 

 

  • Stage Two: Acknowledging Our Pain

The next stage is acknowledging our pain for the world. The pain itself is data and feedback, important feedback that something is wrong. For many of us, our habitual response to feeling pained is to bury our heads in the sand or deny. This can work for a while, but the problems don't go away. 

 

  • Stage Three: Seeing the World With Fresh Eyes

Thirdly, we see the world around us with new eyes, acknowledging that our pain can arouse a sense of energy and courage toward positive change. We recognise that we are a vital part of the culture, society and global population in which we live and that we have a part to play.

 

’We are not born into this world. We are born out of it.‘ 

ALAN WATTS

 

During the workshop we recognise that we are a part of this great planet and that in acting to protect it, we are acting to protect ourselves. We see with new eyes that we can make a vital contribution to change.

 

 

  • Stage Four: Contributing to Positive Change

When we see with new eyes, we can be moved to go forth. To contribute to positive change in whatever way we feel able. The workshop that I'll be offering is structured around the spiral of Active Hope. 

 

Join our Active Hope: Climate Crisis Workshop on 3. July. 

JOIN WORKSHOP

 

What Are the Biggest Challenges Around Meeting Climate Change Mindfully?

I think the biggest challenge to meeting the climate change mindfully is the tendency to want to close down when we feel anxious or fearful in any way. The practices and material that I will be offering will support people in feeling more grounded and resourced in turning towards the climate challenges we face.

 

 

What Sort of Change Do You Hope To Create?

My hope for the workshop is that people will leave equipped with ways of seeing and practices that will support them in feeling empowered and able to face the climate challenges we are experiencing proactively.

This is an introuductory workshop, which I plan to extend into a course for those that would like to take a more active role and to develop this further in the future. 

 

Is This Workshop Suitable for Everyone?

The workshop is for anyone feeling concerned about what's happening to our climate and would like to feel more empowered in facing these challenges. You do not need to have an established mindfulness practice to join, more a willingness to learn and explore. 

 

Join our Active Hope: Climate Crisis Workshop on 3. July. 

JOIN WORKSHOP

 

A portion of the proceeds from the Climate Change Workshop at the Mindfulness Project will be offered as a donation to the Active Hope training.