~Written by Colette Power~
Supervisor and Retreat Leader for The Mindfulness Network
This blog post is part of a series exploring the relationship between practice and action in the face of climate change; how can these work together to guide, inspire and support us? Read the other posts in the series HERE and HERE.
‘Imagine,’ said Joanna Macy, ‘people will look back at us at this point and say, ‘Wow, what would it have been like to be alive then!’’ We are facing challenging and turbulent times – our planet in distress, political instability, social injustice and increasing levels of inequality. Jon Kabat-Zinn has called climate change the greatest crisis of our civilization, a direct consequence of the choices we have made both individually and collectively.
Smooth seas do not skillful sailors make
And yet, at this very moment of danger and chaos lies an incredible opportunity to step out of political autopilot, out of the limitations we have placed on ourselves and our imaginations. This adventure is radically different, inviting us to journey beyond the mind-made boundaries that keep us small, separate and locked into human suffering. Climate change illustrates that we are all inextricably linked to the web of life and all actions have consequences for all beings. Each one of us will do this work for all humans, all animals, all life forms. What a time to be alive indeed! But where do we start?
Connecting: The sky is not made beautiful by one but many stars
Uncertainty and fear are compounded by feelings of helplessness and isolation. We can cover these difficult feelings by keeping our heads down and keeping busy, but the feelings persist. Connection is the antidote to isolation. We can honour our feelings and fears, and explore our creative, hopeful responses when we come together in a place of safety.
Climate Crisis: A Catalyst for Personal Practice (don’t just do something ~ sit there)
Christina Feldman reminds us compassion is forged, not at a distance from our pain, but in the fires of it. Our practice begins with us, turning to face our own fear, confusion and despair. Jon Kabat-Zinn believes that meditation is the “radical act of love and sanity” we need to meet climate change. When we sit, clarity increases and we gain insight into that which immobilizes us, obstructs our agency and blocks action. When we sit, the chance arises to see through the root illusion of self that obscures the certainty of our connection. We become more able to be of service to ourselves, our communities and our planet.
Climate Crisis: A Catalyst for Compassionate Action (don’t just sit there ~ do something)
Many of us hold ourselves back from taking part because we have no idea where to begin or we believe that nothing we do can change anything – but the opposite is true, everything we do matters. Change will be brought about by many small moments, movements and actions.
Together, we can explore ways forward that speak to each of us and that make best use of our gifts and skills. Together, we can find the courage to begin and the support to continue.
The ‘Our Work Is Loving the World’ retreat is for anyone who has some familiarity with mindfulness or meditation and who cares about our planet. This is our chance to deepen our practice, to connect more deeply with each other and our world, and to work together for individual, collective, and social transformation.
Let everything happen to you.
Beauty and terror.
Just keep going.
No feeling is final
Our Work Is Loving the World: Responding to the climate emergency with clarity, care and compassionate action
When: 31 May 2020 – 04 Jun 2020
Where: EarthSpirit Centre, Somerset
Tutors: Colette Power, Bridgette O’Neill, Julia Wallond
There are places available on this event: Application form and fees
Colette Power is a mindfulness and self-compassion trainer and a ‘Work that Reconnects’ facilitator www.colettepower.com