Climate Change is the most prescient and overwhelming issue of our time. Many of us have deep feelings about what to do about it and how to live in a society where it is being largely ignored or denied.
My personal process around this issue has been to work as an activist for the past 10 years through the arts. But I struggled with profound overwhelm and apathy. A combination of Body Centered Spiritual Therapy and a deepening of my Mindfulness practice has given me a ground from which to address this issue, no matter what the outcome. I would like to share it with you.
Our time together supports the awareness that cultivating inner peace and a community of love gives us the strength we need to address daunting issues with creativity, clarity and determination.
The following principles are a guide towards deepening our process around our feelings about climate change. These principles can be used for gatherings where people are wanting to connect and share about their feelings about climate change.
I offer weekend long workshops for communities who are wanting to address the feelings, thoughts and actions that are necessary to live in our changing world.
CLIMATE DHARMA PRINCIPLES
1. We can acknowledge that living in an age of Climate Change is deeply unsettling and our emotional response to it will differ based on our personal histories. This may mean that we feel numb, helpless, terrified, enraged, grief stricken, or deeply motivated, and more.
2. We can acknowledge that many of us feel isolated with these feelings because we live in a society that is mostly in denial about Climate Change. This creates an experience of unreality, which can lead to feelings of craziness, numbness, and more isolation.
3. We can acknowledge that it is necessary for us to seek and create communities where we can be honest about our feelings about Climate Change, and take time to address them.
4. We support the idea that Climate Change offers humanity a unique and potent opportunity to become clear about our core interdependent relationship with all things; human, plant, animal, elemental. Climate Change reminds us clearly that we are not separate, and our wellbeing arises from the wellbeing of all other beings.
This is the seed of Dharma being offered humanity by the Climate Crisis.
5. We support the idea that this seed of awareness begins within each one of us, and can grow into a powerful clarity about our path into the future.
6. We can acknowledge that in order to cultivate this seed of awareness we need to take time to stop “doing” and become still. Bringing our attention to our breath, our bodies, and the immediate present that is arising with us. We may from this place begin to honor ourselves as an intimate part of this web of existence. And in so doing begin to let go of internal voices that divide or are oppressive of our basic core goodness.
7. We can acknowledge that no matter what the outcome of our climate crisis our awareness of our goodness and the inherent goodness of all beings and things supports a compassionate, energized and wise presence that will be of service to humanity as we transition to new ways of being.
Beth Fairservis, MPC