Mindfulness and environmental sustainability : A journey inwards
Mindfulness can change the life of individual. The question to ask is, can it change the world?
Thich Nhat Hanh, Buddhist leader explains it beautifully “Mindfulness is the energy of being aware and awake to the present moment. It is the continuous practice of touching life deeply in every moment of daily life. To be mindful is to be truly alive, present, and at one with those around you and with what you are doing. We bring our body and mind into harmony while we wash the dishes, drive the car, or take our morning shower”.
In our daily lives, we spend most of the time in thinking about past and future, walking, working or eating. It is when we are aware of these practices, we become mindful. It is the process of being aware of yourself in the present moment. Because it is in the present when you are home. It is when you pay attention to your breathing which is the solid foundation in which you take refuge, you are aware. It is when you are aware of nature and its heavenly creation around, you are mindful.
Today, the practice of mindfulness is needed not just for personal growth and development but for society as a whole community to become sustainable space. In the midst of climate change where we are facing extreme floods, windstorms, heat-waves and threat to our natural environment including the pandemic, a social and cultural shift is required. It is necessary for people to be able to develop sense of awareness towards the macro environment that they belong to. In times of climate change, each individual has to be more mindful by broadening their cognitive horizon and being more open. A human has to be aware of the products it is consuming and the kind of implications it has on natural environment.
Christine Wamsler remarks the close connection between mindfulness and environmental sustainability and says, “mindfulness and global sustainability are more connected than we think, but we need to know more about the link between them. It’s high time to explore the practical impact that contemplative practices such as mindfulness can have on sustainability, and how we can tap into this potential to drive global change.”
It is important to remember, sustainability is a daily living process with earth in mind while mindfulness is the way of life by being in NOW!