062 – What’s Climate Change got to do with Spiritual Practice?
Mindfulness Online Training
Until recently, when people asked me my opinion on climate change, I told them I didn’t know enough about it to comment. I’d respond by explaining how the earth is like everything in that it’s created, sustained and ultimately destroyed. I felt a little ignorant about the whole climate change thing if I’m being honest.
Recently, two events took place which increased my awareness and understanding. A friend of mine was locked up in a police cell for protesting about climate change in London. And I watched David Attenborough’s recent BBC documentary. I view David as a “trusted source” when it comes to nature.
I learned about climate change being (in David’s words) “Our greatest threat in thousands of years”. And that we may only have the next decade to take dramatic action and avoid irreversible damage to nature and collapse of societies.
From there, I contemplated what this means in terms of spiritual practice. In my book “Living a Life of Harmony – 7 Guidelines for Cultivating Peace & Kindness” there are four guidelines that are highly relevant to this situation:
- Act with kindness, considering everyone and everything
- Understand the truth, communicating it skilfully and selectively
- Harmoniously obtain and retain only what you need
- Do only what needs to be done
Kindness features in all spiritual teachings. Personally, I believe it stretches out well beyond people into all of nature. And when you stop and think about it, if we’re unkind to nature, we’ll be harming people as well! Eating less of the foods that we know contribute towards climate change like lamb and beef can be an act of kindness to the animals and to nature.
I feel it’s important that we understand and communicate the facts when it comes to climate change. I appreciate that most of us aren’t scientists who can directly evidence or infer what’s going on. However, we can turn to our trusted sources like David Attenborough to help us. And then there’s the question of how we communicate what we believe to be true – to ensure that our words and actions have the best possible impact.
Having only what we need plays a big part in helping manage climate change. When we buy items excessively we’re encouraging their transportation which is often international and contributing towards higher CO2 levels. If we can buy only the items we need, go for quality, and make them last longer, that’s going to help. And obtaining items harmoniously means considering how they’re made and supplied.
Finally – doing only what needs to be done – especially in the area of personal travel and transport will certainly help.
All of these guidelines need to be applied at the collective as well as the individual level. Families, organisations and countries all need to be directed to do the right thing. And the right thing aligns beautifully with the basics that we find in spiritual teachings.
Copyright © 2019 Darren Cockburn. All Rights Reserved