OK - my inner Zen Buddhist practitioner and Taoist sympathizer would like a word at this point. Call it 'equal time'. When we last met I was caught up in despairing for humanity and the rest of creation in the midst of the toxic onslaught of crisis-news from around the world. The tide of this daily barrage has certainly not turned hopeful, and shows no signs of doing so any time soon.
So how is it possible to feel profoundly pessimistic about mankind's chances for longterm survival and the health of the planet, and simultaneously feel an enthusiasm for this particular life and the opportunity to be a 'voice for Gaia'? Buddhism teaches us to embrace paradox, or at least to confront the paradox of universal truths in the context of our life in the chaotic relative world. I have just re-watched the film, 'What the Bleep do we know!?' to remind myself of the universal spiritual and scientific (according to quantum physics) truth of interconnectedness, among other things. This film also illustrates very poetically that we create our personal reality moment by moment, through the power of our thoughts, choices and intentions. A small, seemingly insignificant act can have a long reach. And an open heart and mind can pave our way, as I learned over and over last year while walking east.
My inner Buddhist says I cannot be a voice for the earth if I assume the role of passive observer (victim?) of the 'profit system', a role which is as physically debilitating as it is depressing! It seems a fundamental necessity to operate, as much as possible(!), from the position of compassionate co-creator of our troubled/beautiful world. How can I hold myself separate from the atrocities occurring all over the planet when I, by virtue of living a consumption-driven western lifestyle, am also benefitting every day from the results of resource exploitation, inhumane treatment of animals, people and entire cultures for the sake of profit? And how can I help to heal the wounds of the world if I let frustration and negativity take the emotional lead?
These are some of my questions of the moment. In this next walk phase I will try and do better at being attentive to my grief for what we have lost, and at celebrating the beauty and diversity of life on earth. PS - The best film on environment that I have ever seen is called 'Racing Extinction' by Louie Psihoyos, the filmmaker who also made 'The Cove'.
|Brown pelicans - my heroes (speaking of 'racing extinction'!)|
|Early results from a very fun ceramics class...|