Stepping Mindfully toward Healing the Earth

Fridays for Future demonstration, Berlin, Sept. 20, 2019

As our small group of Sangha members practices walking meditation to the site of the demonstration from nearby Tiergarten, I am thinking about the profound shift that is asking to manifest inside many of us. Sustainability and climate rescue aren’t primarily technological or even political challenges in the conventional sense. They are, rather, a psychological-spiritual door through which we are invited to walk as we deepen our understanding of ourselves, our true needs, and our inter-connectedness with all beings.

In response to this invitation, I aspire to walk purposefully and to look deeply to recognize the habitual, usually unconscious mental processes that govern so many of my actions. Shining the light of attention on these processes softens their grip on me and enables me to act more like a free person in accordance with a deeper, holistic knowing.

Walking mindfully alongside the others in my group, I experience peace and trust well up followed by a feeling of unconditional joy. As we harmonize our steps with our breath and move together like a river, I feel myself expand to embrace more and more of what is, the whole of reality exactly as it presents itself at this very moment. Stresses and fears that have lodged themselves in my mind-heart-body are beginning to dissolve with each conscious step, making room for gratitude, love and creativity.

The walking meditation reveals to me a deeper and experiential understanding of my true nature and my true needs. Materially these needs amount to a fraction of what they appear to be when viewed through in a less conscious frame of mind. Walking mindfully, my consciousness is undergoing a shift from experiencing life through “having” and “doing” to experiencing it through “being.” Along with this shift, common perceptions of scarcity and threat give way to perceptions of abundance, safety and potential.

The state of the earth’s ecosystem is a reflection of the state of our inner ecosystem, which for most of us is a more or less chaotic battleground of ever-changing views, allegiances, impulses, desires and judgments. This leaves us feeling very dissatisfied and we keep running after more stuff, money, experiences, status and power in hopes of overcoming this feeling. Bringing peace and healing to our inner world is key to achieving peace and healing for the outer.

I am encouraged by the degree to which I have observed my own consciousness shift in the years since I started meditating and following a spiritual path. Though I clearly have a long ways to go, this small progress on my part is evidence to me that caring for and healing our inner ecosystem are within reach. Though the shift has been mostly incremental and relatively slow for me, I believe that it can also occur in spurts if the circumstances are right.

I am hopeful that circumstances will soon be right for a rapid global shift in consciousness and on this Friday I dedicate my purposeful steps to that end.

May all beings be happy and free.

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