Meditation & the Earth Crisis
The life of Jesus is a ceaseless prayer that we may all ‘be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you.’ (John 17:20) The Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh gives voice to the same eternal wisdom when he says that ‘we are here to awaken from the illusion of our separateness.’ It is this illusion that has created the rampant individualism of contemporary human culture and the conflicts that arise when we see those who are different from us as merely the others. It separates us, as well, from any way of understanding the world other than one with humanity and its desire for material growth and satisfaction at the very centre of everything.
Every day now we are seeing the result of being trapped in the slumber of this toxic illusion. What we have glibly called ‘nature’ or ‘the environment’ – somehow holding it at arm’s length from us – has turned into nothing more than a resource to be exploited by humanity for our own limited and, ultimately, self-defeating purposes. Now the forests are on fire or simply disappearing, the rivers are flooding and the seas rising. Because of the climate catastrophe our soils are depleted, species are vanishing and humanity itself is threatened by famine, conflict and war.
The dominant world-view of our times has moved a long way from the biblical vision, in which humanity is a steward – a gardener – on this planet. With our massive increase of technological power and economic growth we have became exploiters. We have found ourselves disconnected from the power of beauty that is manifested throughout the cosmos and, with heart-breaking intensity, on this fragile planet.
The situation has become critical. The effects are everywhere and inescapable. But, because humanity has produced the problem, humanity can also solve it. We have the science and resources for a green revolution. But do we have the mind? Do we have the common purpose and sense of interdependence? Above all, do we have a capacity to see the sacred in our ecological relationships? Can we be ‘saved by beauty’?
WCCM’s activities seek to develop a Unified Consciousness – a description of the way of being that Jesus embodies in his life and shares through his prayer for us to the Father. This is the mind, taught by every wisdom tradition, that sees though all ideas of separateness. Such contemplative consciousness is integral to the saving of our planet. It nurtures in each one of us the capacity to see how economic and social justice, a healthy lifestyle, self-control and the creative use of resources and technology are all inseparable.
Meditation does not solve every one of our problems but it does radically change the way we see them. Most vitally, it opens the eye of the heart so that we can shape our policies with wisdom and ensure that compassion is never lost. Earth’s crisis – the ravaging of its climate, the imbalances in its ecology – is a central concern for the WCCM. We are committed to the healing of our relationship with Earth through our shared practice and through the teaching and resources our community provides. With this same commitment we will continue to reach out to all interested individuals and organisations in a spirit of collaboration, raising and unifying consciousness, strengthening our ever-increasing global sense of unity.
You can use the short video below from our recent meditation for COP28 to continue to respond to this cry during the sessions in Dubai.
Charles Brandt, writing from his hermitage in the forests of British Columbia, leads us to a fuller sense of the sacredness of creation and of our oneness with nature. in this book, he explores the damage inflicted on our sense of self and of God by the split we have made between humanity and the natural world. He helps us recover wholeness by showing how meditation and insight into the beauty of the world offer vital hope for a world in crisis. Click on the image to buy the book.
Connect with us
We have decided to begin an online meditation group for anyone feeling isolated with thoughts and feelings and fear around the climate crisis. Every Thursday at 7pm UK time. All are welcome. Click on the image to join us.
Hosted by Vincent Maire from Auckland, NZ and presented by Judith Keller in Australia, this forum focuses on the question: Given what is happening to Earth, our common home, what is the role of meditation?
Hosted by Cristiana Coimbra and with input from Gerson da Costa Filho and Bartô Macuxi. Bartô is an artist and politician from the heart of the Brazilian Amazon, very close to the Yanomami people (who live in the same state).
Dr Jason M Brown looks with us at gratitude, pain, new ways of seeing and the ways we might go forth. We also hear from the Brandt Oyster River Hermitage Society and celebrate the relaunch of Charles Brandt's book Self and Environment. Click on the image to watch the recording. Jason is Lecturer in the Department of Humanities School of Resource and Environmental Management at Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, BC Canada www.holyscapes.org
Explore the ways in which contemplation might be fundamental in enabling us to act wisely and urgently and to live through this current crisis fully, creatively and collectively.
COP26 AND THE CLIMATE CRISIS
Fr Laurence was present at COP26 in Glasgow, Scotland in November 2021. He delivered a talk to delegates on Inner and Outer Ecology – How a contemplative orientation to the climate crisis can change minds and hearts and lead to decisive action. WATCH THE TALK HERE . Below are the reflections he wrote during his time there.
WCCM Talks on Climate Emergency
PLEASE WATCH AND SHARE ALL THE TALKS THAT HAVE TAKEN PLACE OVER COP26
Leaflets to download and share
Los folletos están aquí en español
Folhetos em português
Les dépliants sont ici en français
Talks and Seminars
The 37th annual John Main Seminar was hosted by WCCM Mexico in Mexico City with Fr. Alex Zatyrka as the featured speaker.
The 29th John Main Seminar hosted in Indaiatuba, São Paulo, Brazil, and was led by theologians Leonardo Boff and Frei Betto
Download the transcript here: https://issuu.com/meditatio/docs/contemplation_for_an_age_of_artific 1 – Talk 12 – Q&A Session Talk 13 – Talk 24 – Q&A Session Talk
Asymmetry of the Brain and Human Meaning with Dr Iain McGilchristAt The Meditatio Centre, St Marks Myddelton Sq London EC1R
Resources for Purchase