Second week, going into yet another session of a class I continue to not completely understand the meaning behind. You can imagine my confusion behind reading about meditation and mindfulness for a class that has been piling on the negative conversations from the moment our professor pressed play on The 11th Hour. Seeing a reading, a discussion, and a workshop regarding the act of meditation and all that comes with it. As I walked into the classroom on Tuesday I didn’t really know what to expect, and was actually pleasantly surprised! Yoga has always been something I have thoroughly enjoyed as a form of exercise and getting in touch with myself in the current moment. I have found that the process of slowing my breath and really figuring out what parts of my life are overpowering my thoughts have increased my awareness of things going on in my life and things going on around me. I truly agree with the article on the idea that meditation can increase your awareness of outside stimulus, as well as, for possibilities for personal-wellbeing; things that go beyond material needs. I have found that to be true for myself. When sitting in a specific stance or completely poses in yoga, your mind is forced to focus on things happening in the here and now, and I have found that applying this to my life on a day to day basis has helped me be able to check in with how I am truly feeling and doing.
Yet again, as day two came around, my mind was completely open to what could be. Starting the day with ten minutes of meditation opens my mind to possibilities of things that may happen in that day. I read the article on the ‘no’ side and can honestly say that I agree with the ‘no’ side an insane amount more than the ‘yes’ side. The ‘no’ argument focuses on the materialism of man and how it has overcome the populations of western civilizations. Part of the ‘no’ argument that I enjoyed a lot was starting the main argument by introducing the movie The Age of Stupid. The movie started the argument of how humanity (in the movie) could have saved itself from collapse, but why didn’t they? Were they being stupid, or did they just not see humans as worth saving? These were the questions that the movie focused on. The article went on to explain that it’s all about cultural norms, and the collapse the movie focused on was caused by consumerism. An idea that the article touched on was that “asking someone growing up in consumer cultures to curb consumption is like asking them to stop breathing.” I thought that was very interesting because it’s easy to think that we could “just stop” consuming as much as we do if we put our mind to it, but that’s just not how things work. In the late 1600’s people sought after new ways to seek identity and fulfillment, this then caused the idea of “basic necessities” to grow. Now making it difficult for people to curb consumption because our ideas of what is needed has grown too much to go back. If anything this list of “necessities is growing beyond compare. In western culture we have this idea of “perfectly good, but seemingly outdated” which means that once a newer model comes along we feel the need and desire to have it when nothing is wrong with the product we already have. In fact, it has gotten to the point at which companies program their products to “give out” and make need for a newer model even if it wasn’t your original desire. Consumerism is part of the lens in which we see the world, we’re always looking for the next thing to buy whether its food or product. The lens will take a whole lot to change at this point, we’re too deep into consumerism. Will true society be like The Age of Stupid? Will we be able to see ourselves as worth saving? Only time will tell.