Meditations is one of those things that is going to take a lot of practice for me to get used to doing it. At first it was very uncomfortable to just sit alone with your thoughts, I’m not one to usually just sit in silence. I blast the radio in my car, put headphones in when I walk to class, I very rarely just sit quietly and check in with myself so this was a completely different experience. It actually felt really good to just sit back and have a moment where it was just me and my own thoughts. One of the things we learned in class was to take a moment and watch your thoughts just roll by. Instead of being in the driver’s seat of your mind, you take a more passive approach and just let the thoughts happen, and then roll away. This was a really relaxing way to check in with yourself, and a great way to learn to keep certain thoughts from taking over. One of my major takeaways from this practice was that I learned what parts of my life were taking over my thoughts. I learned what thoughts I was letting control my emotions by just taking a backseat and trying to let those thoughts just float by instead of linger like they usually do. I think more people should employ this practice as it is a great way to kind of mentally check in with yourself and just let some things go.
On day two of the class, we read an article and had to kind of debate sides of the article. The topic was whether Western values, ethics, and paradigms are compatible with sustainability. I read the “yes” side to the article and after reading I found that I disagreed with the argument that the article was making. I liked the discussion that we had in class about the article because, it kind of strengthened my understanding of why I disagreed with the “yes” article in the first place. The way western ideals have changed the world, is not necessarily all positive. They kind of introduced this idea that you can have something if you work hard enough for it, rather than a set of rigid class rules that determine your wealth for your whole life. Although a good concept, it allowed for a huge increase in greed over the years. Wants became needs, and that translated to an increase in humanity’s carbon footprint. A great example of this is one I experienced first hand while living in Dubai. Dubai is in the United Arab Emirates, a country founded entirely on oil. While the country itself is only 45 years old, they are one of the richest in the world. Before oil, they had a rich history of pearl diving and fishing as their main source of income. Once oil was found it changed the country forever. It seemingly grew overnight and is now home to buildings of record breaking heights, and the world’s biggest, fastest, most expensive everything. I watched the world’s biggest mall, and the world’s fastest roller coaster get built right in my backyard. A country that grew from humble beginnings, and now had one of the largest carbon footprints of any nation on the planet. I learned first hand just how many resources were being used up, and how quickly they were dwindling. This article really opened my eyes to what I had been experiencing, and that was the complete westernization of an entire country. I think overall it was really helpful reading this article, as it helped me understand what the world is moving towards if something is not changed.