Is mindfulness the key to living a healthier, more satisfying, and could even lead to a more sustainable lifestyle? Mindfulness is best achieved through forms of meditation; meditation is the best route to really honing in on ones thoughts and surroundings. For myself, I have always enjoyed an occasional yoga class because it is a full hour of just focusing on “the now” and reduces my stresses for that period of time. The meditation exercises we performed in class felt very liberating to me and left me fascinated at how meditation (if done properly) affects your body mentally and physically. Before we began to meditate, I was so exhausted from the day already that I was dozing off during the beginning of class, but when we meditated for only five minutes, I was rejuvenated. My body felt well rested and so relaxed, my shoulders were looser, and I was so much more awake and alert for the rest of the lesson. I have always been an anxious person, suffering from consequences of stress and have always been told meditation is the key to living a happier life and I believe it. I do believe that meditation is a key to reducing stress and increasing health, but how does sustainability go hand in hand with being more mindful?
I do not believe that being more mindful could lead a society to being more mindful, I wish it were only that simple. Meditation is something that personally benefits an individual, much like exercise; someone doesn’t lose weight to appease the world, but they lose weight to feel better about themselves, to feel more attractive, to live longer. This thought hardened after out second class together, us students debating the articles that we read. I was on the yes side of our argument, the topic being “Are Western values, ethics, and dominant paradigms compatible with sustainability?” The “yes” article was essentially that if people enacted this idea of being sustainable it could become a much used tactic in saving our planet, and being more aware connects with mindfulness and meditation, but human nature goes against all those thoughts. Like I described in my previous blog post, almost all people are ignorant and fail to think of other things that do not effect their everyday environment crucially, so to say that if everyone would practice a form of meditation and that would lead to them being more conscious of what is around them is complete nonsense to me. People are trying so hard to find a way to solve this wicked problem that is only growing in severity that they are coming up with the most passive ways to solve this puzzle. There is no easy way to fix the mess we have created and I certainly think that meditation is not to reverberate the issue.
Yes, meditation could make an individual think about themselves in the world, their waste, and what they contribute, and maybe an individual will start reducing their wasteful intake, but this issue is bigger than employing more sustainable habits, much, much bigger.