I never put much thought into meditation; I always thought it didn’t work. When I was asked to perform three different methods of meditation in class, I thought it would be a waste of my time. The first method, using the chocolate and focusing only on the chocolate, was my favorite method. While moving the chocolate around in my mouth, I focused on the texture and the movement; surprisingly, I felt myself relax and calm down from the stress I was feeling beforehand. After finishing that method, we moved on to the guided meditation, led by Tara Brach. I was expecting a lot from this, I figured that having someone speak to me and guide me through the motions would relax me more than the chocolate did. I found that it didn’t really work out for me, I would have much rather sat in silence and focused on something else. The third method, object meditation, also did not work out for me. I tried to focus on the tree branch in my hand, but I could not find myself drifting away like I was with the chocolate. I suppose I may have been focusing too hard on the branch and not hard enough on “becoming one” with it.
The past week or so, I have been finding myself attempting different forms of meditation and figuring out which ones do the most for me. I have been noticeably more relaxed since beginning that journey, and I hope it will continue. I knew I should find some kind of meditation that worked for me, because after reading the article about mindfulness and sustainability, I learned that being mindful can lead to an improvement in my well-being, my values, empathy, and compassion, which will increase my sustainable behavior. To be mindful, I found that meditation is a great pathway to open that mindful mindset. Being mindful and focusing on the present, can help me lower my carbon footprint, which I discovered last week, and help me improve my sustainable thinking. And just as Marc Cohen discussed in his presentation about happiness, I cannot be fully well, until the world is well. If I increase my sustainable behavior and I do everything I can to help “become one” with the earth, then I can be fully happy and my well-being will increase.
By watching the 11thHour documentary, I learned that there is the societal paradigm that we, as humans, are separate from nature. This is completely wrong in the sense that we are intermingled with nature, it is a give and take relationship. Humans are a part of nature, and unless we learn that, we will only increase the issues that we are already dealing with. Issues such as deforestation, ocean and air pollution, and biodiversity loss are all wicked problems that we deal with today. Unfortunately, many people do not recognize these issues or know how to define or solve them, which is why they are wicked. The second activity that I did forced me to think about these issues and if they are reversible, solvable, unique, or urgent. I found myself sitting in confusion for a couple of those boxes. I thought long and hard if deforestation had an endpoint; I claimed that there was no endpoint, but that it was reversible. I came to the conclusion that deforestation could be solved if people just planted more trees all around the world, but that may be naïve thinking. Perhaps there is no endpoint to deforestation, maybe the human population will continue to cut down trees until there are no more left.
I can only hope that the meditation I do will help increase my sustainable behavior and help me pass it on to more people. There is always a chance that sustainable behavior will become the new trend that catches on with everyone.