This week our class discussed the meaning behind mindfulness and how it relates to sustainability. Mindfulness is the psychological process of bringing one’s attention to experiences in the present moment. While looking further into what mindfulness is, I realized that it could have an overall impact. In the beginning, I thought that it could only help yourself become healthier. I also believed that it was a practice that only certain religions practiced. After researching, I figured out that while it is true that certain religions practice mindfulness, it is also an individual practice. This realization opened my mind up to wanting to know more about mindfulness.
One of my biggest takeaways from this week was how meditation could affect societies thinking patterns. Before learning this, my thought process was, yes; we need to fix our current ways to help instead of hurting the planet yet, everyone has their own opinion. Therefore, no one would ever be on the same page. For example, one might think that it is necessary to recycle while another disagrees. Now having learned about meditation and how it can adjust one’s opinion in many ways has proved to me that humanity might have a chance of getting on one page.
I believe that I heavily contributed to the fact that the economy is above all in the eyes of humanity. We think of ourselves as superior to every other living thing on the planet when, in reality, we are equal. Having this mindset of being superior has driven humanity to idolize things that we do not need to survive. Money is the most significant invention that we, as humans “think” we need to survive. The way the world has developed around money has dug us into a hole. While eliminating cash is a stretch, our second option is to work around the economy, creating new ways to fix a short-term problem. Which in hindsight is making everything worse. If everyone started practicing mindfulness, I believe we would see a dramatic change in society. So many of the worlds smaller problems would improve and possibly even vanish, leaving the world happier and more sustainable.
In class, we took some time to start the process of mediation. First, we found which position was the most comfortable for each of us, and then we continued by closing our eyes and focusing on our breathing. As the week went on, we kept adding on techniques such as concentrating on parts of our body, such as our feet or hands. Doing this introduced the practice in a relaxed and comforting way. Then as a class, we were given an assignment where we had to take 5 minutes out of our day to meditate. Before this exercise, I used music as a way to calm me down if I was stressed, but after finishing this assignment, I was surprised to learn that I loved meditation. Although I struggled with focusing while meditating, I could see a change by the end of the 5 minutes. I am excited to see how my everyday attitude and wellbeing will change as I continue this practice by implementing it into my daily routine.