The Magic of Mindfulness

Mindfulness has been a hot topic in my classes this semester. I have discussed it in Wicked Problems, Philosophy, and of course Mindfulness. In these courses I have learned that mindfulness is a mental technique that promotes awareness and a more present way of living. Living a mindful life is not an easy thing to do, but in the long run you will be much happier and much more free. There are many ways of practicing mindfulness that can range from listening to the chime of bells to simply just looking up instead of down while you walk or looking at the trees and enjoying nature. When practiced mindfulness can lead to wellness and values of empathy, which in turn can lead to sustainable behavior. The true awareness and consciousness of mindful people allows them to notice what is truly around them, the good things as well as the bad.

The “ Mindfulness and Sustainability” reading also touched on a few concepts that connect mindfulness to sustainability. ON being that the majority of the decisions that people make everyday are made with their subconscious mind. It said that people’s decisions are not fully contemplated and their consequences are not fully recognized. This contributes to the issues of people buying fast fashion and convenient one time use items. Some people also live in biased pictures of reality not allowing them to see the true problems that are happening in the world. Mindfulness could help with this because the awareness that comes from mindfulness practices could promote empathy which has the opportunity to lead to more environmentally friendly attitudes.

Marc Cohens Ted Talk also relates the concepts of mindfulness to promoting sustainability. One of his concepts was that someone couldn’t be happy unless they were well , and for them to be well that person to be well the people and the world around them were well too. This means that to be well we need our Earth to be well and at the moment it needs a lot of help in that area. To help the world , and in turn ourselves, we need to be mindful of all of our actions because they each have their own unique consequences. When someone is mindful they are at peace. When someone is at peace Cohen believed that their consciousness would guide them in the right direction to make their choices.

The problem I am interested in looking into is the issues of plastic waste. Plastic is largely used in packaging for clothes, in plastic bags and in many one use items. The issue of Plastic waste is a wicked problem because of how heavily the human race uses plastic so there is no end in sight. There are some things that could be used as replacements for plastic, but few people are willing to switch to these options because they are more expensive and inconvenient.

Between my Mindfulness class and Wicked Problems I have encountered a few different meditation practices. My favorite one so far I learned from my mindfulness class. For this practice all you do is focus on what your feet feel as you walk. This practice shows you how easily your attention can be taken because one second you will be concentrating the feeling of your feet but the next your attention has been grabbed by something else and you are no longer feeling your feet. Another practice I have enjoyed are the breathing practices. I mainly just use the ‘whiskey’ breaths before bed to calm my body before I go to sleep.

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