The Consciousness of Mindfulness
Pondering upon the wonders of this awesome universe that was created millions or thousands of years ago, depending on the belief system; and its ability to have sustained itself and living forms for such period of time, isn’t it obvious that sustainability has been coded into the innate nature of the various ecosystems within the earth’s biosphere and even other planetary forms. According to the Oxford dictionary, one definition of sustainability is defined as “avoidance of the depletion of natural resources in order to maintain an ecological balance.” Looking at this definition from the other way around, ecological balance cannot be achieved if natural resource depletion is not avoided. Thus far, this is evident in the current state of the earth with more and more depleted natural resources coupled with various forms of pollution and human activities causing imbalance in the earth’s biosphere. This leads me to the question: why are natural resources depleting if it is designed to be sustainable? Two paradigms that recently followed my train of curiosity have to do with resource usage and the increasing population of humans. What if it is true that our desire for more, better, advanced, and never satisfied, have exceeded the rate at which the earth is designed to safely provide? Could the progressively increasing human population be catalyzing the rate of natural resource depletion? How about the lifestyle of abundance that has infected most countries and cultures of the modern age and developed countries.
I am really of the belief that we are using up the earth’s natural resources at a rate that is not designed to be balanced with nature’s demands. Do we really need all of these things we keep developing and constantly changing to fulfill an insatiable desire at the risk of the health of the planet earth. Our push for more products and material goods is significantly hurting the planet earth and its sustainable capabilities. At this point, man is just finding ways to cope with the damage we have created and it seems that some of the solutions we are using to combat some of the problems we have created, are creating new problems. We have not come to a point of seriously deciding to halt some of our damaging activities so as to save the planet, yet we continue with resource depletion, aquatic pollution, land and air pollution, ozone depleting activities, abundant production of material goods, depletion of forestry, and etc. If the rate of these damaging activities continues at the rate that they presently are, we should forget about the strategies we think we could come up with to create ecological balance, because such strategies will be overwhelmed by the continued disruptive activities.
The second paradigm which has to do with the population of the world is concerning such that, it makes me wonder if our awesome earth is strong enough to fully provide for the needs of the massive population. My honest answer to this thought process is that I believe that the earth is able to cater to the needs of the massive population, given conditions are more supportive of the earths’ proper functionality. It will be baffling to think that the earth’s processes will do well in catering for the increasing population while coping with the daily damaging threats to its functionality.
It is the responsibility of everyone starting from the world leaders to the citizens to take our place in caring for and protecting our immediate environment. If everyone can just zoom in to their own immediate home practices and community, thoughtfully think of how we can do minor day-to-day things differently, then will be encouraged and feel empowered to make bigger differences in our homes and communities, and other communities in the long run. The question is, how do we start to bring about this change when we are not consciously thinking about this problem or that it is a problem? Change begins when a problem is identified. So, I personally have to realize that there is a problem in some of my daily practices that is leading to damage to the earth, destroying ecosystems, and causing a shift in ecological balance. It starts with one person taking that conscious effort to care enough to think about what he or she can do differently so as to contribute to larger efforts.
Personally, I have noticed that I tend to make rash anxiety-driven decisions when I do not stop to process what I am doing first. On the other hand, better decisions are made during the times that I actually think about my actions, giving my brain the opportunity to process its thoughts rationally and/or critically. On a few occasions that I have practiced yoga and meditation, it has been my observation that I am able to think more clearly and actually have control of my actions instead of anxiety ruling my decisions. And so, with this in mind last week in class when our instructor talked about the possibility of mindful meditation helping in solving wicked problems, I later found myself concurring to giving meditation a chance in this area, as I plan to be proactive in solving identified wicked problems in my field of practice. One of my motivating factors is my heartfelt pity for future generations and the issues they will have to face if drastic changes are not made to protect the earth systems and to bring balance. Sometimes, this makes me wonder if future generations will be able to live on this planet or if there will be provisions made for humans and other living forms on earth to find a new home in a different plant conducive for living. I wish I knew the answer and solutions to all of these problems; but with what I know, I feel empowered to take actions in my sphere of influence and to spread the word about existing dangers to the planet earth and the need for immediate action on every level.