SUSTAINABILITY FROM THE INSIDE OUT
Sustainability at any human scale begins with each person and his or her wellbeing. Wellbeing refers to the wellbeing of the whole person: mind, body, heart, spirit, soul. We wish to promote and practice an ethic that honours diverse parts of a community, and also the diverse parts of our own selves. Whatever kinds of cultural transformations we may envision must also include changes in how we relate to one another as whole human beings.
One way we do this is by taking some time during our meetings for brief mindfulness and embodiment practices. The purpose of these facilitated practices is to consciously transition and slow down from our busy lives by pausing together for a brief time. Pausing in this way is a contemplative practice of many ancient and contemporary wisdom traditions; it also puts into form what some in the sustainability movement are calling “sustainability from the inside out.”
Pausing or stopping what we are doing may also be necessary free ourselves from habitual mental states that guide our perception.[i] Thus, such stops or pauses may lay the groundwork for imagining possibilities that are otherwise clouded by perceptual habits that mask possibilities for personal and collective change.
If you are interested in exploring such practices in the context of schools and universities, please explore the following links.
The Association for the Contemplative Mind in Higher Education
Room to Breathe film http://www.videoproject.com/roomtobreathe.html
Also, Centre Director Dr. David Greenwood is currently co-editing with Dr. Mike Mueller (University of Alaska) a special issue of the Journal of Cultural Studies in Science Education on “Ecological Mindfulness and Cross-Hybrid Learning.” Contributors to this special issue are exploring a variety of ways to imagine and practice mindfulness in ways that connect to the more-than-human world.
[i] See Appelbaum, D. (1995). The stop. SUNY Press.