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Lions Roar : March 2012
SHAMBHALA SUN MARCH 2012 82 Graduate Education at the Frontier of Psychology and Spirituality At ITP we are asking the important questions. Join us and earn your degree. Can higher consciousness be measured? Psy.D. | Ph.D. | M.A . | Certificate Online and On Campus Learning Spiritually-oriented Clinical Psychology Transpersonal Psychology • Counseling (MFT) Women’s Spirituality • Education and Research Coaching • Spiritual Guidance • Creative Expression www.itp.edu • 650-493-4430 the numerator is a measurement of well- being in a society that represents tangibles such as longevity and lack of illness and intangibles such as contentment. The denominator represents how much of the earth’s resources a society is using to reach its level of well-being or happiness. Developing precise numbers to represent these values is challenging, but one thing we know for sure is that in North Amer- ica, we have great well-being by objective measures, but it comes at the cost of an enormous amount of resources. What MacCoon wants to know is whether meditative practices could help us achieve higher levels of well-being— both tangible and intangible—at a lower cost to the planet. One way to approach this would be to follow people’s buying habits and see whether they were altered by meditative practice, since the con- sumption habits of individuals add up to the consumption habits of a society. “How else will we improve this deadly number except by finding ways to be healthier and more content while using less?” MacCoon asks. “Technological advancements will probably not suffice to sustain us. Emo- tional dysregulation is one of the reasons we overconsume in our pursuit of hap- piness and also one reason it is hard to change the way we live. Since meditative practice has been shown to reduce emo- tional reactivity and makes us more aware of the larger effects we have on the world around us, perhaps meditation can help us maximize sustainable well-being.” ♦ Donal MacCoon