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Lions Roar : May 2018
While the mind is tugged into the past and future, the body is always fully pres- ent. To access the body’s wisdom, we only need to notice the breath. The body reminds us that our presence is our most powerful resource. Buddhist meditation introduces us to life beyond the conceptual mind. Human experience isn’t just mental content. There’s more to the mental-emotional life than what we think and believe. There’s a non-conceptual space in which content arises. This space is naked awareness— our mind simply experiencing, prior to forming ideas about our experiences. As we begin to identify with non-con- ceptual space, the illusion of separateness is perforated. This illusion is a root cause of the crisis we’re in. When we’re caught up in this illusion, it becomes okay that my consumption happens at your expense. If we’re to live sustainably, we need to rec- ognize the reality that we’re all intimately connected. Meditation leads us there. 5. Find Community In order to gracefully lean into our envi- ronmental challenges, community is critical. Community also lays the founda- tion for spiritual life. The Buddha’s attendant Ananda once inquired, “Surely the sangha [spiritual community] is half of the holy life?” “No, Ananda,” the Buddha answered. “The sangha is the whole of the holy life.” There’s a growing community of people who seek both spiritual develop- ment and activism. If you’re one of those people, you need not despair. Your people are out there. It’s important that activists and con- templatives work together because we benefit from an exchange of technolo- gies. While I’ve highlighted five spiritual techniques to help contemplate climate change, activists have other tools that can assist spiritual communities to take action. ♦ Scientists predict that climate change will double the frequency of extreme droughts and make them last six times as long. LION’S ROAR | MAY 2018 19