- Feeling the bleak and gloomy of our climate crisis?
- Feeling powerless?
- Worry about forest degradation, loss of biodiiversity, pollution?
- Stuck in the loop of doom and gloom?
- This is now identified as Eco-Anxiety, the persistend worry about the future of the planet.
- Defined as a chronic fear of environmental disaster and its a healthy sign to be suffering from it.
- As we know meditation can help with anxiety as we can learn not to be yanked around by our thoughts, fears and emotions.
- How can we develop some skills in this practice to address eco-anxiety?
- How can we hold a topic that can bring us to a place of despair?
- Let’s explore this in today’s sit
- PROMPTS (add lots of silence)
- Sit and make any shifts in the body
- Set an intention to be as still as you can
- If you need to move over our sit, just do so slowly and mindfully
- Notice your whole body sitting, as if you are witnessing yourself from above.
- Sit with a sense of confidence
- Feel the breath in your body - entering, exiting, softening
- Notice your incoming breath—the air entering your nostrils, your mouth, filling up your belly.
- All that oxygen that keeps you alive comes from the plants, the trees, the oceans
- The food we eat, the clothes we wear, the houses that shelter us come from nature
- The very basis of our lives is intertwined with the earth
- Rest in this awareness
- Bring to mind a place in nature that you have some connection with
- Feel it, breathe it in….
- What do you perceive to be a potentially difficult future situation due to the challenges of climate change for this piece of landscapt you visualized?
- Could be the extinction of the orca whales, deforestation in Indonesia to produce palm oil, the future of tropical storms, flash flooding, forest fires…
- Resist the story….
- Feel the anger, the restriction, holding, helplessness..whatever it is you might be feeling
- Be curious about how the body responds. The temperature of your body...heart racing...heat or cold….how is your body physically responding?
- Lean into what’s going on.
- Okay, right now its like this. Say this to yourself.
- Stay on present moment experience
- Being aligned with what is true. This is true and it’s hard
- Try and let go of the resistance to the truth of it
- Be mindful of the worry loup that climate change can create...it can feel overwhelming, complex…
- Sometimes it can feel like it hurts too much to care
- Can you sit with these difficult emotions
- Sharing our feelings with others is an effective way to deal with ecoanxiety-this group here can support you, reaching out,
- What happens next? You’ve felt this and then what comes up?
- Does it inspire action? Connection with others for support? Do not suffer alone
- Let this practice go and return to your breath.
Closing: Metta Meditation
Visualize a place, person, county, community….that is suffering from environmental and climate harm. It could be a person, a river, animals, or your community.
Bring to mind how environmental degradation and climate change affects this place
Send it some care. May this area flourish. May it recover. May it thrive.
Some links for futher reading