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Mindful : August 2018
Also, bringing together housing and health and education—I didn’t start out with a vision for it, but the vision has really grown over time. You cofounded the Garrison Institute with your wife, Diana, and one of its signature programs, “Climate, Mind, and Behavior,” hosts symposia on topics including “Climate, Cities, and Behav- ior” and “Climate, Buildings, and Behavior.” At the core of these topics, according to the Garrison website, is the belief that “contemplative wisdom and practices have a powerful positive impact on environmental thinking and behavior.” You’ve described your own journey as an environmental- ist and how your meditation practice influences this. But can you speak to this in a wider, even more global way? The Chinese have a concept called Ecologi- cal Civilization, which is a vision for how you can have a civilization that’s in harmony with nature, which really goes back to the very earli- est elements of Chinese culture. They say that they know they’re terrible polluters now, but they’re going to clean it all up. In 2050 when they’re the dominant country, the goodness they’re going to bring to the world will be an ecological civilization. That’s their aspiration. We don’t have that aspiration. Our current ecological and economic system is a linear- consumptive system and rewards many things that are destructive to humans and nature. We need an entirely different mindset. We need one that can marry humans and nature. We need a shift into systems thinking and per- vasive altruism, which is thinking for the whole rather than the parts, thinking for all of us rather than just for me. And the most effective, rapidly disseminating tool for achieving altru- ism, understanding whole systems, and finding balance between humans and nature, I think, is contemplative practice. How do you get that message out to a wider audience? That is the easiest answer of this whole inter- view. The answer is they subscribe to Mindful magazine! And I don’t mean that facetiously. We actually have to shift cultural norms and need media like Mindful to help accomplish that. It’s a critical piece of the transformation. → August 2018 mindful 73 society 866.339.4198 Keycode MFA DharmaC r a f t s Meditation Cushions Inspirational Jewelry Home Furnishings since 1979 dharmacrafts.com DharmaCrafts since 1979 DharmaC r a f t s since 1979 dharmacrafts.com THE CATALOG OF MEDITATION SUPPLIES Call for Volume Pricing for Meditation Cushions 866.339 .4198 Keycode MFA