In a profit-based environment, the original purpose of the mindfulness trend is being hijacked. But there are ways of recovering it . A briefing from Futurist Chet W. Sisk
Before I start, let me say that the movement that believes in a higher consciousness, a more holistic way of looking at the world and a connected way of treating each other is a good thing. In fact, it is quite personal to me as I see it as a tool of empowerment. That being said, it appears to me that the mindfulness movement, particularly in the US, is being transformed by the profit motive.
While the trend of people trying mindfulness techniques such as yoga and meditation have skyrocketed around the world over the last 10 years, so have the carpetbaggers who have come in to exploit the movement to make a fast buck. https://www.vox.com/science-and-health/2019/3/29/18264703/mindfulness-meditation-buddhism-david-forbes
There are new mindfulness "gurus" who simply want you to feel "happy". That's opposite to the origins of mindfulness in Buddhism ...those origins are to end suffering ....http://www.buddhistpeacefellowship.org/capitalists-want-you-to-be-happy-self-improvement-and-exploitation/
Some people use mindfulness as a way to check out of social responsibility and see it only as a personal practice. It can become self-indulgent and cerebral. But there are a number of teachers who want to bring it back to it's core understanding....that all things are connected.....https://www.garrisoninstitute.org/blog/mindfulness-and-social-justice/
RECOVERING THE ROOTS OF THE PRACTICE
While corporate franchise yoga studios are doing tremendous business, you may want to rethink your practice and seek out smaller, more intimate studios that provide a much more contemplative environment. The original purpose of yoga was not to give you a proper workout. It was designed to help you get centered.
Meditation is not a way to feel happier about bad situations. As stated in the report above, it is designed to help you feel connected to all living things. Thus, if there is injustice or unfairness or pain or suffering to any you are connected to, your job is to help end that suffering and not disengage from it under the guise of non-attachment.
Remember that mindfulness is a practice not afforded by everyone. If you are in an environment where you are not challenged by financial concerns, your mindfulness experience is different than someone who is worrying about whether their lights will stay on or if they have enough to eat that day. Remember that and support them in creating the environment where they can reduce their worries so they can be present.
Mindfulness is one of the biggest trends of our time. Let's protect its possibilities.
Why climate change, social justice, automation unemployment and income inequality are all tied together. A briefing from Futurist Chet W. Sisk
The criticism around the Green New Deal is that it is too broad, too sweeping and too all-encompassing. It is seeking to address a bunch of different things when it should be concentrating on mitigating the effects of extreme weather. As a Futurist, my job is to follow trends and find out how those trends will impact humanity. Here are four trends that indicate why any legislation that addresses climate change must also address the sister crises of income inequality, automation unemployment and social justice.
Climate change mitigation means re-inventing society. One of the most stark statements from the International Panel on Climate Change in their exhaustive report from last year is this one:
We must fundamentally change the nature of society in the next decade.
That's unprecedented. I say, this could be a good thing. Our societies have a bunch of open wounds that we have been too lazy or too afraid to address. It appears climate change is dragging us to the table of solutions kicking and screaming. We will need to redress how we live, how we treat the environment and, fundamentally, how we treat each other. Whatever we've done prior to this moment in time, has brought us to an extinction level event. We now are forced to think about a new way forward.
It's time for global social justice. While climate change is a global responsibility of every nation, it cannot be ignored that the primary makers of the challenge we face now are the richest nations ---the global north industrial nations along with China.
Unfortunately, the global south countries and disenfranchised communities of color will face the brunt of the immediate disasters. In the spirit of fairness, this is an opportunity for the world communities to re-imagine how they work together. A campaign to make this part of the climate change mitigation strategy only makes sense.
Offsetting automation unemployment with climate change jobs: At the worst possible time, millions of people will be losing their jobs to advanced technology. At the least, pay will stagnate and start to drop as automation and robots make the concept of job cheaper.
This challenge provides the perfect time to put a climate change workforce into place to address the most pressing issues around the world. I grew up as a member of the Youth Conversation Corp. We were paid to address weather-related disasters and environmental crises. Re-creating something along those lines can help offset the job crisis as it unfolds while addressing our most pressing need -- climate change mitigation.
Addressing income inequality before a bad situation gets worse. Income inequality is threatening the very fabric of societies as workers struggle to meet the day to day. As climate change disasters continue to rise, people will need resources to cope with moving and basic survival. Providing Universal Basic Income may be one idea to check into. Another would be more creative approaches to how our communities are set up. We're running out of time on this.
I invite you to join me on the new television feature I've created called Change! The Subject. In this feature, we're going to motivate you to get beyond stunned inactivity and into personal activity where you can actually do something that will affect the current trajectory of our planet. This won't be a promotion for you to do more recycling or a warning not to litter in the forest. These will be robust ideas that can be implemented in your community. Let's stay close.
Why are we dragging our feet on doing something about climate change? A briefing from Futurist Chet W. Sisk
Being a Futurist can be an intensely frustrating adventure. You're looking at the data for the next 3-5 years and see why we must act now on climate change. China, Germany, Kenya, Finland, Sweden, Morocco, the UK, South Africa and a host of other countries are making big moves on this. But the United States, 4% of the world's population but putting out 25% of the world's carbon emissions, is essentially sitting on the sidelines watching the world go by. Of course, that doesn't apply to everyone in the States. There are great efforts being made by private and public organizations seeking to get us organized and focused on this issue. But collectively, we're stuck. Why? Some would like to blame this on the government, but the reality is that there is some disconnect in the everyday population. Here are four reasons why that is.....
Slios. There are so many causes and issues we're seeking to address. From mayoral elections, to school board issues to racism to student debt. All of these things are critically important, but they mean nothing if our food, water and air infrastructures break down due to droughts, floods, extreme weather and heatwaves. Suggestion: All of these pressing issues must be folded into the climate change agenda to save the future. We should demand the mayoral candidate have a climate change plan if they want to be elected. We can drill down on racism by creating green jobs in communities of color that transform the community into smart neighborhoods, etc.
We think it's too far away. Any discussions that say the real effects of climate change will be felt in our grandchildren's lifetime need only read the latest headlines about bomb cycles, historic flooding, intense hurricanes, melting glaciers and deadly heatwaves all over the world right now. Suggestion: Keep daily weather developments at the top of conversations you have with friends and family. There is some kind of weather occurrence almost every day in the news that can be attributed to climate change. Don't let others put this conversation in the "I'll be dead and gone" ghetto.
"I'm just trying to survive." Fair enough. That's a real challenge in communities of color and other disenfranchised groups. But let me offer another take. Suggestion: If there was ever a time to break from the survival mode of living into a thriving one, it would be in re-imagining the way forward and using climate change as a platform to create jobs, redevelop communities and leverage innovation. The Chinese and the Germans are certainly doing it. To mitigate climate change, we need all shoulders at the wheel. That means bringing in resources to create opportunities.
We don't know what to do and are overwhelmed. That is a legitimate argument. Popular media has been defining the challenge over the past few years, but now it's time to lay out things the average person can do in their day to day lives to help. Suggestion: In a couple of weeks, I'll be starting a video series, produced with the help of CBSNews4 called Change: The Subject. It will provide real world, tangible, everyday things you can do to help mitigate climate change. Stay with me. I'll have more information next week.
Chet W. Sisk is an author and one of the world's leading Social Futurists. He is also expert on the current world paradigm shift. Find out more about him and the LEAD Global Team at www.leadtheshift.com or you can write him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org