We hope you enjoy this soundbite from Catherine Pawasarat Sensei and Doug Qapel Duncan on the importance of actually seeing ourselves as an integrated part of our ecosystems.
If you are looking to incorporate more activities into your life to support contemplation and introspection, we recommend our weekly reflection series called ‘52 Reflections’. Sign up for free and once a week you’ll receive a short passage and follow-up prompt that you can use to frame your day, your week, or a meditation session. You can learn more and sign up for free by visiting planetdharma.com/52reflections.
Christopher Lawley: Welcome to this Dharma if you Dare bonus episode. We hope you enjoy this Soundbite from Catherine Sensei and Doug Qapel Duncan on the importance of actually seeing ourselves as an integrated part of our ecosystems.
Catherine Sensei: I’ve been an environmentalist pretty much my whole adult life and I was really shocked, one meditation retreat, to realize that I was a part of this ecosystem. I was shocked: how could I be an environmentalist for all these years and not think of myself as a part of the ecosystem that I’m in?
Qapel: You mean the physical or the people?
Catherine Sensei: Yes both, right: if I am then everybody is. The reasons are kind of obvious but may be worth going into: like – we travel a lot, so my connection with the ecosystem changes, right, the ecosystem changes. And a lot of the people here will be leaving soon so we’re all part of the same ecosystem today and won’t be tomorrow, right, or will be part of a bigger ecosystem tomorrow. So a lot of these things that I think people hundreds of years ago knew deep in their bones, because it was so clear, we don’t know anymore. We don’t have those connections. Which is another reason retreat centers are so often set in nature.
Qapel: Well and the downstream problems, like the big world problems, are results of the isolated ego. It leads to environmental degradation, it leads to rampant limbic capitalism. It leads to, kind of, the huger, huger difference between rich and poor.
Catherine Sensei: And so we need this time to go inside, to reflect, to be in nature, to learn how to repair these connections. So that we can begin to provide alternatives to the contemporary challenges we’re all facing, like climate change, because that can’t be theory. You know, someone could say to me “You’re part of this ecosystem” and I’d say “Oh yes, of course, that’s true”. But if I don’t feel that in my organism, if I don’t know that to be true, deeply inside, then it’s just another head trip I’m carrying around with me, and this takes meditation.
CL: We hope you enjoyed today’s sound bite. If you are looking to incorporate more activities into your life to support contemplation and introspection, I recommend our weekly reflection series called 52 reflections. Sign up for free, and once a week you’ll receive a short passage and follow up prompt that you can use to frame your day, your week, or a meditation session. You can learn more and sign up for free by visiting www.planetdharma.com/52 reflections.