We’re All One Tribe

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The People’s Climate March on September 21, 2014 was significant for many reasons, but for me the most important was its inclusiveness. The causes represented spanned everything from labor rights to veganism to water protection to nuclear disarmament. But underlying all the concerns is a love for our home, our precious planet, that is strong enough to get people off their couches and into the streets.

I have loved nature for as long as I can remember. I spent hours romping through the woods and exploring my dad’s vegetable garden when I was a kid, and our vacations happened in an 6-person Coleman tent that included cots and a 100-pound St. Bernard.

As an adult, I have struggled to find a place where I felt at home in the “environmental movement.” Who is my pack?

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Living for the Future is Bad For Your Health

In a talk at the Mindfulness & Education Conference at Omega Institute in 2013, Lama Dawa Tarchin Phillips asked the audience how many of them do what they do to create a better future for our kids. About a third of the group raised their hand, which he said is about average.

He explained that from a Buddhist perspective, the challenge of imagining a better future is that you will accept collateral damage along the way.

Sometimes the collateral damage will involve others, but often it involves you.

In order to get to this mythical future where everything is better, you become willing to accept things that are harmful to you, like overworking and excessive stress, and you ignore the relationship with the one person you’re really here to take care of—you.

Interesting. I hadn’t thought of it that way before.

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