Pope Francis “LAUDATO SI”
139. "When we speak of the 'environment', what we really mean is a relationship existing between nature and the society which lives in it. Nature cannot be regarded as something separate from ourselves, or a mere setting in which we live. We are part of nature, included in it and thus in constant interaction with it...It is essential to seek comprehensive solutions which consider the interactions within natural systems and with social systems. We are faced not with two separate crises, one environmental and the other social, but rather one complex crisis which is both social and environmental."
189. "Politics must not be subject to the economy, nor should the economy be subject to the dictates of an efficiency - driven paradigm of technology. Today, in view of the common good, there is urgent need for politics and economics to enter into frank dialogue in the service of life...”
EARTH DAY APRIL 22, 2016
Our Seminar, Meditation and the Environment begins on Earth Day 2106.
"Growing out of the first Earth Day in 1970 , Earth Day is recognised each year on April 22.
The first Earth Day on April 22, 1970 activated millions of Americans from all walks of life and is widely credited with launching the modern environmental movement. The passage of the landmark Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Endangered Species Act and many other groundbreaking environmental laws soon followed. Twenty years later, Earth Day went global, mobilizing 200 million people in 141 countries and lifting environmental issues onto the world stage. More than 1 billion people now participate in Earth Day activities each year.
Earth Day Network 's mission is "to broaden and diversify the environmental movement worldwide and to mobilize it as the most effective vehicle to build a healthy, sustainable environment, address climate change, and protect the Earth for future generations through a combination of education, public policy, and consumer campaigns." www.earthday.org
There is law and then there is the LAW
"The law says if you poison the water, you’ll die.
The law says that if you poison the air, you’ll suffer.
The law says if you degrade where you live, you’ll suffer…
If you don’t learn that, you can only suffer.
There’s no discussion with this law."
Chief Oren Lyons
From the monthly Interfaith Meditation group, The Good Heart, hosted by ACMC (NSW) on the 1st Sunday of each month at 5 pm at St Francis Xavier Church Hall, Mackenzie St. Lavender Bay. All are welcome.
Contact Judi or Paul Taylor at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Feb. readings are chosen in relation to the Meditation and Environment Seminar being held on April 22-24.
THE GOOD HEART 7 February 2016
Both readings are from The Little Green Book on Awakening James George (2009)
READING BEFORE MEDITATION
HH the Dalai Lama quoted in Preface
The rapid changes in our attitude toward the Earth are also a source of hope. Until recently, we thoughtlessly consumed its resources as if there were no end to them. Now not only individuals but also governments are seeking a new ecological order. I often joke that the moon and stars look beautiful, but if any of us tried to live on them, we would be miserable. This blue planet of ours is the most delightful habitat we know. Its life is our life, its future is our future. Now Mother Nature is telling us to cooperate. In the face of such global problems as the green house effect and the deterioration of the ozone layer, individual organisations and single nations are helpless. Our mother is teaching us a lesson in universal responsibility.
The key point is to have a genuine sense of universal responsibility, based on love and compassion, and clear awareness.
READING AFTER MEDITATION
When the author noticed (at a conference) that Oren Lyons, a Chief of the Onondaga tribe, was getting up long before everyone else each morning to perform a ceremony in which he was facing each of the four directions, he asked him " Why are you doing this here and getting so little sleep? You are a rational man, a Professor at Buffalo University. How can it help you or anyone?"
Chief Oren replied "I do it because I must. If those responsible in each region do not perform these ceremonies every day, the connection between our world and the higher world will be broken and the higher energies will not reach our land, the climate will be disrupted, the rains will not come, life will not produce our children and our crops, and violence will spread in all directions. That is my function my service.”
ADDITIONAL MATERIAL FOR OUR REFLECTION
He who knows that enough is enough will always have enough - Lao Tzu
There is enough for everyone’s need but not for anyone’s greed - Mahatma Gandhi
Pope Francis Laudate Si, IV Joy and Peace, 222
Christian spirituality proposes an alternative understanding of the quality of life, and encourages a prophetic and contemplative lifestyle, one capable of deep enjoyment free of the obsession with consumption. We need to take up an ancient lesson, found in different religious traditions and also in the Bible. It is the conviction that “less is more”. A constant flood of new consumer goods can baffle the heart and prevent us from cherishing each thing and each moment. To be serenely present to each reality, however small it may be, opens us to much greater horizons of understanding and personal fulfilment. Christian spirituality proposes a growth marked by moderation and the capacity to be happy with little. It is a return to that simplicity which allows us to stop and appreciate the small things, to be grateful for the opportunities which life affords us, to be spiritually detached from what we possess, and not to succumb to sadness for what we lack. This implies avoiding the dynamic of dominion and the mere accumulation of pleasures.
In the Kabbalah it is stated that for the earth to survive there must at all times be 36 “righteous persons” living and practising the transmission of vivifying energies from above.
Imagine a pattern. This pattern is stable, but not fixed. Think of it in as many dimensions as you like – but it has more than three. This pattern has many threads of many colours, and every thread is connected to, and has a relationship with, all of the others. The individual threads are every shape of life. Some – like human, kangaroo, paperbark – are known to western science as ‘alive’; others like rock would be called ‘non-living’. But rock is there, just the same. Human is there too, though it is neither the most or the least important thread – it is one among many; equal with the others. The pattern made by the whole is in each thread, and all the treads together make the whole. Stand close to the pattern and you can focus on a single thread; stand a little further back and you can see how that thread connects to others; stand further back still and you can see it all – and it is only once you see it all that you can recognise the pattern of the whole in every individual thread. The whole is more than its parts, and the whole is in all its parts. This is the pattern that the ancestors made. It is life, creation, spirit, and it exists in country – Kwaymullina, 2005
AUSTRALIAN INDIGENOUS VOICES
Mick Dodson (former Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Justice Commissioner) quoted on http://australianaborignalculture.wikispaces.com
Dodson, M. 1997, ‘Land Rights and Social Justice’, in G. Yunupingu, Our Land is Our Life: Land Rights—Past, Present and Future, University of Queensland Press, Brisbane, pp. 39–51.
"To understand our law, our culture and our relationship to the physical and spiritual world, you must begin with the land. Everything about Aboriginal society is inextricably woven with, and connected to, the land. Culture is the land, the land and spirituality of Aboriginal people, our cultural beliefs or reason for existence is the land. You take that away and you take away our reason for existence. We have grown the land up. We are dancing, singing and painting for the land. We are celebrating the land. Removed from our lands, we are literally removed from ourselves."
On Waking to a Feeling in the Heart…..
In this extract, David Mowaljarlai, legendary Ngarinyin Lawman, is speaking with Jutta Malnic, author and photographer, after waking at dawn in their camp beside the King Edward River. They are on a philosophical pilgrimage into country, to visit lost Wandjina [Creation spirits].
Mowaljarlai is stretching his arms out wide, taking a deep breath and greeting the day.
Mowaljarlai "With this beautiful colour inside, the sun is coming up, with that glow that comes straight away in the morning. The colour comes towards me and the day is waiting…… You have a feeling in your heart that you’re going to feed your body this day, get more knowledge. You go out now, see animals moving, see trees, a river. You are looking at nature and giving it your full attention, seeing all its beauty. Your vision has opened and you start learning now. When you touch them, all things talk to you, give you their story. It makes you really surprised. You feel you want to get deeper, so you start moving around and stamp your feet – to come closer and to recognize what you are seeing. You understand that your mind has been opened to all those things because you are seeing them; because your presence and their presence meet together and you recognise each other. These things recognise you. They give their wisdom and their understanding to you when you come close to them. In the distance you feel: “Aaahh – I am going to go there and have a closer look!” You know it is pulling you. When you recognise it, it gives strength – a new flow. You have life now. Then you put it in your storeroom, in the little room in your brains here. You taped him, you got ‘im in there! You are going off now, to see what the day will hold. You feel a different person. One more day is added to your life, you will be one day richer. You got country as far as the eye can see, and it’s yours. But because of this consciousness, you are going through it reverently, quietly – through the middle of all this nature. What will happen? Well, every contact you make with the eye – perhaps you don’t bother to look at it – but everything is present for you to see. What you go for are the things you want to understand on this day."
From David Mowaljarlai and Jutta Malnic, Yorro Yorro: Aboriginal Creation and the Renewal of Nature, Magabala books, Broome, 1993, pp 53-56
David Mowaljarlai has spoken of the gift of pattern thinking.
An Aboriginal lawyer, Ambelin Kwaymullina of the Bailgu and Njamal people of the Pilbara in Western Australia, explains it:
"Imagine a pattern. This pattern is stable, but not fixed. Think of it in as many dimensions as you like—but it has more than three. This pattern has many threads of many colours, and every thread is connected to, and has a relationship with, all of the others. The individual threads are every shape of life. Some—like human, kangaroo, paperbark—are known to western science as ‘alive’; others like rock, would be called ‘non-living’. But rock is there, just the same. Human is there too, though it is neither the most or the least important thread—it is one among many; equal with the others. The pattern made by the whole is in each thread, and all the threads together make the whole. Stand close to the pattern and you can focus on a single thread; stand a little further back and you can see how that thread connects to others; stand further back still and you can see it all—and it is only once you see it all that you can recognise the pattern of the whole in every individual thread. The whole is more than its parts, and the whole is in all its parts. This is the pattern that the ancestors made. It is life, creation spirit, and it exists in country" (Kwaymullina 2005:13)
Miriam Rose Ungunmerr-Bauman
See Miriam Rose Foundation www.miriamrosefoundation.org.au/
See description of Dadirri -Inner Deep Listening and Quiet StillAwareness
YouTube Video Jul 13, 2010 - Uploaded by Eureka Street
Aboriginal educator and artist, Miriam-Rose Ungunmerr-Bauman talks about... Aboriginal communities, and dadirri...
EUGENE STOCKTON http://compassreview.org/summer02/3.html
Mysticism in the Australian environment:
Calls to a new consciousness
Aboriginal mysticism seeks a oneness with the environment. All parts of the land, including the inhabitants, are thought to be alive, conscious and alert to all other parts. One can be engaged with the whole or its parts as subject to subject, in much the same way that one can be engaged in a lively party. Miriam-Rose Ungunmerr has translated traditional mysticism in a form consonant with Christianity in her now famous paper ‘Dadirri’ (Stockton 1995:179-184). She describes dadirri as a form of contemplation, conducted in a bush setting, around the campfire or at ceremony. It combines ‘inner deep listening, quiet, still awareness…and waiting’. .. I suggest the word ‘wonder’ is the single English word which most closely approximates to ‘dadirri’. Wonder recaptures the sense, long suppressed and long forgotten, of the wild-eyed child who once explored his/her new world.
See Catholic Earth Care Take to the Streetshttp://catholicearthcare.org.au/2015/12/pope-francis-urged-us-to-take-to-the-streets-and-we-did/