A Collective Awakening to Save the Planet

 David Suzuki, Co-founder of the David Suzuki Foundation, Thich Nhat Hanh, Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson, and Suzuki Foundation Chair Jim Hoggan, sat down to discuss mindfulness and climate change.  They explored how to bring about the collective public awakening needed to restore health to the planet.



In this video, Thay explains that:

“People know what is going on.  The planet is being destroyed. The problem is that there is a lot of suffering inside each person.  There is a vacuum inside, pain inside.  Because they don’t know how to handle their own suffering, they try to run away from their suffering.  They try to cover up their suffering with the practice of consuming.

“It’s not because you are hungry that you eat.  You eat because you suffer.  Eating is a way to forget the painful feeling inside of you.

“You don’t need to go there. But you take the car and drive there, because you want to forget about the suffering inside. That’s the tragedy of our time. 

“We try to survive, to run away from our suffering.  Consumption becomes the only means to forget the suffering inside.

“It is not because people don’t know. They know what is going on. They want to do something but they are helpless, because they don’t know how to handle the suffering inside.”

One way to transform our suffering is through the practice of mindfulness.   Instead of occupying ourselves with other pursuits, we need to stop and embrace our suffering.  We need to understand that our suffering is trying to get our attention, calling out for help – S.O.S, S.O.S.!!

As we calm down through mindful breathing or mindful walking, we become more stable, more sturdy. We begin to see the causes of our suffering.  We stop our suffering from its roots and transform it one step at a time.  Instead of buying more to divert our pain, or driving more to forget our anxiety, we befriend our suffering so that we can transform and heal it.