Environmentalism and the Politics of Contemplative Inquiry
Keywords:mindfulness, contemplation, interiority, critical thinking, politics, environmental studies
AbstractMany are familiar with the ways contemplative practice enhances outer engagement. Meditation, yoga, journaling, and so forth provide techniques for settling the mind, heightening concentration, clarifying values, and otherwise preparing one for conscious teaching, political activism, and professional work. Less familiar is how outer engagements inform contemplative life. This article explores the ways political activism can provide a route toward spiritual awakening. Specifically, it examines how wrestling with environmental issues opens new chambers of the heart, deepens one compassion, and offers concrete opportunities to “go within.” Originally delivered as the inaugural Arthur Zajonc Lecture on Contemplative Education, the article uses insights from Zajonc’s scholarship to illuminate the productive interface between internal and external experience.
Bailie, G. (1996). Violence unveiled: Humanity at the crossroads. New York, NY: Crossroad.
Carson, R. (1962). Silent spring. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin.
Davis, M. (2006). Planet of slums. New York, NY: Verso.
Levinas, E. (1990). Nine talmudic readings (A. Aronowicz, Trans.) Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press.
Zajonc, A. (1993). Catching the light: The entwined history of mind and light. New York, NY: Bantam Books.
Zajonc, A. (2009). Meditation as contemplative inquiry: When knowing becomes love. Great Barrington, MA: Lindisfarne Books.
Authors who publish with this journal sign a publishing agreement after their paper has been accepted. Through the agreement, authors transfer copyright to CMind, the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society, the publisher of JOCI. Authors may enter into additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of their work (e.g., to publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal. Authors are also permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website), with acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal and retaining the formatting as published in JOCI.