from Mindful Magazine
by Carley Hauck
Why do you meditate? To slow down, be more present in your life, release stress, change negative habits? These reasons might be the initial spark for the practice, but there is something even more profound that we gain through mindfulness. When we become more aware of our thought patterns and start to untangle from them a bit, our hearts open up and there is an opportunity to recognize that we’re all connected to each other on this planet. In this way, meditation becomes more than a solitary pursuit. My meditation practice is strengthened and maintained because of your meditation practice. With mindfulness, we can train the mind to pay attention on an individual and a global level. It’s with this global awareness that we can ask: “What really matters?” and then respond with wise action.
For me, the answer to that question is that I care deeply about our environment. My first memory of my appreciation and deep love for the earth is me at age five walking on the St. Augustine, Florida shoreline with my father. We walked barefoot, admiring the sound of the waves, and watching the tide go in and out. My dad would place shiny seashells on the sand in front of me to find, and I would squeal with delight as I picked up each precious treasure. The experience of these walks, combined with the wisdom my dad would impart about the ocean and its creatures, had a big impact on me.
Right now, I believe we are at a very pivotal time in our earth’s history that requires mindful attention to our habits, especially around what we consume—and science backs me up.