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Thursday, July 08, 2010

Adapting to Rising Heat.

This post started as a comment in regards to Genkaku's post about the current heat wave on the East coast of America. Thanks Genkaku for the inspiration:

The Earth is our only home but for too long humans have forgotten our close interdependent relationship with her, which has led us to neglect the relationship and abuse her. Yet as we know well from studying the Dharma, we can not hurt the environment without hurting ourselves. We can ignore science all we want but the reality is that it's been getting warmer and warmer at a faster pace than prior warming periods. Direct observations have linked it to fossil fuel use. Seeing how corrosive factory and car pollution is to the human body I will trust science when they conclude that it's changing our climate adversely. Schooling has a funny way of doing that. Science has been right in countless ways because it is based on direct observations and experiments, which incidentally is not entirely unlike the Dharma's teachings of awareness and mindfulness.

This isn't a political issue because we all physically and emotionally suffer when our environment is degraded but besides that it affects the only home we are lucky to enjoy. Regardless of how we got to this point of a warming climate, I think our society needs to adapt to nature better and follow the rest of the world that take siestas (afternoon naps) during the hottest parts of the day. Let nature do it's thing and not fight it. We should take the opportunity to rest and take a nap. What a novel idea!! When I lived in West Africa the whole place would nearly completely shut down between the hours of noon and 2pm. It's only two hours but many Americans would see that as lost productivity, and that unwillingness to accept limitations causes a lot of suffering. Both physically and mentally. It's not being lazy as the American, Puritan work ethic would suggest. It's being aware of our limitations and being fully accepting of the present moment.

I think we push the human body in our modern society too much. We have delusions about what the human body can take and how far we can push it but the human body is perfectly aware of the moment and it's capacities. Whether we accept those limitations or not the body will shut down when the present moment finds it unable to function. Our mind might ignore the present moment but our bodies are finely tuned to it.

Perhaps we can learn from that and accept our limitations instead of forcing and pushing everything. In today's western world (I can't speak for elsewhere) we're over-worked, get less sleep and eat bad food in an impossible chase to "save time" and stay one step ahead in this fast paced world. And I can't help but wonder if that's partly why there's been such an increase in anger, hatred and selfishness. So I say we slow down a bit and bring about noon siesta time here to America.

PHOTO CREDIT: Napping monk by Brian Keathley on Flickr.

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8 comments:

ju吳phe宇te佳ns said...

Hello~Nice meet you~~............................................................

吳婷婷 said...

人有兩眼一舌,是為了觀察倍於說話的緣故。............................................................

雅莊王edgd春2蕙婷余惠其 said...

感謝您費心的分享您的生活!讓我也感同身受!..................................................................

JasonBirk佳琪 said...

quite touching~~~thx for sharing..................................................................

Leon Basin said...

I really love your blog!
Truly thankful that you continue continuously writing here.
Please, keep it up!:)

新順 said...

寫文章需要心情~~期待你再一次的好文章............................................................

志穎志穎 said...

Pay somebody back in his own coin.............................................................

Chris said...

This is so very right. It's weird how many people think that money equals well being.

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