For many of us the winter solstice marks a deeply felt turning point in the earth’s seasonal journey – the darkest moment of the year, but also the moment when the light and the life starts to return. And so this felt like an auspicious day to give witness to our still faintly held hope that humanity might also come to a turning point in our engagement with the climate crisis.
Our action was very simple: about 12 of us simply sat in meditation in two rows in the middle of Cornmarket alongside a banner which read ‘Pause for the planet – please sit with us for a few minutes’. Due to rising Covid fears we played down the leafleting and conversation seeking, though clearly some were willing to stop and talk to our leafletters. But in some ways the silent witness had its own power as I noticed parents stop and explain to their children what this strange spectacle was about.
For my own part, although such public action still creates a degree of anxiety in me (I was more than willing for the Covid situation to be a reason to call it all off!), the moment I sat down, closed my eyes and began focusing on my breath something in me settled and it felt good to be there, doing what I do everyday but now simply in the heart of the busy-ness of ‘business as usual’.
Who knows what effect we had or what seeds may have been sown. But it just feels important to keep on witnessing to this ‘something else’ in life which we feel we have glimpsed and which is the reason we meditate and the reason we want to link our meditation with our love for the earth.
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