Climate change from the inside out : cultivating a perspective of belonging
Wallace, Kimberly Jean
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Environmental issues, such as climate change, may be exacerbated by humans’ habitual reactions to stress and discomfort. This thesis describes how a practice of mindfulness, an illumination of held assumptions and beliefs, and a cultivation of beliefs of belonging, can influence our responses and positively affect relationships with self and others – human and other-than-human. Three areas of study in this research include: (a) the history of several dominant assumptions in Western culture; (b) the practice of mindfulness; and (c) neuroscience. Using an integrated methodology, I drew from hermeneutic phenomenology, and organic and intuitive inquiries to conduct a personal and a co-operative inquiry with a small group of adults. Several methods of inquiry include a practice of mindfulness; journaling; and other arts-based practices. My findings suggest that mindful meditation is a helpful, often over-looked, tool that can assist us to work toward healthy ecosystems from the inside out.
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