Chapter 3 – Page 4

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“Hello gorgeous girl!” I said as I spotted Eve in the pub.

“Paula! It’s so good to see you! Sorry I’m late! I met a really interesting beekeeper in the library…then he just handed me a cheque for £100!”

The timing had been uncanny. Eve’s walk was starting in Totnes on the 18th of April, the same weekend as I was going on a retreat in Totnes. ‘A Path to Freedom’ would be at Gaia House, a Buddhist meditation center. It occurred to me that the resident Dharma teacher at Gaia House, Rob Burbea, had co-founded a network called the Dharma Action Network for Climate Engagement and that perhaps we could all meet.

 I treated Eve to lunch and we just had time to eat it before I spotted Rob Burbea arrive in the pub.

The meeting was simply beautiful. Both Eve and Rob are incredible communicators. Eve is passionate, compelling and committed and Rob is grounded, deep and insightful. Both have fire in their bellies coupled with a modesty and kindness that made it quite comical to watch them try and get started:

“Would you like to start?”…”As you would like, would you like to start?”… “Shall I…”… “Is this okay? Would you like…?”

Filming their conversation about the relationship between mindfulness and climate change action, I was inspired. Inspired by the drive they shared. Inspired by their compulsion to do something, do anything. For me, it was a turning point. I had been held back by a feeling of inadequacy in the face of the change needed. Watching them speak, I was reminded that each person can make a difference, both in terms of what they do and in terms of how they inspire encourage and support others. Since that conversation, I haven’t looked back!

We were sat by the river as seagulls squarked overhead listening to Rob.

“…There are seeds beginning to sprout here and there that look as if their not connected, but actually beginning to draw them into connection with each other and seeing what comes together.

“One element in that, one little spout, is meditative culture, mindfulness and broader. How can that support different interactions and perspectives to climate change? One thing that developing a meditative practice might do, is it gives us skill with our emotional life. We can expand the heart’s capacity. A lot of what’s happening to our planet and civilization is so painful I wonder if a lot of people just disconnect from that.

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