Today’s episode is not for the faint hearted.
My guest today is an internationally renowned meditation practitioner, author, and dharma teacher, who has spent a lifetime specialising in the issues of consciousness and activism.
As a former journalist she has travelled the world interviewing highly influential people, including Ram Dass and the Dalai Lama (twice, mind you); she’s authored books including In the Footsteps of Ghandi, and Passionate Prescence; and for decades she has organised and led silent meditation retreats, Dharma Dialogues (which are public events which focus on awareness in one’s personal life), and her own podcast called 'In The Deep', which I highly recommend.
About 2 years ago she penned as essay called ‘Facing Extinction’, which has been downloaded and read over a million times. Now, 15,000-word online essays do not usually go viral, which speaks to just how profound this essay is.
It’s a reflection of where we find ourselves, as humanity, in the current state the world with the climate crisis, ongoing environmental degradation, and our societal unrest, distraction, and denial.
It’s heavy, and it goes into detail the challenges we face as a species. There’s a consciousness shift when we reflect on our own mortality. Just like someone lying on their death bed, it crystallises the important things in life.
In her essay, Catherine describes not what must do, but how we can be.
In this conversation we talk about how getting to a stage of acceptance is a radical act. In a world that wants us to fight with everything, where arguments, divisiveness, and different data points of proof are rife, acceptance is a shift in energy. It gives us back our agency, rather than reacting to someone, or something, else.
It can help us get to a place of being grateful and enjoying being here, just because we are. But it doesn’t come without grief, of which there is a lot in this conversation. Just like when we lose a loved one, we can only find acceptance once we fully feel and move through (and oscillate between) denial, anger, bargaining, and depression.
With that, I ask that you lay down your arguments, and open your mind and heart to the wisdom of Catherine Ingram.