During this talk, Peter described how his 1970’s “flower child” interests in environmental health matured through the practice of Buddhist mindfulness meditation. A central focus of attention for the talk was “Voluntary Simplicity”, a book he read by Duane Elgin in the early ’80’s that was a strong inspiration for his current “low carbon footprint” lifestyle and commitment to bringing Buddhist principles and practices to Central Florida. Elgin’s work grew from a powerful meditation experience during a Tibetan Buddhist retreat; his work since then has been an expansion of those insights into the intricate interdependence of the universe and the role of Right Livelihood in realizing that interdependence through a lifestyle informed by an intentional simplification of contemporary life in this consumer culture. The review of voluntary simplicity was followed by a vigorous discussion among those present about how this approach to life is beneficial.
The notes prepared for this discussion have important information related to the talk including a URL of a YouTube interview of Duane Elgin that might be of interest. Here are the notes: Buddhism And Voluntary Simplicity
Here is a copy of the article on voluntary simplicity referred to during the talk: voluntary_simplicity
The focus on various aspects of using mindfulness practices to cope with contemporary societal distress and confusion will continue–the topic for next week’s discussion is not yet determined.