I have been in Sydney for eight days now. Looking at a map, Sydney is far away from Copenhagen, where I usually live. It is actually more than 16 000 kilometers away. It is hard to get further away, unless you go to New Zealand. Or to the South Pole.
In 2008, the Natural Change Project was started by the World Wildlife Fund Scotland in order to investigate if activities strengthening our bonds with nature can change our environmental behaviour in the long run. Seven individuals with influential jobs were to live, discuss and carry out exercises within socalled eco-psychology during three extensive workshops in natural environements.
The basic principles of eco-psychology is that the mental wellbeing of humans is closely linked to a healthy natural environment and that by strengthening this link humans will be inspired to protect nature better. A report from the project will be made public later on this spring. I find the approach interesting, but it raises the question: What is nature? Aren’t we as humans part of nature? I guess this opens for a longer philosophical discussion about nature and culture and that is not my scope. My experience is that through meditation it is possible to get in touch with our inner life and nature. This increases our sensitivity towards ourselves, others and also our environment.
Whether it makes us more environmental-friendly is an open question.
What do we fear the most? Is it radioactive radiation on the other side of the planet? War hundreds of kilometers away? Or loosing our dearest ones? What is the worst thing that could happen to you? To your country? To two persons? These questions, and many more are raised by the modern dance performance Malpais, by Recoil Performance Group, led by choreographer Nina Terrgaard. The performance is based on interviews with Danes made in January this year, in different smaller and bigger cities in Denmark. They were asked to answer different questions about what they fear. In the performance, a couple’s and a third person’s acrobatic dancing are mixed with light effects and video projections of some of these interviews. The result is fascinating! The last question asked is much more difficult to answer than the previously mentioned questions and now I ask it to you: “What is the best thing that could happen to you?” Malpais is on in Dansehallerne in Copenhagen until Friday this week.
A new Danish version of the Norwegian book “Stillhetens Psykologi” edited by Are Holen will hit the streets in not too long. “Stillhetens Psykologi” (literally translated “The Psychology of Silence”) is a basic book about Acem Meditation, a meditation technique fom Norway. My favourite part of the book is the last chapter, called “Silence”. In this chapter it is described in a poetic way how meditation can make it possible to get in touch with more silent parts of our existence. One sentence goes: “Sjelen kan få hviske oss i øret om noe ulevet”, meaning something like “The soul can whisper us in the ear about something unlived.” This sentence reminds me of a song by Carla Bruni, the French singer-songwriter and earlier topmodel who is now French president Nicolas Sarkozy’s wife. In the song Péché d’envie she sings about everything she wants to have done in her life: Read more…