Clark Strand discovered—or re-discovered—the practice of Green Meditation during a long bout of sleep trouble he experienced a few years ago. Looking for reasons why he was having such trouble sleeping through the night, he realized something much deeper and more important: Our relationship to the dark, and to nature itself, is completely out of whack. What Clark was experiencing was not a sickness, but rather a kind of cure for modernity, where our lives are run by clocks and high-wattage bulbs, instead of the cycles of light and dark in nature that guided our ancestors.

You can read about this in Clark’s article, “Turn Out the Lights,” from the Spring 2010 Tricycle, and you can see Green Meditation in action in Clark’s recent Tricycle retreat.

Now Clark is writing a series for tricycle.com on the Way of the Green Bodhisattva—that is, a Green Meditation practitioner. The six paramitas (“transcendent perfections”) mark the way along the bodhisattva path. In Week 1 Clark described the Green Bodhisattva and Generosity, the first paramita. Week 2 covered Moral Discipline. Week 3 covers the very important paramita of Patience. (Don’t we all need more of it?) Clark writes:

Virtually anything may befall us on the Bodhisattva Path. In ordinary life, we seek to avoid insult and injury as best we can, sometimes even going to great extremes to protect ourselves from them. For the Bodhisattva, however, that is impossible. Seek to do good in the world and you are bound to encounter some resistance. The Indian saint Shantideva once taught, “There is not enough leather to cover the whole earth—but there is enough to make a pair of shoes.” This means that we should look to the condition of our own thoughts and actions, rather than trying to change the world outside of us. Finding peace in our own hearts makes the world peaceful—even when it doesn’t want to be.

Read the whole thing here.

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