November 10, 2011

Step Eight of the Green Bodhisattva Path: Making Amends

Today we have the eighth step of Clark Strand's Green Bodhisattva series, called Making Amends: "Made a list of all those we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all." The Green Bodhisattva series takes us through the twelve steps of Alcoholics Anonymous as related to our planet's current ecological crisis.

Clark writes in Making Amends,

When we arrived at Step Eight, we were surprised to discover that our hearts had changed already. What remained was to express that change of heart through a course of vigorous action. We no longer looked to governments or other forms of institutional authority to curb our addictive patterns. We no longer believed that our problems could be remedied by donating money to ecological causes. We took our own lives in hand and began to make amends for the damage we had caused, beginning with our damage to ourselves.

The Great American Addiction, which is overconsumption, led to a host of body and soul-destroying diseases—everything from diabetes to depression. But to give up that mother of all addictions we had to replace it with something healthier. Consequently, our first amend was always to ourselves. Where had we gone wrong with our ambitions or our appetites? Where had we lost track of the important things in life—like friends and family, health and community, and meaningful, inspiring work? Where had we short-circuited our own happiness? Where had we lost our way?

There's been a lot of discussion with the first seven steps, so if you have an opinion on what we can do to save the Earth and you haven't shared it yet, tell us about it! Read and comment on the full article here.

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