Everyday we hear about global warming and the global financial crisis. We experience both either directly or indirectly. Both threaten our current way of life on planet earth. The scale of the challenges in both instances seems huge, hence the prefix “global”. As global challenges they remind of the fact that neither is going to be solved by one or two individuals or even countries. It demands a concerted by us all. We as ordinary people have a major role to play and we cannot only leave it to governments and politicians to sort out these challenges. We cannot leave it to a Barack Obama and a Nelson Mandela to save us from our folly. We need to take a breather and carefully reflect upon our times and its challenges and then we need to take small, but deliberate steps to help change things for the better.
Both global warming and the global financial crisis seem to invite us to think about living a simpler and more sustainable life. We are invited to slow down in order to see which way we are heading. It is a time that invites us to reconnect with the essence we share as human beings. Shall we call it our spirit? If we do reconnect with this inner essence I would like to think that it will be a spacious spirituality which includes rather than excludes. In fact I would suggest that global challenges need a “spacious spirituality” to in order to find a solution to these particular challenges. Such a spirituality will allow us the inner space to view these challenges from a larger perspective that doesn’t revolve around our own ego concerns and economic considerations only. It will help us to work towards that which is good for the world and not only that which is good for ourselves. There is a simple way suggested by numerous spiritual traditions to develop this “spacious spirituality”. It is the simple practice of watching our breath and reflecting on the simplicity of this act and how it relates to the issue and challenges we face. And asking ourselves the question: “What do I need do now to ensure that the breath of life on planet earth will continue even when I have breathed my last and final breath”.