10 November 2021, The Tablet

A contemplative at COP26

A contemplative at COP26

Laurence Freeman OSB


Extracts from the diary of a Benedictine monk and director of a global meditation community

1 November 2021
I arrived in Glasgow yesterday. Although I don’t much like crowded gatherings I felt that I should be a presence for our community at an event that involves us all as citizens of the world and contemplatives in the making. The Mill Hill Missionaries offered me warm hospitality. I learned on my arrival that a 20-strong meditation group meets at their house every week.

Last night I met an old friend who has achieved astonishing things on behalf of the global environment in the financial sector. He told me that this is one leg of a three-legged stool for stabilising and reversing climate change: the other two legs are technology and government. Perhaps we should identify two more, less visible but essential supports for an eventual balancing of human nature with the natural world. One is humanity’s collective consciousness, which means something deeper than “public opinion”, which is notoriously fickle and shallow. It is the common mind that Christians find in Christ, the Buddha mind that Buddhists recognise, Brahman or the Universal Spirit. It unifies us by whatever name. It is an energy source of pure consciousness that enters our lives and immediately begins to separate reality from illusion. It quickly exposes the virus of misinformation and restores honest conversation. The other essential element, which allows people of very different beliefs to understand how they share the same ground and goal, is not the unreliable friendship of alliances and factions but a friendship drawn direct from the ground-source of our common humanity. It is kinship and it is kind.

Get Instant Access

Continue Reading

Register for free to read this article in full

Subscribe for unlimited access

From just £30 quarterly

  Complete access to all Tablet website content including all premium content.
  The full weekly edition in print and digital including our 179 years archive.
  PDF version to view on iPad, iPhone or computer.

Already a subscriber? Login

User Comments (1)

Comment by: DMA
Posted: 11/11/2021 23:42:50
Thank you, another good article: I share the exasperation at crass religious language and the desire for "a new kind of religion, using words to reveal the silence uniting us, healing division, and liberating the better angels of our nature."