People seeking change are gathering across the world to Occupy cities. As this great movement of humanity draws together to seek fundamental change, it could be useful to address the questions that we need to ask ourselves and others in order to bring about change. If the Occupy groups splinter into individual causes we will dissipate our energy and not have a coherent and unified voice. It seems to me that we need to address the cause of our distress…we need a new cultural story to live by. What we are experiencing is the result of a cultural story that causes us to feel that we are separate individuals who need to compete, manipulate and exercise power over one another in order to get our needs met. And we are all seduced by the notion that a little bit more will make us happy.
We need a new cultural story that recognizes the unity of all life, that understands that what we do to another we do to ourselves, that respects the environment, that upholds the rights of individuals and protects and respects minority groups by treating all people as equal.
In order to collectively arrive at sustainable solutions we need to ask skillful questions that will lead us there. If we focus on more equitable pay, stopping deforestation, political change and the myriad of other challenges we face we may dissipate our energy and commitment.
The problems we are facing now cannot be solved through the political, economic or military systems. We need a spiritual (not religious) solution that honors all humanity and the environment from which we spring and that speaks to and enlivens our hearts.
N.D., D.R.M., D.B.M., Dip Cl. Hyp., I.Y.T.A.
Petrea King is a well-known author, inspirational speaker, counsellor and workshop leader. She has practiced many forms of meditation since the age of seventeen and she is also qualified as a naturopath, herbalist, hypnotherapist, yoga and meditation teacher.
In 1983 Petrea was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia and was not expected to live. Meditation and the integration of past traumatic experiences became paramount in her recovery, much of which was spent in a monastery near Assisi in Italy.
Since then, Petrea has counselled individually or through residential programs more than 60,000 people living with life-challenging illnesses, grief, loss, trauma and tragedy. Petrea sees crisis as a catalyst for spiritual growth and understanding and as an opportunity for healing and peace.
Petrea has received the Advance Australia Award and the Centenary Medal for her contribution to the community. She has been nominated for Australian of the Year in each year since 2004.