Despite all we have learned and all we have done over the past 50 years, humanity and Earth are facing an ecological crisis. We have put at risk the systems that all of life depends on for survival: the air, the soil, the oceans, the diversity of plants and animals.
Global warming gets most of the attention, but the ecological crisis also involves the destruction of habitat, especially for large-scale agriculture; the direct exploitation of plants and animals; the spread of invasive organisms; and material, chemical, noise and light pollution. These forces are deeply intertwined with modern life and an economy that demands infinite growth of material and monetary wealth.
Because the crisis involves the entire sweep of the human presence on the planet, the resolution of the crisis must be equally comprehensive. My understanding of the crisis and its resolution are based in ecology and contemplation: encountering our essential emptiness, having an attentive relationship with the natural world, and listening in and recording natural soundscapes.
I see myself as an ambassador for two related realms: the realm of the other animals, their beauty, their intelligence, their creativity, how little we understand them; and the realm of deep silence. These realms matter. They deserve our attention, even while their essence remains elusive. Few of us ever get to look a whale in the eye or dwell in silence, so it becomes the job of people like me to try to convey those experiences, and the vital message they transmit. Contemplation is not primarily or necessarily about addressing environmental destruction. But given the crises we are facing, I think every spiritual practice must be evaluated in terms of whether it restores balance between human life and the whole movement of life. Properly understood, contemplation makes possible the kind of change that is required of us now. It might be the only thing that makes it possible.
On this site you will find educational programs devoted to contemplation and the natural world, music of a Celtic flavor that draws inspiration from land and sea, a few soundscape recordings, the essays through which I attempt to communicate what I have learned from observing the natural world and dwelling in the great mystery of silence, and a blog where much of my writing first appears.