I’m Rudá Iandê, a shaman and the creator of Out of the Box, writing to you from São Paulo in Brazil.
Three months ago, deforestation in the Amazonian forest reached its highest level. Smoke from the forest condensed into monstrous clouds, painting São Paulo’s sky in mourning black. Millions of people around the world were concerned about what was happening, although not many did more than sharing “Amazon is burning” or “save the Amazon” on their Facebook and Instagram.
I must confess that I was paralyzed for a while, too. What to do? How can I help the forest? Where to start? It took me some time to start figuring out some answers. And although I’m far from having a formula to save our environment, I would like to share with you my reflections and actions, and also invite you to share your thoughts directly with me and the Ideapod community.
Before thinking of solutions, let’s understand the problem better. The Amazonian rainforest is just one more threatened part of our planet. So many rivers and oceans are endangered. Entire ecosystems are collapsing. Animal and vegetable species are disappearing. The polar ice caps are melting down. Global warming continues and despite our discourses and promises, we continue to increase our carbon emissions. Although, most of us, world citizens keep playing our vain games for money and power, pursuing insane goals, passively waiting for a solution while refusing to assume that we’re part of the problem.
In the globalized world, our problems are systemic. The Amazon, for example, is being logged to provide space for cattle fields which will produce meat to be exported worldwide, especially to Europe. It may look complex but is actually very simple: our daily consumerist habits are the basic element sustaining the environmental crisis. With the future of our children and grandchildren at stake, we must now face the challenge of not only changing our lives, but of reformulating our whole personal and collective relationship with our environment.
My first attitude towards the Amazonian crisis was to stop eating meat. This seemed the most basic first step: stop being part of the problem, before trying to solve it. Since then, I’m planting much more, eating as much vegan as I can, paying much more attention to the origin of the food I eat and incentivizing projects of agroforest and permaculture. My challenge is to develop a lifestyle that supports the environment, instead of destroying it. The money I earn is sacred, and I want to spend it in the most conscious and constructive way possible. My economic choices can empower corporations like Monsanto or local farmers, organic producers and so many people who are working hard to develop sustainable goods.
In my work I am more than ever focusing on the link between us and the planet. I’m moving part of my practice to Chapada dos Veadeiros, one of the most incredible and beautiful places of power in the world. There, I’m developing new shamanic techniques which involve hiking, waterfall baths and deep contact with the plants and minerals. We are nature. We are Gaya. We must come back to this awareness. Not to an intellectual understanding, but to the physical and emotional perception of the systemic intelligence of life within us. Whenever we’re disconnected, we feel empty. And we tend to anesthetize our emptiness with illusions, entertainment and consumerism. The path for an ecological and sustainable way of life starts by coming back to the inner place where we’re one with the planet. From such place we can operate deeply integrated with the life within and around us.
Talking to friend this week, I’ve learned that it’s possible to calculate our carbon footprint. There are online calculators like this: https://www.conservation.org/carbon-footprint-calculator#/. And it is also possible to support projects like this and erase our footprint: http://www.openteam.co/alanalea/projects/i-give-trees/
Please share more ideas and suggestions below!