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 industrial civilization and an economy that demands infinite growth of material and monetary wealth and the perpetual exploitation of the land, the ocean, the plants and animals, and people. Humans exploit most of the planet for our wants and needs. Every square inch that we can cede back to the wild creatures benefits them and us.
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, listening in and recording natural soundscapes and radically reorienting our lives.
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 silence and deep listening. I call the conjoining of these two realms, Contemplative Ecology. These realms matter. They deserve our attention, even while their essence remains elusive. Properly understood, contemplative ecology 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.