Five Tips for Saving the Planet from Lissa Rankin

I got these five tips for saving the planet from Lissa Rankin, M. D. Lissa is the author of Mind Over Medicine: Scientific Proof That You Can Heal Yourself and her new book, The Fear Cure: Cultivating Courage as Medicine for the Body, Mind, and Soul.

Mind Over Medicine is one of the books that I refer to in my book, Healing with the Seven Principles of Mindfulness: How to Thrive and Succeed in a Complex Cancer System. These five tips for saving the planet fit perfectly with the principle of mindfulness, give back to your community.

Five Tips for Saving the Planet with Sacred Activism

Saving the Plane

  1. End the story of separation.

Our culture tends to mistakenly define us as individual, separate beings, disconnected from one another, from Source, and from nature. Yet for millennia, spiritual lineages have taught about Oneness instead. What if we are not discrete individuals at the mercy of a random, chaotic world? What if everything we do to violate Life in any form harms us all?

  1. Withhold judgment.

My parents and my religion taught me to judge “right” from “wrong.” But doesn’t that just further the story of separation? Isn’t it possible that what we think is horribly wrong might have been chosen by all of us as a collective consciousness so we could choose to act differently in the future? Isn’t it possible that what we judge as “wrong” is exactly what our souls chose as part of our curriculum in this life? Isn’t it more loving to choose love instead, to feel compassion for the perpetrators than to judge them and shame them?

  1. Accept what is.

There might be wisdom in accepting what is, rather than resisting it. This sounds like madness, right? How can we accept genocide, the destruction of nature, and the greed of corporate bankers who steal from innocent people?

  1. Surrender, and avoid force until it’s time.

It’s tempting to push, strive, and make it happen, especially when the world looks like it’s falling apart. It’s not that there’s not a time for effort. But think of a woman having a baby. You don’t tell her to push that baby out when she’s 6 centimeters dilated. She would tear her cervix and hemorrhage. Both the woman and her baby could die. You tell her to rest, to breathe, to pause, and to do what she must to endure the discomfort of doing nothing for a while. Even when she is fully dilated, you don’t always tell her to push right away. You let the uterus push the baby down on its own for a while, let the baby descend effortlessly.

You can apply this to sacred activism by invoking the spiritual act of surrender, offering up that which you sense wants to be born through you to the Universe. By recognizing that you can’t make it happen, you can instead allow it to happen through you. You can call upon Divine support with humble acknowledgment of your human limitations, and you can ask for inner or outer guidance. You can even ask for miracles.

Then, once you’ve made this offering, you can rest, like the woman in labor, knowing that it is all handled and that if force is needed, you will know what to do when the time for birth is ripe. Then you might be asked to push like hell to bring into being that which wants to be born through you. Or you might not even have to push. That baby might just slide out and surprise you.

  1. Take inspired action.

Most of the time, there comes a time when it’s time to do something, but it’s not motivated by fear or impatience. It’s motivated by the impulse of love that springs through you and leaps you to your feet in acts of pure service. You can tell the difference because acts of love feel easeful. You feel grateful for the opportunity to serve. If the very idea of what you must do leaves you feeling exhausted or resentful, you’re probably motivated by fear, not love. When the time for action arises, you can trust that you will know what to do. And you will have the courage to act. [Read More…]

With regard to number 1, this means to cultivate the insight of interbeing, the interconnectedness of all things.

Number 2 fits nicely with Jon Kabat-Zinn’s definition of mindfulness: “paying attention  in  a  particular  way:  on  purpose,  in  the present  moment,  and  nonjudgementally.” In my bar mitzvah speech, I remember asking God for “A wise and understanding heart to discern between good and evil.” Is this not the same teaching that Lissa got from her parents and her religion?

Number 3 relates to radical acceptance of life just as it is.

Would you like to take action today? Check out the Buddhist Climate Action Network and our Facebook Page. You don’t have to be a Buddhist to join our efforts to keep track of climate action events around the world.

Be sure to watch The Quest for the Cures Continues… starting tomorrow.

Books by Lissa Rankin

Mind Over Medicine: Scientific Proof That You Can Heal Yourself

Lissa Rankin M.D.


We’ve been led to believe that when we get sick, it’s our genetics. Or it’s just bad luck—and doctors alone hold the keys to optimal health. Therefore when Dr. Lissa Ran… [Read More…]

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