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Fragmentary notes on Contemplative activism

Updated: Jan 11, 2022

As I was on my way to Liverpool to explore with a group pf people the contemplative activism posture while living in temporary community, the virus stopped us all.

But this idea initiated by Naresh Giangrande ( transition town ) and Liam Kavanagh ( Art/Earth/ Tech continues through zoom meetings and inspired me this spontaneous diary.

The corona virus put us in a paradoxal situation , where at the same time all help is called from hospitals to support contaminated people and staff in terms of materiels, people and where all the rest is asked to stay home. In the middle the post office workers , food shops people are asked to come to work to support citizens without any protections feeling to be at risk without any consideration neither protection from the authorities.

It is as there would be the ones who have their place in this crisis and the others who just have to be passive or exploided.

For the people locked in ,a lot take it as a depravation of their desire to contribute, it touches their integrity as a citizen in the society and the question of their utility.

To complete the picture , family can’t grieve properly their deads as the funeral ceremonies has been forbidden . This reflects the society as it is but also nourrish the disconexion our cultures have with Life.

And overall that , The cushionary perspective most governements are using in the crisis put us in the posture of a child who is not able to do anything but more over is not allowed to do so , this add to the feeling of uselessness people starts to developp.

As a consequence the guilt is growing , the same one which appeared when first people connected to the ecocide ( from which climate change is a symtom) feeling not able to act or do enough when others were leadings street rebellion and utilitarist actions.

To explore this guilt leads us to the roots of our culture based on judeo christiannity and the altruism . to question To question it offers another complementary way to frontal actions 

«  contemplative activism »

Since the beginning of humanity, before quantum physic discovered the non-locality or the retrocausality , spiritual traditions knew  that :

- Reality is not what we see

- Reality is non linear

- Reality is systemic

- Reality is coming from re-action to the perceived reality (causing effect through times)

- Reality is something I produce from the way I am within the world

- Reality is connected to the concept of Self

This time is an opportunity to explore the contemplative posture as an activism.

just to experience where it leads is already confronting its «  non utilitarist yet efficient without willing it to be »  » posture.

The question could be «  can the transformation of the world can happened from both end : when you act on the outside but also from the inside?

is there something to be transformed rather than to transform ?

Rather than solutions or answers those notes are just an invitation for playfullness , intuitive thoughts, non linear , non politically correct thinking, fearfull, stupid … as it comes like a koan which could be  : «  what if I could contemplate the world without me »


# 1Fragmentary notes :

What is contemplative actisvim ?

What do we contemplate ?

Our life within us reflecting the world

= our Life contemplating us reflecting herself 

what to do to be contemplated by Life , to feel her circulating within us  ?

building a frame for non doing, non contemplating

what is the doing of the non contemplating  ?


what do we practice ?

art of listening

How do we practice listening  ?

Creating a vessel through space and ime

What is space/time  ?

Posture and present

What is present  ?

Don’t know


What do we activate  ?

Collective intelligence , systemic wisdom, deep joy , right view.

LIFE = LISTEN = SPACE= TIME = ? = collective wisdom 

Why do we activate ?

To be , to manifest fully our life , our joy in togetherness

An eventually to put us back on tracks and help the mess we did

In another word : not to do but to be through contemplative posture


#2 Fragmentary notes : What does contemplative activism means  ?

Contemplation IS activism

Through the manifestation of the collective wisdom activated through collective practices

How ? by activating the systemic power of community through :

-Non methodological meditations ( including objective meditations but at one point no goal meditation time in total silent )

- all interactive actions : decision making, co designing process, leadership, coop buildings, way of living in cities, urban conceptions, singing, dancing, activation workshops ( WTR, théory you…),creative art workshops…

Contemplation IN activism :

- To balance yang energy in intense social action with a group of people meditating somewhere

- To integrate the contemplative posture in every action of activism : decison making on the edge, trust the systemic power of community. Stay in the not know.


Contemplation BY activism ( shikanta)

To embrace the social action with no other goal to do it , to go in action for the joy of doing it , the joy of already being in the reality we dream, just to do it with no expectations ( to avoid risk of reactivity among activist and burn out. Also to attract by exemple and not by moral , seing people just being , centered cooking, talking, singing , while they stop a bridge or march.

Presencing, letting emmerge what needs to emmerge

It is an action , a process , a mouvement , mouvement of life

We don’t need to define the content of what is contemplative activism but to propose the contenant, the vessel .

So the question is not what is contemplative activism but how do we activate contemplative activism. How do we activate the systemic reality of our being from which will emmerge contemplative activism .

We can say that Contemplative actvism is the mean and the result .

The mean is the frame ( How) from which emmerge an action resulting from the emptiness ( what).

This action can’t be define by will , even good one : the mean has to be a vessel which is not us but us connected and activated by life .

This is not us who are doing contemplative activism but life which activates contemplation which activates us which activates contemplation . It is an endless inclusive process.


This posture of me not doing contemplative activism is fundamental to allow humilty .It is not me doing it . It is happpening though me

T and touches our duty to be fully alive . cContemplative activism is a vessel to allow negative feed backs in systemic reality ( the flow) .

It is a paradoxal goal : we don’t do anything in order to get solution .

Solution is essentially to be alive and consider that Life just needs to be to arise fully so we create a life contenant .

The concept of contenant as a life activator as to be connected to time . For it is only in the present that we can stay in the non willingness, or non analysis , the frame has to be in the present. The present can’t be grasp by our mind but can only be experienced


To be continued

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