Vision

In the last 150 years we have experienced an enormous surge in the development of science, technology, medicine and agriculture. Though these changes have improved our lives in many ways, it is not without terrible consequence. Forest destruction at a net rate of 9.4 million hectares a year, extinction of 52% of animals as of 2014, erosion of topsoil, global warming and loss of biodiversity are just a few of the many serious environmental issues we are facing. Rising rates of obesity, diabetes and depression are just some of the human issues demonstrating that lifestyles of abundance do not lead to happiness. This global imbalance implies that our ethical development requires immediate attention.

A Chinese proverb suggests how we might deal with a problem so dark:

 “Don’t complain about the darkness, light a candle.”

The Mindfulness Project is here to light the proverbial “candle” and inspire worldwide change.

The core of the Mindfulness Project is to create a sustainable, healthy and ethically conscious community that serves as an attainable and attractive model for the rest of the world. We believe this initiative can spark a flame of change in the minds and hearts of everyone, beyond cultural, religious, social and geographic boundaries, resulting in a new global consciousness. The foundation of our project is to bring people together in a symbiotic community that incorporates science into alternative living. Permaculture is our compass and following it allows us to produce more energy than we consume and to revitalize soil, water and forests. This philosophy also supports a hands-on way of life perfect for personal and community development.

We use a combination of proven scientific methods for personal development and sustainable, healthy living, such as yoga, meditation, health awareness, nutritional guidance, psychology and non-violent communication. We intend to create a collaborative system to improve an internal and external standard of living. Using ancient philosophies in conjunction with modern scientific developments in the fields of integrated agriculture, green building, alternative energy and recycling, the Mindfulness Project is a revolutionary system that will improve the possibilities of sustainable living.

We are a German Non-profit organization with a spiritual foundation, dedicated to planting 100% of our donations straight into the ground. While the Mindfulness Project is already planting seeds of change in the minds of volunteers and community members alike, we aim to grow this impact exponentially.

It’s time for change, big change, and it starts at the Mindfulness Project.

Structure and Program Philosophy

We see that over the past several decades that the organization of societies has not led to people feeling cared for, involved, inspired or responsible, therefore leading to selfishness and greed. The Mindfulness Project is experimenting with new types of community organization that serve as a model not only for smaller communities, but also for bigger communities.

The structure of the Mindfulness Project is inspired by Arthur Koestler’s theory of Holarchy, which is based on how natural systems are organized. Holarchy is commonly referred to as a form of hierarchy. However, hierarchy has both an absolute top and an absolute bottom. These absolutes are not logically possible in a Holon, as it is both whole and part of a larger whole. Koestler theorized that Holons interlink in an ever growing web of complexity and that they therefore take many forms. For example, an individual is a Holon within a family, a family is a Holon within a community, a community is a Holon within a society, a society is a Holon in the global society, and so on and so forth.

We apply Holarchy in our community by assigning leadership roles to strong and skilled individuals. These individuals have roles such as kitchen manager, cleaning manager and technical manager to name a few, and they have full responsibility and power to make decisions in the section of the community they have been assigned. Though these sections are distinct it is also vital that the leaders interact with one another. The individuals in these leadership roles participate at lower levels underneath other leaders, which demonstrates the fluidity and interconnectedness of the Holons.

Holarchy allows for a balance of shared responsibility among all individuals and works with great efficiency because the need of lengthy discussions and decision-making is remarkably lowered without anyone losing their sense of participation.

We create a completely new model for society.

Spirituality and Science

Spirituality and science have long been in opposition, though neither has prevailed. Both religion and science, when used with the wrong intentions, have contributed to much of the conflict and suffering in our world. With the right intention, however, it is possible for science and spirituality to compliment each other.

One of the foremost goals of The Mindfulness Project is to bring ethical behavior to all levels of our life using both science and spirituality. Our approach to spirituality is largely influenced by ancient teachings, such as meditation and mindfulness, which are supported by recent findings of neuroscience. These old teachings have the potential to guide modern societies away from our incredibly destructive patterns of selfishness, over-individualization, egoism and violence toward our selves and others. Any real change must start from within, and spirituality, psychology and communication training offer many ways to achieve this internal transformation. We deeply believe that if we start to develop our full potential, human beings are capable of living in complete harmony with each other and nature.

Like Albert Einstein said:

“A problem can never be solved with the same mind state which caused the problem.”

Thinking that spirituality and science are in conflict is a mind set that contributed to today’s problems. Any solution for our current problems has to start in both the minds and the hearts of the people.

In order to integrate spirituality and science into our community, we seek advise from various experts around the world, including: Professor Ralf Otterpohl, scholar of ecological sanitation at the Technical College in Hamburg, and Professor Arnat, scholar of soil improvement from Mae Jo University, Chiang Mai. We are also hoping to form connections with students at Khon Kaen University and are constantly searching for more ways to involve scholars of science in the project. With the help of our connections with people from these various areas of expertise, we aim to collect inexpensive low-tech solutions for all fields of our lives to continue growing. Having Dr. Ajahn Somchai, one of the three directors of the second largest Buddhist university in Thailand, as the head of our project gives us unlimited possibilities. His status and influence gives us the potential to connect with other universities, government officials and the like.

We make progress scientific !

Solutions

All the solutions for a sustainable lifestyle in accordance with nature are already available. We understand the Mindfulness Project as practical school of life that applies recent findings of science and methods of farming into one model that can be easily and affordably replicated.

The Thai King has been conducting research in the field of organic gardening for many years. He wishes to improve the lives of his people by increasing their income and saving the environment that sustains them. We want to combine his techniques with a system of organic gardening started by Bill Mollison from the University of Tasmania, Australia.

A special feature of his approach is that it involves an individualized analysis of each specific farm or community and all of the factors influencing the yield and the life of the farmers or community. Based on this analysis, the land should be designed in a way that all of its elements, like houses, stalls, grey water systems, animals and gardens support each other’s functions. Every piece of land is divided into zones depending on how often they need attention. This method is brilliantly efficient and creates a system of incredible abundance and beauty.

To build in the most sustainable way, materials that regrow, such as wood and bamboo, would be ideal. Because of deforestation, however, these materials have become extremely scarce and should not currently be used. Instead, we use earthen building techniques such as rammed earth (Chinese wall) and adobe (castles in France) that have been used for centuries. Building using these methods makes beautiful, smart homes that utilize various techniques of sustainable living like water harvesting, energy production, recycling, natural air-conditioning etc. These homes work with nature rather than against it so that through satisfying our basic need for shelter we also reverse damage to nature. In addition to these already astounding benefits of living in a completely sustainable home, we will also make them unique through the application of fine arts. Eventually the whole community will be one giant piece of art attracting and inspiring people from all over the globe.
New hygienic standards, widespread access to medical treatment, advanced technologies and abundance of food have increased the life expectancy of people in industrialized countries. However, the life expectancy of those living in little towns like Vilcabamba in Ecuador or Okinawa in Japan, which are far from medical treatment and nutritional supplements, continues to soar above that of the Western world. The health and vitality of these people are clear indicators that a life lived in accordance with nature is actually more advanced than our so called modern lifestyle. We want to investigate and prove this hypothesis scientifically.

In the Mindfulness Project we will actively practice and research disease prevention influenced by nutrition science. We want to explore the long term effects of eating a diet that is organic, wholegrain, plant based, mostly self-grown, low in salt, and devoid of sugar and processed food.

Another health focus of our project is body and mind development through yoga and mediation. These practices are aimed at releasing and preventing stress, and allowing us to make both our minds and bodies resilient and ready for the rewarding work of a sustainable lifestyle. Yoga and meditation also help us constantly cultivate ethical awareness of the world in which we live.

In the field of healing we use techniques of natural medicine, not to dogmatically turn away from western medicine, but to focus on living in harmony with nature. Using natural medicine cuts costs to the health sector and at the same time raises consciousness about the importance and scarcity of our natural resources. We will initiate our own research in the field of natural medicine by collecting recipes and solutions from all over the world and improving them if possible. We hope to collaborate with scholars and doctors to find out what is truly healing and wholesome and how we might combine western and natural medicine in the best possible way.

One of the most important features of a sustainable lifestyle is to find a way to prevent diseases rather than cure them. We are aiming to create a lifestyle where being healthy is the norm and to make this kind of life very enjoyable, fun and rewarding. If supported by a group this lifestyle can be far more advanced, you can have so much more energy and it can be more fun and delicious.

Art and natural building form a unique sustainable and modern lifestyle!

Conclusion

Our basic human needs can be met easily by living in harmony with nature. Through the application of technical and scientific solutions in accordance with nature, we can create an amazing new standard of life where we lower consumption whilst increasing health and well-being. In every problem lies the solution and with every solution we have the chance to make a positive change.

What we create is meant for everybody from all walks of life and any religion or non religion. The way we accelerate change in the world and within our project is through service to all of humanity.

As expert of sustainable housing, Owen Geiger, says:

“If everybody makes a difference, the world will be different.”

As simple as it may seem, these words are powerful. You too can help us make a difference by choosing to support our community!

If the Mindfulness Project system is put into practice, it could provide the answers to all of our major problems:

  • Deforestation: The main aim of the charity is to protect the remaining forest and attain a continuous and intense reforestation. To achieve this we need to collect money in a large scale.
  • Global warming: The Project puts the best solutions of the moment into practice in order to provide an example for environmentally friendly living and a sustainable future.
  • Lowering consumption to save resources and at the same time raise the quality of living.
  • Diseases: By setting a standard for food intake, creating a supporting environment, education and far reaching movement programs, a lot of health problems and risk factors like epidemic obesity, diabetes, heart problems etc. can be significantly lowered.
  • Finding new ways of community living can give answers to separation and selfishness.

Time for a new future!