Can something be truly new?* How is unique different from new?* This Sunday session will offer an investigation of the chimera of ‘new’, the wild and unrealistic notion that we will feel better if we acquire something new. How has our consumption mode become “a perpetual ritual of acquiring new things, going new places, having new friends”, as the Shambhala Sadhana describes it? What we seemingly want to buy on the world markets produces ever-increasing piles of garbage and pollution. The whole production is an enormous waste of energy and resources, flooding the oceans, the air, our bodies with gazillions of plastic pieces and toxic material, as they lie unrottingly in the soil and in the bellies of animals, above, below and underneath the earth. What is our own personal, very private share in that and in what ways can our spiritual and contemplative practice help? This session approaches our connection with the ‘new’ as an open exploration: equally seeing the perverted mechanism of human numbness and distraction, the greed and competition in our societies, as well as the sane and deep longing for reNEWal: our own and for the life force of the planet.

*These questions were part of a recent Prada fashion campaign.


Sabine Rolf lives in Westfalia, Germany and works for an umbrella brand of German ReUse companies. She is new in her sixties. She teaches in and outside of Shambhala, as an educator in mindful communication and contemplative psychology (Karuna Training Europe).