Dr. Ian Prattis looks at the state of our world through expert eyes and shares his views on climate change, over-development and short-term thinking that have placed our fragile planet in considerable danger – then he prescribes the actions needed to save our embattled world.
Our World is Burning examines our fragile future and offers an alternative way of living based on Mindful Engagement. In sixteen essays Ian Prattis offers examples of how to respond to the most serious social, economic, environmental and personal challenges of the Twenty-First century. He advocates mindfulness practice to cultivate awareness as an ethical framework to guide actions, to create steadiness and equanimity, and to replenish body, mind and spirit. This book offers a lightning bolt that will singe incredulity and cynicism. Our World is Burning is Dr. Ian Prattis’ life work.
Praise for Our World is Burning:
“Our World is Burning is an inspiring and informative read… we are living in challenging and perilous times. Ian Prattis offers us valuable insight, wisdom and perspective in finding our way to a healthier world, one based on compassion and commitment, mindful of how everything we do impacts the whole.” – Laurence Overmire, Author, The One Idea That Saves The World
“Ian Prattis provides a conscious-raising framework for responsible living. Our World is Burning also challenges one to become a leader for change instead of a passive bystander. For this personal transformation to occur we must examine our values, behaviours and consumption patterns. This book shows us thought-provoking evidence that we are, in fact, our environment and therefore we are responsible to change it.” – Dawn James, Conscious Living Advocate
“Our World is Burning is both a cry from the heart and a call to action. In clear, compelling prose, Dr. Ian Prattis, Zen teacher, ecologist and peace activist, outlines the urgent challenge of climate change and the prevailing attitudes that have enabled it to threaten life on planet Earth.” – Susan Taylor Meehan, author, Maggie’s Choice
“I have eternal admiration for the wisdom, abilities and vision of Ian Prattis, amazed by his continuous supply of such great works. Our World is Burning is so poignant and necessary for the state of our world. This new book celebrates one of the great visionaries of our times,” – Allan Green, Spiritual Facilitator
About the Author:Dr. Ian Prattis is Professor Emeritus at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada. He is an award winning author of fifteen books. Recent awards include Gold for Redemption at the 2015 Florida Book Festival, 2015 Quill Award from Focus on Women Magazine for Trailing Sky Six Feathers and Silver for Environment from the 2014 Living Now Literary Awards for Failsafe; Saving the Earth From Ourselves. His novel – Redemption – is being made into a movie. His poetry, memoirs, fiction, articles, blogs and podcasts appear in a wide range of venues.
He was born in the UK and has spent much of his life living and teaching in Canada.
His moving and eye-opening books are a memorable experience for anyone who enjoys reading about primordial tendencies. Beneath the polished urban facade remains a part of human nature that few want to acknowledge, either due to fear or simply because it is easier to deny the basic instincts that have kept us alive on an unforgiving earth. Prattis bravely goes there in his outstanding literary work. A Poet, Global Traveler, Founder of Friends for Peace, Guru in India, and Spiritual Warrior for planetary care, peace and social justice. Zen teacher, Ian presently lives in Ottawa, Canada and encourages people to find their true nature, so that humanity and the planet may be renewed. He mostly stays local to help turn the tide in his home city so that good things begin to happen spontaneously.
Born on October 16, 1942, in Great Britain, Ian grew up in Corby, a tough steel town populated by Scots in the heartland of England’s countryside. Cultural interface was an early and continuing influence. Ian was an outstanding athlete and scholar at school, graduating with distinctions in all subjects. He did not stay to collect graduating honours, as at seventeen years old he travelled to Sarawak, Borneo, with Voluntary Service Overseas (1960 – 62), Britain’s Peace Corps. He loved the immersion in the myriad cultures of Sarawak and was greatly amused by the British colonial mentality, which he did not share. He worked in a variety of youth programs as a community development officer, and also explored the headwaters of Sarawak’s major rivers, with expeditions into Indonesian Borneo.
Returning to Great Britain after Sarawak was an uneasy transition. He did, however, manage to get through an undergraduate degree in anthropology at University College, London (1962 – 65), before continuing with graduate studies at Balliol College, Oxford (1965 – 67). At Oxford, academics took a back seat to the judo dojo, rugby field, bridge table, and the founding of irreverent societies at Balliol. Yet by the time he pursued doctoral studies at the University of British Columbia (1967 – 70), his brain had switched on. He renewed his passion for other cultures, placing his research on North West Coast fishing communities within a mathematical, experimental domain that the discipline of anthropology was not quite ready for. Being at the edge of new endeavours was natural to him, and continues to be so.
He has been a Professor of Anthropology and Religion at Carleton University since 1970. He has worked with diverse groups all over the
world and has a passion for doing anthropology. “It’s better than having a real job,” he says, “everything changes and the only limits are your imagination and self-discipline.” His career trajectory has curved through mathematical models, development studies, hermeneutics, poetics and symbolic anthropology, to new science and consciousness studies. The intent was always to expand, then cross, existing boundaries; to renew the freshness of the anthropological endeavour, and make the discipline relevant to the individuals and cultures it touches.
He studied Tibetan Buddhism with Lama Tarchin in the early 1980’s, Engaged Buddhism with Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh much later, Christian meditation with the Benedictines, and was trained by Native American medicine people and shamans in their healing practices. He also studied the Vedic tradition of Siddha Samadhi Yoga, and taught this tradition of meditation in India. He was ordained as a teacher and initiator – the first westerner to receive this privilege – and is acknowledged in India as a guru.
Later in life, as a respite, he lived in a hermitage in Kingsmere, Quebec, in the middle of Gatineau Park forest when his pet wolf was alive. He facilitated a meditation community in Ottawa called the Pine Gate Mindfulness Community which began in 1997. At the outbreak of the Iraq war he founded Friends for Peace Canada – a coalition of meditation, peace, activist and environmental groups to work for peace, planetary care and social justice. He is also the editor of an online Buddhist Journal.
Since retiring from Carleton University in 2007 he has authored four books on dharma, two on the environment, a trilogy titled “Chronicles of Awakening” and this collection of essays. He enjoys the freedom to create at his own pace. He received the 2011 Ottawa Earth Day Environment Award
He has yet to discern the ordinary meaning of retirement!
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