Zen and the Art of Social Innovation

Hamish Lindop
2 min readAug 29, 2023

Hi my name is Hamish and I’m a recovering visionaholic. My substance of choice is shiny visions of the future which are really hard to bring into current reality. The come down is trying to implement them and constantly getting disappointed with current reality when success is too partial for my liking. And when I get disappointed I really get disappointed. Like becoming inoperable for days on end. But I think I have hit rock bottom with this addiction. I’m tired of what that shiny vision of the future does to me. It’s time to let go.

I’m a practicing Zen Buddhist, so I work with attachment a lot. And there truly is no stickier, trickier attachment than to that of a shiny vision for the future, it’s like crack! But what I’m learning is that whether it’s anticipating a good future or worrying about a bad future, it’s never going to work out the way we think anyway. We really understand so little of what’s going on, this has always been the case and it’s especially true now. Our increasingly unsustainable way of life has us headed for a deep, compulsory societal transformation. This means that a capacity to invest in is letting go and letting come; in order to participate in this transformation we need to be really good at moving with change and adapting.

I love Thich Nhat Hanh’s way of teaching about letting go. Wouldn’t it be great to have no cows to lose! I’m learning to let go of all my cows. And I can see and enjoy so much more of the world the more I do it. What cows would you like to let go of to let the world in a bit more?

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Hamish Lindop

Sharing insights from community building and social innovation, and reflections on ways of (well) being