I was reading an article on preserving dying languages which points to the connection between language and culture - so is it the language or the culture which we are preserving? - and is one possible without the other...
But something else came up for me when the writer Rachel Nuwer observed that English is (relatively) a noun language, where Cherokee is (relatively) a verb language. So a fundamental of English language and culture is 'things', where a fundamental of Cherokee language and culture is 'what happens'. Is this the source of our western materialism?
I want to relate this to mindfulness. If we look at something, we cannot be with it. In Buber's terms, we make it an object at a point in time, as opposed to sitting alongside it and allowing it to be what it is while we are being what we are. One fixes, the other flows. One prescribes, the other accepts.
Sometimes it seems that descriptions of mindfulness come perilously close to the 'wrong' side of this divide. We talk a lot about "the moment" and it can feel like a snapshot, and snapshot images are things. Awareness (our western awareness) too tends to objectify things before it senses feelings. So if you're into being mindful, be mindful first of what flows.
More about this in this book: