The EARTH needs our attention, our deepest love. It is time to turn again our loving care that derives from our spiritual practice, to the created world, to this beautiful being that is the planet we live on. Longing to be recognised again as a living spiritual being which means a being with a soul, a being evolving spiritually, the Earth calls us to include her in our work, practice and prayer.
In our everyday life and in our spiritual practice we need to remember to honour and respect the Earth. She is in great distress – her physical condition as well as her light. We need to remember again, what we can learn from indigenous cultures and what is so fundamental for all of us: The Earth nourishes us like a mother, she gives us Life.
“In our prayers and devotions, we need to reconnect with the sacred substance in creation. We need to place the earth within our hearts, and nourish it with our love, and offer it in remembrance of God.“
from the book Prayer of the Heart
“The earth is at the same time mother, she is mother of all that is natural, mother of all that is human. She is the mother of all, for contained in her are the seeds of all. The earth of humankind contains all moisture, all verdancy, all germinating power. It is in so many ways fruitful. All creation comes from it. Yet it forms not only the basic raw materials forhumankind, but also the substance of incarnation.”
—Hildegard of Bingen
“We are deeply connected, not only physically but connected through the soul. We couldn’t feel love for the earth, if she had no soul…. The earth can no longer nourish our souls, if we continue to deny her own soul, if we relate to her as dead matter and no longer relate to the vibrant light of life within her… Soul needs soul, light needs to be acknowledged. It is a circle. The great tragedy is we have interrupted this circle. But we can heal it with love.“
“We need to learn once again how to respect and listen to the Earth, to its ancient wisdom and spiritual depths. The Earth can teach us how to live in harmony and oneness as part of the great web of life. Once again we can learn how to walk in a sacred manner, experience her wonder and mystery, care for her soul as well as her soil.“
“My Beloved is the mountains
And lovely wooded valleys,
And resounding rivers,
The supper that refreshes,
and deepens love.“
—John of the Cross, Spiritual Canticle
“When we recognise the virtues, the talent, the beauty of Mother Earth, something is born in us, some kind of connection, love is born. We want to be connected. That is the meaning of love, to be at one. When you love someone you want to say I need you, I take refuge in you. You do anything for the benefit of the Earth and the Earth will do anything for your wellbeing.“
—Thich Nhat Hanh
Let the beauty we love be what we do.
There are hundreds of ways to
Kneel and kiss the ground.
– Rumi, Open Secret
“Every part of this earth is sacred to my people. Every shining pine needle, every sandy shore, every mist in the dark woods, every clearing and humming insect is holy in the memory and experience of my people.“
“The earth I tread on is not a dead inert mass. It is a body—has a spirit—is organic—and fluid to the influence of its spirit—and to whatever particle of that spirit is in me.“
—Henry David Thoreau
“With our view of Earthrise, we could see that the Earth and the Heavens were no longer divided but that the Earth is in the Heavens. There is no division and all the theological notions based on the distinction between the heavens and the earth collapse with that realization.
There is a unity in the universe and a unity in our own experience.“
Our present ecological crisis is the greatest man-made disaster this planet has ever faced—its accelerating climate change, species depletion, pollution and acidification of the oceans. A central but rarely addressed aspect of this crisis is our forgetfulness of the sacred nature of creation, and how this affects our relationship to the environment. There is a pressing need to articulate a spiritual response to this ecological crisis. This is vital and necessary if we are to help bring the world as a living whole back into balance.
Bringing together voices from Buddhism, Sufism, Christianity, and Native American traditions, as well as from physics, deep psychology, and other environmental disciplines, this book calls on us to reassess our underlying attitudes and beliefs about the Earth and wake up to our spiritual as well as physical responsibilities toward the planet.