Climate change ... and Coming back

The following extract is taken from 'Finding the eye of the storm' by Mary Jayne Rust, published in 'Depth Psychology and Climate Change - The Green Book', edited by Dale Mathers:

 'Getting to know the more-than-human world offers rich metaphors and mirrors for the self, we come to know ourselves as human animals. As we move down into the body, the constant chatter inside the head falls away and our other-than-rational ways of knowing come to the fore - intuitive knowing, five senses knowing and emotional knowing. These different ways of knowing are described by Jeanette Armstrong of the Native American Okanagan tribe. According to Okanagan teachings, an individual human is made up of four capacities which operate together: the physical self, the emotional self, the thinking, intellectual self and the spirit; self. These capacities are parallel to 'mind' and connect us with the rest of creation' (p. 24).

And from the introduction of ' Zen and the Art of Saving the Planet' by Thich Nhat Hanh we hear:

'The beauty of the Earth is a bell of mindfulness. If you can't see it, you must ask yourself why. Maybe something is blocking the way. Or maybe you are so busy looking for something else you can't hear the call of the Earth.' (p.1)

'Mindfulness helps us stop the distraction and come back to our breathing, paying attention only to the in-breath and out-breath, we stop our thinking and, within just a few seconds, we awaken to the fact that we are alive, we are breathing, we are here. We exist. We are not non-existent . "Ahhh," we realise, "I am here, alive." We stop thinking about the past, we stop thinking about the future, we focus all our attention on the fact we are breathing. Thanks to our mindful breathing we set ourselves free. We are free to be here: free from thinking, anxiety, fear and striving.'

'When you wake up and you see that the Earth is not just the environment, the Earth is us, you touch the nature of interbeing. And at that moment you can have real communication with the Earth. That is the highest form of prayer. In that kind of relationship, you will have there love, strength, and awakening you need to change your life.' (p.2).


Any practice where we focus on the body, or on the breath in the body, can bring us back into connection with ourselves; with the earth beneath us, and possibly to the sky, stars and galaxies beyond.

To some, all this this may sound fanciful, but in our frankly divided, separated and alienated world, even the possibility that connection, interconnection, or 'interbeing', through the simple human act of sitting, lying down or walking mindfully on this earth, can bring us back to greater ease and balance, offering us a different way of 'being with' this earth, may well give us possibilities for acting on this planet with greater care, love and compassion. 

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