The shift towards identifying with the whole of nature and the interdependence we have become, and is now an essential, part of our survival . At this precise point in history moralizing about what has happened in the past proves to be ineffective. We need to become more enlightened as to what is in our own best self interest. Because humanity and nature are codependent and intimately connected, the smallest creature, like a bee, is crucial to our ecosystem, for without a bee, there is not only no honey, but no fruit, flower, or vegetable that will fed us. So I declare that it is in our self interest to see the Amazon rain forest as our lungs, and the rivers as our own blood… And while we are just beginning to wake up to that fact, it is now time… We are finally discovering that we make or break our own world.
Buddhist teacher, Joanna Macy
The earth has great powers of resilience, but she is also fragile. …At the same time, great forces of love and healing are growing in the world. We have emerging echnologies that, if we would actually use them on a larger scale, would allow us to live lightly upon the earth… We have the knowledge and the wisdom, if we choose to apply them, about how to provide for human needs in a way that respects and enhances the balance of life. And we have an ever-increasing global community of people committed to balanced ways of living.
In this crucial time, we are called to be healers-of the earth, of the human community, of each other. And when we speak of healing the earth, in reality, is that we need to heal the human relationship with the earth. And this healing begins with respectful listening…
Starhawk The Earth Path
Hymn to Matter
Blessed be you, harsh matter, barren soil, stubborn rock: you who only yield to violence;
YOU WHO FORCE US TO WORK IF WE WOULD EAT
Blessed are you, perilous matter, violent seas, untamable passions;
YOU WHO, UNLESS WE BIND YOU, WILL DEVOUR US
Blessed be you, mighty matter, the irresistible march of evolution, reality being ever reborn;
BLESSED BE YOU, BY THE CONSTANT SHATTERING OF OUR MENTAL CATEGORIES, FORCE US TO GO EVER FURTHER AND FURTHER INTO OUR PURSUIT OF THE TRUTH.
Blessed be you, universal matter, unmeasurable time, boundless ether, triple abyss of stars, and atoms and generations;
YOU WHO, BY OVERFLOWING AND DISSOLVING OUR NARROW STANDARDS OF MEASUREMENT, REVEAL TO US THE DIMENSIONS OF GOD. Teilhard De Chardin
From the UU Hymnal #549
To live content with small means, To seek elegance rather than luxury,
And refinement rather than fashion, To be worthy, not respectable, and wealthy, not rich
To study hard, think quietly, talk gently, act frankly,
To listen to stars and birds, babes and sages, with an open heart…
To bear all things cheerfully, do bravely, await occasions,
In a word, to let the spiritual unbidden and unconscious, grow up
through the common. This is my symphony
William Ellery Channing
We can never have enough of nature. We must be refreshed by the sight of inexhaustible vigor, vast and titanic features, the sea coast with its wrecks, the wilderness with its living and decaying trees, the thundercloud and the rain that lasts for weeks… We need to witness our own limits transgressed, and some life pasturing freely where we never wander.
Henry David Thoreau
Prayer of Thanks
Great and eternal Mystery of Life, creator of all things, I give thanks for the beauty put into every single one of Your creations…
I am grateful that you did not fail in making every stone, plant, creature and human a part of the whole, part of the Sacred Hoop…
I am grateful that You have allowed me to see the strength and beauty of all My relations… Ah Ho…
My humble request is that all the Children of earth will learn to see the same perfection in themselves
May none of Your human children doubt or question that all creation may be seen as the extensions of Your perfect love…
A human being is a part of the whole, called by us, “universe,” a part limited in time and space. We experience ourselves, our thoughts and feelings, as something separated from the rest- a kind of optical delusion of our consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to having affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.
Nature is always available, easily accessible, and one of the best ways to seek inner healing… Whenever you feel stressed, confused, or down- go outside, and ask nature to give you an answer to your problems. Then listen, listen humbly and respectfully, to the water, the birds, the wind, the animals, … And after a while, you will notice how much better you can feel when nature answers you…
Most of the time, we are forced to listen to the noise of society; horns, engines, sirens and such. We do not even realize how much these sounds can affect us in a negative way. Which sounds bring you peace, and which sounds seem to create anxiety? When your soul needs exercise, nature is the best gym. …
If you can see nature through your window, any situation will be less stressful, and you will cope better. Stay in touch with Mother Nature. Spend time outside in the sunshine, and have faith that, no matter what your circumstances, you will be a survivor.
Attributed to Wendell Berry
Two astronauts, reflecting on their view of earth…
From the Moon, Earth is so small, so fragile, and such a precious spot in an expanding universe, yet, out the window, you are able to block it out with your thumb… Then you realize looking down at the blue-green thing, that it contains everything that ever has made any meaning to you- all the history, music, art, … All the death and life , birth and love, tears, joys, all of it, right here, out this window smaller than my thumb… And you realize from that perspective, that you are changed forever…
During space flight, the psyche of every astronaut is reshaped. Having seen the stars, our planet, our vision turns softer, more full of compassion for all of life. You begin to look at every living thing with greater respect, and you begin to be more kind and patient with the people around you…
USA astronaut Rusty Scwickert and Soviet cosmonaut Boris Volvnov