Adopting

As we approach Yule, its good to think about what we might want to do next year to help Mother Nature. One wonderful thing to do is to adopt. No, I don’t mean adopt children or a new pet. I’m talking about adopting a place. Each of us could choose to adopt a local piece of land that we feel a deep connection to and then look after that land. It could be a local park, a beach, a river, a grass verge on the roadside, a woodland area or simply a wild area that’s been neglected. It should have nature there – plants, animals e.t.c. We could make a personal decision to take it under our wing and work to protect and help that piece of land, to help the creatures that call it home and to report problems that effect it. It might involve clearing litter, reporting any issues to a local authority, finding out if any groups currently maintain it and offering to volunteer, and writing letters to the local paper about the place. It should also be used as part of our spiritual practice e.g. doing rituals in that place, using things we find in that place in ritual if we are doing it at home, bringing offerings for the creatures that live there and so on. There are many other things we could do too. What do you think?

 

English: Prosopis pallida (beach clean up). Lo...

Location: Maui, Kanaha Beach (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

In Praise of Trees

This is part of the Animist Blog Carnival issue TREES, hosted by Naturebum.

As we breathe out, they breathe in, and as we breathe in, they breathe out. They are a vital part of Gaia’s ecosystem and without them, we could not exist. This is a post to show reverence for our brothers and sisters…the Trees…

Advice from a Tree by Ilan Shamir

“Dear Friend…
Stand tall and proud
Sink your roots deeply into the earth
Reflect the light of your true nature
Think long term
Go out on a limb
Remember your place among all living beings
Embrace with joy the changing seasons
For each yields its own abundance
The energy and birth of spring
The growth and contentment of summer
The wisdom to let go the leaves in the fall
The rest and quiet renewal of winter
Feel the wind and the sun
And delight in their presence
Look up at the moon that shines down upon you
And the mystery of the stars at night
Seek nourishment from the good things in life
Simple pleasures
Earth, fresh air, light
Be content with your natural beauty
Drink plenty of water
Let your limbs sway and dance in the breezes
Be flexible
Remember your roots
Enjoy the view!”

tree blog pic

If you are interested in helping to save some trees, without any great cost, consider bookmarking the Ecology Fund website and visiting it daily to click the “save the trees” button. Every time you do so, it saves 70 sq ft of the South American rainforest. If you are more ambitious, why not try planting a tree in your garden or donating money to a charity that does like the Woodland Trust.

Deep Ecology

The Deep Ecology platform is a philosophy of life or world-view first coined by the Norwegian philosopher Arne Naess that teaches how to live in sustainable relationships with the world around us. I believe it to be one of the foundations upon which Naturalistic Pantheism is built. Here are its principles and below that a really good video from Satish Kumar about Deep Ecology…

1. The well-being and flourishing of human and non-human life on Earth have value in themselves (synonyms: inherent worth, intrinsic value, inherent value). These values are independent of the usefulness of the non-human world for human purposes.

2. Richness and diversity of life forms contribute to the realization of these values and are also values in themselves.

3. Humans have no right to reduce this richness and diversity except to satisfy vital needs.

4. Present human interference with the nonhuman world is excessive, and the situation is rapidly worsening.

5. The flourishing of human life and cultures is compatible with a substantial decrease of the human population. The flourishing of nonhuman life requires such a decrease.

6. Policies must therefore be changed. The changes in policies affect basic economic, technological, and ideological structures. The resulting state of affairs will be deeply different from the present.

7. The ideological change is mainly that of appreciating life quality (dwelling in situations of inherent worth) rather than adhering to an increasingly higher standard of living. There will be a profound awareness of the difference between big and great.

8. Those who subscribe to the foregoing points have an obligation directly or indirectly to participate in the attempt to implement the necessary changes.

—Arne Naess and George Sessions (1984)

The UN Environmental Sabbath Service

From “Only One Earth,” a United Nations Environment Programme publication for “Environmental Sabbath/Earth Rest Day,” June 1990; UN Environment Programme, DC2-803 United Nations, New York, NY 10017.

The Earth seen from Apollo 17.

The Earth seen from Apollo 17. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A Call to Prayer

“We who have lost our sense and our senses – our touch, our smell, our vision of who we are; we who frantically force and press all things, without rest for body or spirit, hurting our earth and injuring ourselves: we call a halt.

We want to rest.  We need to rest and allow the earth to rest.  We need to reflect and to rediscover the mystery that lives in us, that is the ground of every unique expression of life, the source of the fascination that calls all things to communion.

We declare a Sabbath, a space of quiet: for simple being and letting be; for recovering the great, forgotten truths; for learning how to live again.”

Nature of Bangladesh

Nature (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A Prayer of Awareness

“Today we know of the energy that moves all things: the oneness of existence, the diversity and uniqueness of every moment of creation, every shape and form, the attraction, the allurement, the fascination that all things have for one another.

Humbled by our knowledge, chastened by surprising revelations, with awe and reverence we come before the mystery of life.”

Nature

” Nature (Photo credit: wot nxt)

A Prayer of Sorrow

“We have forgotten who we are.
We have forgotten who we are
We have alienated ourselves from the unfolding of the cosmos
We have become estranged from the movements of the earth
We have turned our backs on the cycles of life.

We have forgotten who we are.

We have sought only our own security
We have exploited simply for our own ends
We have distorted our knowledge
We have abused our power.

We have forgotten who we are.

Now the land is barren
And the waters are poisoned
And the air is polluted.

We have forgotten who we are.

Now the forests are dying
And the creatures are disappearing
And the humans are despairing.

We have forgotten who we are.

We ask forgiveness
We ask for the gift of remembering
We ask for the strength to change.”

Silence

A composite image from the following wikimedia...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A Prayer of Healing

“We join with the earth and with each other.

To bring new life to the land
To restore the waters
To refresh the air

We join with the earth and with each other.

To renew the forests
To care for the plants
To protect the creatures

We join with the earth and with each other.

To celebrate the seas
To rejoice the sunlight
To sing the song of the stars

We join with the earth and with each other.

To recall our destiny
To renew our spirits
To reinvigorate our bodies

We join with the earth and with each other.

To create the human community
To promote justice and peace
To remember our children

We join together as many and diverse expressions of one loving mystery: for the healing of the earth and the renewal of all life.”

Biogradska gora

Biogradska gora (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A Prayer of Gratitude

“We rejoice in all life.
We live in all things
All things live in us

We rejoice in all life.

We live by the sun
We move with the stars

We rejoice in all life.

We eat from the earth
We drink from the rain
We breathe from the air

We rejoice in all life.

We share with the creatures
We have strength through their gifts

We rejoice in all life.

We depend on the forests
We have knowledge through their secrets

We rejoice in all life.

We have the privilege of seeing and understanding
We have the responsibility of caring
We have the joy of celebrating.

We are full of the grace of creation
We are graceful
We are grateful
We rejoice in all life.”