“Many of us have forgotten that we are one with the Earth. The Earth is not a separate entity from us. We are part of the Earth, and the Earth is part of us. The Earth is not a resource for us to exploit at our will. The Earth is us; we are intimately interconnected with the Earth, just as we inter-are with all other species on Earth, too. Our spiritual ancestors have taught us about the law of interdependent co-arising: this is because that is. We are here because the Earth is here. All species are our brothers and sisters; we are all children of the Earth.
“When we see our deep interbeing with the Earth and with all species, we will see what to do—and what to stop doing—to help the situation. We will have the clarity and compassion we need to help change the situation, so that a future can be possible for us all.
“…Mother Earth has been crying out for so long. She has never stopped giving us whatever we needed: food, water and shelter, allowing us to flourish in her abundance, never asking for anything in return. …”
~Sister Chan Khong “Can You Hear Mother Earth?” July 2016 Plum Village
UN Secretary-General at UN Climate Change Conference
“…talking to you, God. Is that all right? With the passing of people, I feel a growing need to speak to You alone. I love people terribly, because in every human being I love something of You. And I seek You everywhere in them and often do find something of You. But now I need so much patience, patience and thought, and things will be very difficult. …”
~Trans: Arno Pomerans Hillesum, E. An Interrupted Life p. 16
Our suffering is the suffering of the deer, the fish, and the squirrel.
Thich Nhát Hanh, The Other Shore
What am I grasping at now? Are we chasing a butterfly? Are we chasing a cloud? So many things can pull us away from our loved ones and make us runaway… If you’re still demanding something, thinking it’s essential to your happiness, or rushing around in search of something, then you are still caught in the idea of attainment.
A lotus is very beautiful as a lotus. It doesn’t need to become a daffodil. The truth is that in the lotus there is a daffodil and in the daffodil there is a lotus. We can be the flower and we can be ourselves at the same time.
We are the deer, the fish, the squirrel; and the squirrel, the deer, and the fish are us. Our suffering is the suffering of the deer, the fish, and the squirrel. When we are able to see that the nature of all things is our own nature, we become free.
“…Visual transmission through images speaks directly to intuition and feelings, circumventing the verbal mind. Drawings offer spaces for imagination to wander, evoking meanings too complex or subtle to know intellectually. This state of mind, in which one can receive information through images, points to one of the closest parallels between the contemplative and creative paths. Aesthetic appreciation and receptivity to spiritual teachings are both practiced with an open-ended state of mind, a state of comfortable not-knowing. We draw and meditate in heightened awareness of what is happening in the moment, opening the space for new ideas, and allowing change to happen.”