THE EARTHFIRE BLOG

Ecology, Spirit, and Action
November 13, 2017

We Can Be the Light in These Dark Times

— by Susan Eirich, PhD — How can we take action for nature and animals in these difficult times? We have a recent addition to our e-newsletter called One Good...

— by Richard Landry — When we ask the question, “What can I do to heal the Earth?,” we may be missing the point. In the big scheme of things, there is no “I” separate from the Earth and all creation. When we uncover this insight for ourselves, we unlock our powerful capacity to benefit all Life. There is a very simple way, built right into our living bodies, to accomplish this. Buddhist teacher Pema Chödrön calls it “pause practice.” Wherever we are, whatever we are doing, no matter how caught up we are in the moment—if we remember—we can pause and take “three conscious breaths.” That’s it. Our bodies are designed so that whenever we breathe, we reaffirm...

— by Wendy Francis — I spend a lot of time exploring and enjoying the natural world. So it’s not unusual for me to have an intimate encounter with a wild animal. Each of these is special and enjoyable, and reminds me that every creature and I share something very fundamental. We have in common the basic building blocks of life in our cells and also a common heritage in the process of evolution. We also share the mysterious element of consciousness or spirit that exists in all living things. While each observation of or interaction with a wild creature is thrilling, some are extra special. I remember the first time I saw a wolverine close up in the wild. I was so excited I was...

We often find ourselves consumed by busy schedules filled with endless engagements, responsibilities and demanding deadlines. In the process of having to be somewhere or do something, it is easy not to attend to our restoring ability to just be. How do we tune out of our distractions and into Life? We can make a date with Nature, put it on our calendar, and insist on it. It is really a date with our Selves. It needn’t be long - it can be only 5 minutes. We just have to do it, to help our brains make that transition. Nature can actually alleviate stress and anxiety while increasing our capacity to listen and connect with other living beings. We recently had a staff retreat where...

There is an organic feel to the development of our conversations. Organic in the sense of a magical natural unfolding leading to you-know-not-where-but-somewhere-wonderful. In creative fields there is a common phrase, “trust the process,” meaning just let the work unfold naturally and see where it leads. Not always easy to do when we want to direct things, or are nervous about what we may discover. But that is where real change lies. By letting things unfold, we may find ourselves guided somehow, through threads and currents too subtle for us to see, into what will become a beautiful or profound tapestry of meaning. This is even more true in a group conversation such as this, the...

— by Susan Eirich, PhD — We all have our ways of looking at life, being attracted to what is important to us (hopefully that is defined by ourselves rather than others). Yesterday I was driving in Jackson, Wyoming when I saw a tall naked tree trunk standing on a street corner, all its branches severed, a tall scarred column. A strange sight. It was a pine tree, boughs scattered on the ground.  A tree service truck was parked nearby. I screeched to a halt, backed up and got out. Fresh pine boughs! Porcupine delight!  A young man in a hard hat was gathering the boughs to be put into a chipper. When I told him it was for a porcupine and that I ran an animal sanctuary he was delighted...

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