THE EARTHFIRE BLOG

Seeds in various stages of germination

Seed Swap #3

Seeds are tiny, magical packets of latent energy and potential, ready to burst forth when conditions are right. They contain the very essence of Life itself: ancient...

Bramble the Bear splashing in the water

— by Susan Eirich, Ph.D. — Bramble the grizzly bear could be a bit of a brat---except in this incident, it was also so cute. We hold many types of retreats here, from conservation to artistic to spiritual, in keeping with the belief that Life is not simple and we need all perspectives to help us make sense of it. Thus we were holding a four-day shamanic retreat, and it was the end of the last day. The leader, Rose De Dan, wanted to take the participants on a shamanic journey in the company of the animals, so we all went into the main compound and lay down on the grass. Rose began the journey, leading us along with words and using her rattle to pulse out a rhythmic beat to help us...

Close up of two people holding hands

— by Susan Eirich, Ph.D. — During our online conservation conversation at year’s end, we explored what each of us felt we could do to help ease our global crisis in our own way. Joni, one of the participants, said that if you see someone doing something good, let them know you see and appreciate it. She referred to a woman she knows who is trying to stop the building boom in her community from cutting down too many trees. It seems like a simple and obvious thing to do. But for some reason, it stayed in my mind. That night, I woke up about 3 am with the thought, “You need to send a Christmas card to Jess.” I was a little perplexed---why did I wake up and think of such a simple...

— by Susan Eirich, Ph.D. — “I came to realize that mind is no other than wind, trees and the great wide Earth; the sun, the moon and the stars.” - Dogen Zenji. 13th century) “The Earth is saying it’s time to wake up or get out of the way.” - David Loy I had a conversation with David Loy because our current ecological crisis is, at its core, a spiritual crisis. Therefore spirituality is where we have to go to solve it. As with all the great religions, Buddhism offers a very useful insight on how we can solve our personal and environmental crises: our personal suffering and our collective crises are the same because there is no separation between us and the rest of Life....

— by Susan Eirich, Ph.D. — We have a tiny cactus here in the office that I have had for years. It was being originally sold as a souvenir from Arizona. It was potted in a blue pot glued to a magnet and destined to become a refrigerator decoration. I couldn’t stand life being treated that way, so I rescued it. Over the years, it has had quite an adventurous life. When it first came, a round little ball the size of a quarter, it covered itself with dozens of tiny blooms year after year. How did it produce such amazing beauty and profusion from a bit of dry soil? Then one summer, when I put it out to enjoy the Idaho sun, apparently some mice came and threw it on the ground. They...

— by Susan Eirich, Ph.D. — In November's Conservation Conversation, wildlife vet Linda Bender and I shared a conversation on how nature heals, joined by participants who contributed their own profound insights. This was a wonderful conversation--one that needs to be continued. With its quiet, inviting presence, Nature invites us to calm, to come back to ourselves in communion and companionship with other life. Through connection with other living beings and the interchange of energy that then flows, we are renewed. We feel less alone. Quieted, our body begins to relax and more freely exercise its natural healing capacities. As Linda noted, we have a whole pharmacopeia within us,...

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