Basic Principles

These practices, or ways of reconnecting, are very basic and don’t require doing anything or going anywhere, except within— to tweak our very way of being.

Attitude

Prior to speaking about ways of reconnecting, we should probably discuss the required attitude. For too long we have behaved as if we are the superior species and it’s up to us; even ecological discourses often carry on in the same vein, with talk about “saving the planet” and doing it the way we think is right. It is a mindset of imposition and domination, where compassion, if at all present, is patronizing. But this mindset, translating into deeds, has forced the natural world into its present shape, and a shift of consciousness can similarly allow it to return from the edge of the abyss. The first step to reconnect with the Earth is an adjustment of attitude, and this begins with humility: She is a very great being, and we owe her everything in this world. As human beings, we have great gifts to contribute to the whole (as do all living things), but only if we work once more in cooperation with all of Life. Living Consciously Another View for the Earth, contributed by Melvyn Banks, explores further the relationship between our consciousness and the world around us.

Gratitude

[in the works]

Prayer

[in the works]

Water

In his article Living In Relativity, Tiokasin Ghosthorse describes how the Lakota experience and honour Water as a living being, a First Consciousness. Water connects all living things past, present and future:

“Water represents to all the cultures of Grandmother Earth. Water is in your breath, on your tongue, fingertips, and water keeps your eyes moving in your sleep. Water dreams with you and retains what we humans forget in our busy “timed” lives. Water keeps us humble when we think ourselves too important. Almost every morning nearly everyone has a Water ceremony whether or not they are aware of it. This includes all plants, birds, trees, and all life that depend on the life-giving being of Water.”

Whatever form a Water ceremony might take for you, it can be a way of making alive the awareness that the same “blue blood” runs through us all.

The Greater Conversation

“Our language for nature is now such that the things around us do not talk back to us in ways that they might. As we have enhanced our power to determine nature, so we have rendered it less able to converse with us.” — Robert Macfarlane, Landmarks

“We are talking only to ourselves. We are not talking to the rivers, we are not listening to the wind and stars. We have broken the great conversation. By breaking that conversation we have shattered the universe.” — Thomas Berry, The Dream of the Earth

Maj-Brit Jo Arnested writes more about the Conversation we have left, and the urgent need to return to it.