When you think about it, holidays and events which transcend the separate religious traditions, yet unite all peoples include planetary happenings and things common to us all. Earth Day should be one of those, a planetary celebration of the goodness and importance of the ground and surround which sustain us. It's treated however, as a footnote, a legacy of the '60's or '70's at best. [Let the oil keep leaking in the gulf and fracking pollute our water, we don't want to hear of it.]
In her book 7 Paths to God, Joan Borysenko says, 'A primary concept of earth-centered spirituality is to consider every action seven generations into the future. What effect will pesticides sprayed now have in 140 years? Are we mortgaging the future of our children for a quick return? We can all learn important lessons from those who have lived in harmony with the earth from the bginning of time. Ohiyesa, a Plains Indian whose white name was Charles Alexander Eastman, was the first Native American to go to medical school. He wrote a beautiful book called The Soul of the Indian in 1911. To the Indian everything has a soul: the rocks, the seven directions, the wind and water, earth and fire, the plants and animals, the sun, and the moon and stars. .. .The solitary communion with the Unseen, as Eastman often referred o God, was carried out by rising to meet the morning sun, by practicing gratitude for all thigns, and by seeing all life as sacred. The most important duty to the Indian was prayer, the daily recogniton and thanksgiving for life.' pp22-23.
You will find similar attitudes among the Celts, those in the Asian religious traditions of Buddhism, Jainism, Confucianism, Taoism and Hinduism. The earth has a soul; it's creature have soulful natures and we are all inter-connected. This day, there is no 'other'. The 'other' is a sister or brother. Without the gift of creation, the very ground we come from and rest upon, air we breathe, place we thrive in, where would we be as humankind? Some things are foundational.
Local Events in the next few weeks:
See www.IACO.org Interfaith Spiritual Sharing Group - this April 28th: Group meets the 4th Saturday of each month, 12:00 noon – 1:30 pm
Meditation for this post:
'May I be at peace, May my heart remain open, May I awaken to the light of my own true nature, May I be healed, May I be a source of healing for all beings.' p 67 7 Paths to God
'The blessings of heaven, the blessings of earth, the blessings of sea and of sky. On those we love this day and on every human family the gifts of heaven, the gifts of earth, the gifts of sea and of sky.' p 51 Celtic Treasure by J. Philip Newell