Dear Thay, Dear Beloved Community,
This is it! As we approach the end of this 2022 calendar year, with gratitude, we extend our end-of-year greetings to you, the Earth Holder Community and the wider Plum Village Community of Engaged Buddhism. We offer this love letter to reflect on and celebrate some of the joys, efforts, and deepening of our practice as the Earth Holder Community.
Our teacher Thich Nhat Hanh, Thay, left his physical body on January 22, 2022. Thay continues in many ways, and we can feel Thay’s continuation in the growth, flourishing, and togetherness of the Earth Holder Community.
Earth Holder Communities are growing around the world, including Abrazadores de la Tierra, Earth Holder Community Ireland, Les gardien.ne.s de la Terre (Francophone), Guardiões da Terra (Brasil), Abrazadores de la Tierra México, and Wake Up Earth Holders. We celebrate the expansive building of beloved community for earth justice! Have you started an EHC in your area? Register your sangha here!
Book club. We completed the offering of a mahasangha book club to study and practice with Thay’s climate book, Zen and the Art of Saving the Planet. Over 100 people participated from 3 continents
Our EHC Online Sangha continues to flourish. We continue to offer two online sanghas every month on second and fourth Sundays. We had many wonderful Earth Holder teaching offerings, including by Kaira Jewel, Brian Kimmel (Bk), and the Brazilian Earth Holder sangha among others, which you can view on our YouTube page. In 2022, on selected 4th Sundays of the month, a new EHC offering for practices with our grief have begun to be offered and this offering will continue in the new year. Additionally, in 2022 we introduced a new feature of the Online Sangha that encourages accessibility by offering live Closed Captioning during the calls. We look forward to practicing together in 2023!
Abrazadores de la Tierra (Earth Holders in Spanish) also held free regular online sangha in 2022, including PV dharma teachers Br Phap Luu and Normainés Barreiro (latter with Mayan youth on the Mayan cosmovision), among others. Sign up to learn about future Abrazadores de la Tierra’s Online Sangha offerings by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or joining Abrazadores Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/3002998039961021/ .
See Abrazadores recordings at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCSa_CQLGkoxVoxK7qLXPD3w
We continue to offer Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) sanctuary spaces in all of our EHC practice gatherings (online retreat and online sangha). We invite you to revisit our document on the importance of BIPOC sanctuary spaces which explains why we are committed to this practice.
Our Earth and Racial justice framework has been the heart of our work and aspirations, and we keep these guiding principles clearly stated for our community on our website.
In the wake of the uprising of support in 2020 for Black lives, we committed to offering 10% of Earth Holder net revenue to BIPOC-led climate justice initiatives annually. As two of our Care-Taking Council members and our Coordinator are now based in Latin America and Asia, we also wish to begin supporting grassroots earth justice work across the Global South. This year we donated to For the Future, a Filipino youth-led environmental organization in the Philippines and Mycelium Youth Network, a U.S. nonprofit that engages and empowers young people to address the ecological crisis . This reflects our commitment to center, support and follow the lead of BIPOC and youth voices in efforts for climate, racial and earth justice. We invite you to join us in practicing dāna (generosity of the heart) to support the work of these organizations.
We welcomed four new EHC CTC members to maintain or increase our BIPOC majority and also increase practitioners with immigrant, disability, multilingual and WakeUp voices.
The evolution of our CTC has continued with our first BIPOC CTC co-chair, Sara Henry, continuing in the role for another year. The CTC has committed to a permanent designation for a minimum of 1 of 2 co-chair positions for a BIPOC CTC member, along with our ongoing commitment to ensure that a minimum of half of CTC members are BIPOC (currently 60%). Both current CTC co-chairs, Sara and Chaya Ocampo Go, are women of color.
Our CTC is committed to ongoing learning, self-reflection, and skill building for earth and racial justice. Some EHC CTC members completed ARISE Sangha’s Race: A Dharma Door 6 month training in 2022. We also engaged again this year in our EHC CTC racial justice organizational self-assessment.
The Earth Holder Community is participating in and supporting an international Earth Holder “Love is Freedom” retreat both in-person and online, June 16-23, 2023, mark your calendars! See the Plum Village retreat page for more info.
Flower watering: We would like to celebrate the awesome work of our coordinator, Simona Coayla-Duba, year-round, and our EHC volunteers. We couldn’t do it without you!!
As a reminder, Earth Holder Community is officially a nonprofit, which means your donations to EHC are tax-deductible. Our Plum Village practice includes offering generosity of the heart (dāna) as we are able, and we welcome you to practice this generosity with a donation to EHC, which will go towards our coordinator’s salary, BIPOC/LGBTQIA+/youth scholarships for future programs, and basic maintenance costs (such as our Zoom account, etc.). If you feel called to support these offerings, the blossoming of our new initiatives, and our ability to lift up access and equity within them, please visit our Giving page, or you can mail a check to our updated mailing address, which is:
Earth Holder Community, Inc.
c/o Morning Sun Mindfulness Center
Attn: Sara Henry
81 Rose Apple Lane
Alstead, NH, 03602
As we look ahead to 2023, we approach the new year with a reinvigoration of aspiration to support mindfulness in actions grounded in earth and racial justice. We hope you will join us! Please join our Mindful Hub and mailing list if you haven’t already. And if you would like to offer your skills to EHC as a volunteer, please reach out to Simona email@example.com.
It is our honor to be a part of and co-support this incredible community, and it is such a joy to celebrate how we are growing together! Thank you so much for helping to bring mindfulness, generosity, and spirit to the Earth Holder Community!
May the merits of our practice benefit all beings everywhere.
With metta from the Earth Holder Community Care Taking Council (CTC):
Chaya Ocampo Go
Ivan Trujillo Priego
Maíra Fernandes de Melo
Sister True Vow/Chân Thệ Nghiêm
Stephanie Knox Steiner; and,
Simona Coayla-Duba, EHC Coordinator