“Once we see that something needs to be done,
we must take action.
Seeing and action go together.
Otherwise, what is the point in seeing?”
– Thich Nhat Hanh
Good news! The Earth Holder Community took great leaps forward this past year. We want to share some of the good news with you and hope that you might want to support our continuation.
Inspiring Good News
In the spring, the Earth Holder Sangha became the Earth Holder Community, an Earth Justice Initiative in the Plum Village Community of Engaged Buddhism. We added a beautiful tagline: “bringing mindfulness, compassion, healing, and nonviolence to protecting ourselves, each other, all beings, and the Earth.” We have positioned Earth Holders at the nexus of Climate Justice and Racial Justice. Our revised and inspiring website reflects these changes.
We created a “Mindful Way Forward”—an ever-evolving rough guide for Earth Holding efforts.
We established a “distributed network” of Earth Holders linked through Basecamp, an electronic project management tool. Each week, about a dozen new practitioners join the network. As of the end of November 2019, a total of 176 folks are communicating with each other through the “Mindful HUB” on Basecamp. To become involved, you can find more here.
With the generous support of the Thich Nhat Hanh Foundation, we were able to hire a part-time Coordinator to assist the growing network. Meet Simona Coayla-Duba here.
We expanded our Care Taking Council (CTC) from six people from white European backgrounds to eleven people, now half from BIPOC backgrounds (Black, Indigenous, People of Color). To prepare for this, the white CTC members reached out for guidance from BIPOC elders in our mahasangha, and engaged in a six-month facilitated study group reading Mindful of Race by African American Buddhist Teacher Ruth King, as a way to explore their own racial identities and bring more awareness to their white privilege.
We published an article in Kosmos Journal called “Developing a Mindful Approach to Earth Justice Work”—the result of many internal dialogues among CTC members. It was one of the top five articles of 2019 read by its readership of 17,000!
This fall, we organized Sanghas across the world to participate in the September 20 Youth Climate Strike, adding our peaceful presence to support the young people’s leadership in helping heal Mother Earth.
The Earth Holder Community incorporated as an organization and are in the process of becoming a not-for-profit 501c3.
- Organizing and offering a nourishing monthly Online Earth Holder Sangha, drawing 50-100 people each time, from many parts of the world. It featured topics like earth holding in Africa, racial equity and climate justice, staying calm in the storm. You can view the talks (and subscribe!) on our YouTube channel.
- Publishing a regular newsletter with over 1800 subscribers, and maintaining an active presence on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
- Supporting EHC’s Plant Powered Sangha in its work to promote compassionate eating and a vegetarian and vegan way of living.
In addition to these new developments, the Earth Holder Community continued its ongoing activities, namely:
There are two big projects in the works that will launch early in 2020 and hold great promise.
Earth Holder Online Retreat:
Not everyone can attend an Earth Holder Retreat in person, so we are creating an online retreat to offer an accessible place to practice, learn, and share. The retreat is centered around six interrelated themes:
- Cultivating wise view, so that our actions are grounded in spiritual depth
- Healing & transforming racism and social oppression; to link climate justice with racial justice in order to foster human unity as a reality not an ideal
- Healing grief, despair, fear, and feelings of powerlessness, so that we may think more clearly, act more boldly, and love more deeply
- Building strong community, so that we have reliable space to recover, refresh, and renew ourselves as environmental and social suffering spreads
- Practicing living an ethical life, including reverence for life, deep listening and kind speech, so that we nurture the capacity for compassion and counteract hatred, blame, and “othering”
- Engaging in mindfulness-based earth justice work, and to bring these elements to individuals and communities around the world
Beginning early March 2020, each Monday the participants will receive electronically a pre-recorded dharma talk, a set of readings and suggested practices for the week. On the Saturday of that week, participants will gather on a Zoom call for dharma sharing. Each week is being planned and will be facilitated by a team of two, a Person of Color and a White practitioner. Watch for announcements soon!
Earth Holder Regional Community Builders:
We are in the process of forming a group of experienced Plum Village (PV) Earth Holders from various backgrounds who will serve as a kind of “spiritual organizers” who encourage and coordinate PV Sanghas and practitioners to engage in Earth Holding practices and mindfulness-based Earth Justice work in their local communities. These Regional Community Builders will form themselves into a sangha that meets regularly online to practice and share their learnings and questions. They will receive support, training, and Earth Holder materials from the EHC CTC.
|We hope you are inspired by your Plum Village Earth Holder Community. You have an open invitation to become involved with us if you are not already. We also welcome your financial contribution to help us continue the work beautifully into the future. You can donate here or through the Thich Nhat Hanh Foundation, and earmark it for Earth Holder Community.|