Dear Thay, Dear Beloved Community,
It is with great joy and a seed of sangha building in our hearts that we write to you to announce that The Earth Holder Community (EHC), A Mindful Earth Justice Initiative in the Plum Village Community of Engaged Buddhism, is seeking to expand our Care-Taking Council (CTC).
EHC’s core aspirations are to grow an earth-loving community, share earth-based mindfulness practices, support the leadership and wisdom of BIPOC and other marginalized communities at the forefront of ecological crisis management, and advance earth-healing compassionate direct action, all in the spirit of interbeing. If these aspirations excite you, please read on and share with your circles.
By early 2024 the EHC CTC will have has 4 members, with half of the members being BIPOC practitioners. Our engagement in the world is growing and we would like to add four to nine additional new CTC members! We hope to end up with a total of 8-15 CTC members, new and old together, and to grow our CTC BIPOC-majority.
- We are specifically prioritizing Black, Indigenous, Practitioners of Color
- We also welcome any intersection of LGBTQIA+,working class, disabled, and Wake Up-age (18-39 years) identifying siblings
- Applicants must be committed PV practitioners: PV Order of Interbeing (OI) members, OI aspirants in a formal aspiration process, or long-time committed and stable PV practitioners who have formally received the PV Five Mindfulness Trainings,and both lay and monastic.
- Must reside in the Western Hemisphere and have relative ease in communicating in English to support coordination and facilitation of meeting times and communications. We are continuing to explore ways to support or hold space for additional possible EHC CTC’s and Sanghas across the Globe.
We wish to more skillfully center voices from the diverse cultures, races, ethnicities and other identities that all live upon our precious Bodhisattva Mother Earth. Our hope is to amplify the leadership of the people who are most vulnerable to catastrophic climate chaos and to the interlocking systems of oppression underlying the climate crisis, including white supremacy, extractive capitalism and heteronormative patriarchy, or in Buddhist terms, hatred, greed, and ignorance. Lived experiences, histories, and ongoing resilience embody the knowledge we all need to meet the intersectional and systemic challenges that confront humanity and more than human kin.
If you are a PV practitioner, especially Black, Indigenous or Person of Color, or other groups identified above, and feel called to dedicate both skills and energy to being and mindfully working on the EHC CTC, we sincerely hope you will apply. Together, we aspire to continue on the path of forming a passionate nexus between earth and racial justice: EHC CTC’s earth and racial justice framework (analysis) can be viewed at https://earthholder.training/earth-and-racial-justice/
This aspiration has been embraced for years inside the EHC CTC and we have diligently worked in a number of ways to reach out to our Mahasangha. We sincerely hope to make our community as safe as possible for continued BIPOC leadership (at least one co-chair and 50%+ of CTC is always BIPOC. Examples of some our steps in the direction of Earth and Racial Justice include:
- The most recent Online Retreat, “Love is Freedom- Global Earth Retreat” (2023) centered voices of color–all 4 online retreat workshops were led by skilled PV practitioners of color.
- The “Love is Freedom- Global Earth Retreat” (2023) offered scholarships for BIPOC practitioners and unique pricing tiers for friends in the Global South.
- The EHC CTC has been offering support to sister sangha(s), Abrazadores de la Tierra (Earth Holders Spanish Speaking Sangha) in Mexico, Argentina, and Colombia
- All 4 EHC in-person retreats (2014-2018) have offered scholarships for BIPOC, youth, LGBTQIA. Every person who has requested a scholarship has received one. This is also true for the three EHC Online retreats, “THIS IS IT” (2019-2021) & “Love is Freedom” (2023).
- Conducted a demographic survey of EHC’s THIS IS IT #3 retreat registrants
- EHC CTC completed racial justice organizational self-assessments of the EHC CTC in 2019 and again in 2021. A 2023-24 reassessment has been in process.
- Numerous BIPOC PV Dharmacharyas, OI and senior practitioners have led our bi-monthly EHC Online Sangha gatherings
- We hired a skilled and talented Indigenous woman Wake Up’er as EHC Community Coordinator (March 2019 to present)
- We consulted with four BIPOC PV Dharmacharyas on our sincere aspiration and have asked for and received guidance and support on the best ways to proceed.
- EHC CTC members continue to work to dismantle racist constructs within and without.
For more information about EHC see earthholder.org or to apply, please complete inquiry/application (here) by January 16th, 2024. Please let us know about yourself, your practice, your passions about earth justice and the skills you may be able to offer. You are welcome to reach out to EHC Community Coordinator, Simona (email@example.com), with any questions.
A committee will carefully review all applications and conduct interviews. The invitation to CTC members will be made with the consideration of our community’s well being.
We are excited to hear from you!
With humility, respect, and deep aspiration,
The Earth Holder Care-Taking Council 2023:
Andrew Deckert (True Wonderful Direction)*
Maíra Fernandes de Melo (Engaged Serenity of the Heart)*
Stephanie Knox Steiner (True Earth Dwelling)*
Himdeep Singh (Gentle Abiding of the Heart)*
Aaron Solomon (Brother Fulfillment)*
Ivan Trujillo Priego (True Mountain Light)*
Earth Holder Community Coordinator
Simona Coayla-Duba (Dancing Presence of the Source)*
*(lineage or Dharma name)