Last fall, shortly after reading the most recent IPCC report, I was on retreat at Spirit Rock Meditation Center, engaged in walking meditation. At one point my mind was stuck on an old memory–some minor embarrassment, and no mindful “noting” loosened its grip. “Wait a minute,” I thought, “I should know how to handle this.” At that very moment, a strong voice came to me and thundered, “Just fall in love with what is!” As I heard these words, I saw two curtains closing: Just fall in love with what is!
Just fall in love with what is!
What Happened to the Great Turning?
In the 1990s a name emerged for the purposeful and Earth-based solidarity we were experiencing and for the promise it carried–the Great Turning. The term soon came to signify the transition underway to a life-sustaining society–a transition as real and as pervasive as the Great Unraveling brought by the industrial growth society. While the Great Turning takes form in specific actions and achievements, it essentially lives within us as vision and commitment. In that sense it reminds me of the Buddhist notion of bodhicitta, devotion to the welfare of all, often portrayed as a flame in the heart.
Breakdown now appears inevitable
Breakdown now appears inevitable
While We Still Can Meet
We can start right away while we still can easily communicate and work together. What we do now in our neighborhood as well as in wider “rough weather networks” strengthens our capacities, which will be ever more valuable as the consumer society falters and fails. Everything we learn from the self-organizing and adaptive nature of Gaia will serve to guide and steady us. To help us grasp the beauty and relevance of Gaian laws, it is our great good fortune that we are beginning to listen to indigenous voices as they share, despite genocide and betrayal, their millennia-old Earth wisdom traditions.
Rediscovering Our Belonging We belong to the living body of Earth and nothing can ever separate us.
We belong to the living body of Earth and nothing can ever separate us.
The field of belonging is rooted in the living body of Earth, in the flows of time and relationship that form our bodies and communities, our land and climate. Let us bring these flows into our awareness so they inform each choice we make, all of us bodhisattvas in the Jeweled Net of Indra.*
*”Indra’s Net is a beautiful vision of the universe that arose out of Mahayana Buddhism. The imagery is of a huge net where at every node is a jewel, and each jewel reflects the other jewels and catches the reflections back and forth. The other jewels represent other beings in a kind of tapestry of the universe.” (Joanna Macy in Yoga International interview.)
Joanna Macy, is a scholar of Buddhism, general systems theory, and deep ecology. A respected voice in the movements for peace, justice, and ecology, she interweaves her scholarship with five decades of activism. As the root teacher of the Work That Reconnects, she has created a groundbreaking theoretical framework for personal and social change, as well as a powerful workshop methodology for its application. Her wide-ranging work addresses psychological and spiritual issues of the nuclear age, the cultivation of ecological awareness, and the fruitful resonance between Buddhist thought and contemporary science, explored through her books, audio-visual resources, and teachings on the Great Turning.