Living Earth Meditation

Living Earth Meditation will be offered at 9 a.m. on Saturdays at 1400 Gary St., Columbia, beginning April 1, 2023. It will be a collaborative program of our church, the Columbia Friends Meeting and Show Me Dharma and will be facilitated by Peter Holmes, Ph.D., and Tricia Straub.

The format will be silent meditation outdoors with an opportunity to share insights and reflection –
being at home in Nature while building a connection between spiritual practice and ecological awareness.

“The Peace of Wild Things” by Wendell Berry

When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.

I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

Some initial ideas about the focus of Living Earth Meditation

Sacred Earth

The world is not a problem to be solved – it is a living being to which we belong. The world is part of our own self, and we are part of its suffering wholeness. Until we go to the root of our image of separateness, there can be no healing. And the deepest part of our separateness from creation lies in our forgetfulness of its sacred nature, which is also our own sacred nature. When our Western monotheistic culture suppressed the many gods and goddesses of creation, cut down the sacred groves and banished God to heaven, we began a cycle that has left us with a world destitute of the sacred, in a way unthinkable to any indigenous people. The natural world and the people who carry its wisdom know that the created world and all its inhabitants are sacred and belong together. Our separation from the natural world may have given us the fruits or technology and science, but it has left us bereft of any instinctual connection to the spiritual dimension of life – the connection between our soul and the soul of the world, the knowing that we are all part of one living spiritual being.

It is this wholeness that is calling to us now, that needs our response. It needs us to return to our own root and rootedness – our relationship to the sacred within creation. Only from the place of sacred wholeness and reverence can we begin the work of healing, of bringing the world back into balance.

– Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee in Spiritual Ecology: The Cry of the Earth


To seek deep, embodied, joyful relationship with ourselves, each other, and all the rich diversity of beings that comprise our Living Earth.

To awaken to the realization that we are all connected, that we are all part of a constantly changing Mother Earth. To become aware that to consider humans as separate and independent is a dangerous illusion that causes immense suffering in this world.

To live into the awareness and the mystery of constantly changing, complex life system (Gaia) that sustains us and is one of the wonders of this Universe.

To realize that all we love arises inseparable from Earth and from the living Earth community in ways endless and unfathomable. To pay respects to the lands, waters, creatures, and rooted ones of each place. To be grateful for the rich life that we share with all earthly beings.