Celebrate Our Oneness with Mother Earth
By Rev. David Phears



'The earth is our mother. Earth does not belong to us; we belong to earth. All things are connected and bound together. We did not weave the web of life; we are merely threads in it. Whatever we do to the web of life, we do to ourselves.' These are the profound words of Chief Seattle, leader of the Suquamish Native American tribe in January 1854 when he surrendered his tribal lands in what is now known as the state of Washington.

'Environment' is described in Webster's dictionary as 'the circumstances, objects, or conditions by which one is surrounded, ultimately determining its form and survival.' Therefore, our homes, communities, world, universe and even our individual and collective consciousnesses are all part of our 'environment.'

In the 1960's, the Gaia Theory postulated that the earth was a living, breathing, super organism (possessing the same self-regulating systems as humans) and representing a very small part of an ever-changing universe. James Lovelock in his theory further stated that everything is inextricably connected to another. Certainly, from a holistic viewpoint, our health as individuals is intimately linked to the overall health of our planet earth and thereby our environment!

With this growing awareness of our personal connection to earth, and the increasing concern for our planet's well-being, came the idea for 'Earth Day' from former Senator Gaylord Nelson. His vision evolved over a 7-year period - an idea whose time had come - and finally through a grassroots movement, it came to fruition on April 22, 1970. On that date, twenty-million demonstrators along with local schools and communities around the world came together to address our planet's challenges and make promises to help protect our environment.

Echoing the words of Chief Seattle, innumerable visionaries have written about the central theme that man, nature, earth and the universe are all interconnected. In his book Image of the New World, David Spangler in 1975 wrote the following: 'You are each the wholeness of the universe. You are each a part of it which, blended with other parts in love and truth, in communion and clear identity, makes possible the revelation and emergence of the greater wholeness that encompasses the universe.'

More recently in 2005, a prominent Columbia University scientist, Brian Greene, spoke about the String Theory in that everything in the universe, from the tiniest particle to the most distant star, is made from one kind of ingredient - unimaginably small, vibrating strands of energy called 'strings.' Our so-called physical universe isn't physical at all - it's actually a mental construction.

Oceans, stars and galaxies are thought forms - the grand symbols of the real universe, which is actually spiritual and governed by the laws of a perfect divine Principle or Intelligence.

Last year Oprah Winfrey focused on A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose which describes the connection between man, all life forms and the universe in each breath. The author, Eckhart Tolle explains the expansion of the universe and how, at some point, its expansion will reverse and return to the nothingness from whence it came.

The nature of all that is consists of repeating cycles of birth, expansion, contraction and finally death which is reflected in many ways - the ebb and flow of ocean tides; the changing seasons; the incessant expansion and contraction of our hearts; and even the inhaling and exhaling of our every breath.

Moreover, Tolle regards the 'Power of Now' as the essence of enlightenment and salvation of humanity. Focusing on the present (now) facilitates a shift toward experiencing who we truly are and thereby a new way of being - something infinitely greater than anything our thoughts may have created for our own identity.

As both a spiritual master and messenger, he reminds humanity that we are divine embodiments in physical form, and yet so much more. Tolle brings a true message of hope to the six billion inhabitants of our planet earth - we each have the opportunity to create a new, more loving and peaceful world!

Please join our Earth Day Celebration on Wednesday, April 22nd at Sangha Center from 7:00-8:30 p.m. to express our gratitude for our divine Mother Earth. We'll have reverent meditation, music by HeartSong, beautiful visuals and share eco-information to further protect our earth.

Rev. David Phears is the Community Spiritual Leader at Sangha Center for Spiritual Living (dba HBCRS) and can be reached at (714) 596-0900 or online at www.sanghacenter.org. Also please check out our Awareness Magazine ad on page 32 about Sangha Center's inclusive community which teaches spiritual success tools while promoting compassion, prosperity and peace.


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