Healing The Planet ~ Healing Ourselves

The following excerpt is from the book Love Letter To The Earth by Thich Nhat Hanh

The Earth is out of balance; as a species we have not given back to the Earth as much as we have taken from it. We have exploited the Earth’s natural resources and polluted her environment. When we upset the balance of Mother Earth, it leads to a lot of suffering. Listening deeply we will see what she needs in order to regain her natural balance.

The Earth has already experienced a lot of suffering in the past from which she has managed to recover. She has experienced natural disasters such as collisions with other planets, meteorites, and asteroids as well as severe periods of drought, forest fires, and earthquakes, and yet she has been able to restore herself after all these events. Now we are putting so much strain on the Earth, by polluting the atmosphere, warming the planet, and poisoning the oceans, that she can’t heal on her own.

The Earth has lost her equilibrium. The fact that we have lost connection with Earth’s natural rhythm is the cause of many modern sicknesses. Some people believe that God is punishing the planet but in fact we all have to accept responsibility for what is happening to the Earth. We have to see our role in this process and know what to do in order to protect our Mother Earth. We can’t just rely on her to take care of us; we also need to take care of her.

Unless we restore the Earth’s balance we will continue to cause a lot of destruction and it will be difficult for life on Earth to continue. We need to realize that the conditions that will help to restore the necessary balance don’t come from outside us; they come from inside us, from our own mindfulness, our own level of awareness. Our own awakened consciousness is what can heal the Earth.

There is a revolution that needs to happen and it starts from inside each one of us. When we change the way we see the world, when we realize that we and the Earth are one and we begin to live with mindfulness, our own suffering will start to ease. When we’re no longer overwhelmed by our own suffering, we will have the compassion and understanding to treat the Earth with love and respect. Restoring balance to ourselves, we can begin the work of restoring balance to the Earth. There is no difference between concern for the planet and concern for ourselves and our own well-being. There is no difference between healing the planet and healing ourselves.

Suddenly, from behind the rim of the moon, in long, slow-motion moments of immense majesty, there emerges a sparkling blue and white jewel, a light, delicate sky-blue sphere laced with slowly swirling veils of white, rising gradually like a small pearl in a thick sea of black mystery. It takes more than a moment to fully realize this is Earth . . . home.

~ Edgar Mitchell, Apollo 14 Astronaut (1971)

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