The first edition of this book fostered the emergence of the "Spiritual Ecology Movement," which recognizes the need for a spiritual response to our present ecological crisis. It drew an overwhelmingly positive response from readers, many of whom are asking the simple question, "What can I do?" This second expanded edition offers new chapters, including two from younger authors who are putting the principles of spiritual ecology into action, working with their hands as well as their hearts. It also includes a new preface and revised chapter by Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee, that reference two major recent events: the publication of Pope Francis's encyclical, "On Care for Our Common Home," which brought into the mainstream the idea that "the ecological crisis is essentially a spiritual problem"; and the 2015 Paris Climate Change Conference, which saw representatives from nearly 200 countries come together to address global warming, including faith leaders from many traditions. Bringing together voices from Buddhism, Sufism, Christianity, and Native American traditions, as well as from physics, deep psychology, and other environmental disciplines, this book calls on us to reassess our underlying attitudes and beliefs about the Earth and wake up to our spiritual as well as physical responsibilities toward the planet.
About the Author
Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee is a Sufi teacher who has lectured extensively throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe. He is the founder of the Golden Sufi Center and is the author of more than 15 books, including Alchemy of Light, Return of the Feminine and the World Soul, and Prayer of the Heart. Thich Nhat Hanh is the founder of the School of Youth Social Service, a relief organization that rebuilt bombed villages, set up schools and medical centers, resettled homeless families, and organized agricultural cooperatives after the Vietnam War. He was nominated for the 1967 Nobel Peace Prize. Joanna Macy is a scholar of Buddhism, deep ecology, and general systems theory. She lives in Berkeley, California. Wendell Berry is a conservationist, farmer, essayist, novelist, and poet. He is a former professor of English at the University of Kentucky and a past fellow of both the Guggenheim Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation. He lives in Port Royal, Kentucky. Sandra Ingerman is a licensed marriage and family therapist (LMFT), and professional mental health counselor. She was awarded the Peace Award from the Global Foundation for Integrative Medicine in 2007. She lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Richard Rohr is a Franciscan priest and founder of the Center for Action and Contemplation. He lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Bill Plotkin is a depth psychologist, wilderness rites guide, and ecotherapist. He lives in Durango, Colorado. Mary Evelyn Tucker is a senior lecturer and research scholar at Yale University where she holds appointments in the Divinity School and in the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. She lives in New Haven, Connecticut. Brian Swimme is the director of the Center for the Story of the Universe and a professor at the California Institute of Integral Studies. He lives in San Francisco. Vandana Shiva is an environmental leader, and recipient of the 1993 Alternative Nobel Peace Prize.
"It's hard to imagine finding a wiser group of humans than the authors represented here, all of them both thinkers and do-ersin the greatest battle humans have ever faced. AN EPIC COLLECTION!" —Bill McKibben, founder, 350.org
"This book provides fresh thinking about the spiritual approaches of consciously and consistently making the right choices, each of us within our respective sphere of influence." —Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)
"Some of the most inspiring voices on behalf of our living planet speak forth with power and clarity in this hugely important and timely book. Their words help us find our true home and our rightful place within the great turning world of Nature." —Stephan Harding, Ph.D, author, Animate Earth: Science, Intuition and Gaia; founding member Schumacher College
"In ancient times, oracles were consulted in order to translate the winds of the gods into wise counsel for the living to come. This gathering of elders from all over the globe assembled by Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee in Spiritual Ecology is nothing short of a modern oracle whose voices translate the wisdom of the Earth we must care for. Whatever your passion or work, read this book to better know the irreplaceable ground we all depend on." —Mark Nepo, author, Seven Thousand Ways to Listen and The Book of Awakening
"Spiritual Ecology is a superb collection of thoughtful pieces by people who have gone deep to understand our relations with the Earth. It comes at a crucial time for humanity." —Barry Lopez, landscape photographer, author, Arctic Dreams (winner National Book Award), Of Wolves and Men, Crossing Open Ground, About This Life
"This book carries urgently needed messages for everyone on the planet. I know this because I have witnessed how damaging human impact is on natural ecosystem function and how little time we have left to change this. It is our choice and it is our responsibility to act with courage and wisdom. Spiritual Ecology is helping to lead the transition by amplifying the Earth's voice that we so badly need to hear." —John D. Liu, director, Environmental Education Media Project, senior research fellow IUCN, visiting fellow, Faculty of Earth and Life Sciences, Vrije University, Amsterdam
"THIS BOOK IS A CALL TO ACTION. It requires us to put down everyday concerns that preoccupy our minds and listen with our hearts to the testaments of how desperately the earth needs us. At every moment, our physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being are nurtured by the earth and yet, we are indifferent to this fact as we go about our way pursuing material success. This book is a timely reminder that we must find balance in our lives and give to others as much as we receive from the earth. We must develop compassion for all the living beings that suffer even as we benefit and we must generate courage to make a change in our own behavior. I thank the authors in the book for reinforcing my commitment to protect the earth as much as is in my power." —His Holiness the 17th Karmapa, Ogyen Triney Droje, www.kagyuoffice.org
"In many voices, Spiritual Ecology speaks a profound and essential truth, inspiring us all to listen to the cry, deepen our personal reflection, and expand the circle of conversation about our connection with Earth and with each other. Our human future depends on recognizing and embracing Earth as a sacred living being, our birth mother, the source of our nurture, and beyond price." —David Korten, author, The Great Turning and Agenda for a New Economy, co-founder, board chair, YES! magazine
"Spiritual Ecology elegantly repairs the most fundamental systems error in our relationship with the Earth: the celebration of the sacredness and oneness of all life . . . This book is a must-read and will elevate your spirit, expand your vision, and nourish your heart." —Kenny Ausubel, co-founder, Bioneers; author, Dreaming the Future: Reimagining Civilization in the Age of Nature and The Bioneers: Declarations of Interdependence
"This book takes us beyond—though not around—the grief and despair that the ecological crisis evokes. Herein lies an authentic possibility of healing through a transformation in our own ways of knowing, relating, and being." —Charles Eisenstein, author, Sacred Economics and The Ascent of Humanity, www.charleseisenstein.net "Like life herself, she thrums with the sounds of nature—and this book left me thrumming too. Our natural state is as one when we accord with natures' own laws and when we align our being with nature; that is where we find peace. This book is a step in that journey for us all to find peace." —Polly Higgins, Advocate for Earth Law, award-winning author, Eradicating Ecocide and Earth is our Business, ecologist and voice for the Earth "What ails us is deeper than what's easily measurable by economics or science. Spiritual Ecology is a collection of profound writings by some of the wisest among us about the depths of the crisis and the wellsprings of redemption." —David W. Orr, Oberlin College, author, founder The Oberlin Project "Despite the gloomy ecological outlook, these essays exude optimism in their belief that love and harmony can prevail over greed and insanity. They are eloquent and passionate pleas for the planet." —Publishers Weekly [review of the first edition]