Editorial Note: With this piece by Terri Stewart (Cloaked Monk) we announce our focus for 100,000 Poets (and others) for Change 2016, environment and environmental justice. We continue our Facebook group discussion page. Let us know if you would like to be included in that.
Terri is also the lead for the upcoming November issue of The BeZine. The theme for that zine issue, which will publish on the 15th of November, is at-risk youth.
Caring for all that is can be an overwhelming job! If I think of the things within my control and trying to do the best I can, maybe I can do it in bite-size chunks. After all, I will never be able to invent some magical thing that converts pollution to life-giving energy. But I can compost!
Call on the animals to teach you; the birds that sail through the air are not afraid to tell you the truth. Engage the earth in conversation; it’s happy to share what it knows. Even the fish of the sea are wise enough to explain it to you. In fact, which part of creation isn’t aware, which doesn’t know the Eternal’s hand has done this? His hand cradles the life of every creature on the face of the earth; His breath fills the nostrils of humans everywhere. Job 12:7-10, The Voice-A Storyteller’s Bible
Climate-care, earth-care, creation-care, creature-care, caring is a deeply spiritual practice. How we approach the other starts with our interior orientation. If we practice expansive spirituality, we will be filled with gratitude, mindfulness, and joy. If not, we will be led to a diminished experience.
I wonder how we could reconnect, simply, through ritual, to creation? Perhaps a mini-ritual?
1. Set your sacred space
What are you trying to connect to? Earth? Cosmos? Stars? Bunnies? Create an easy environment where you can let your gaze gently rest on a photo, object, or even the real thing!
2. Set your intention
What do you need at this moment? For example, “I am here to connect to the earth in a way that honors the createdness of us all.”
3. The body of the ritual
Combining your intention with a ritualized act. For example, if you were sitting outside on a lawn chair, offering honor to the cosmos during the day, you could gradually look around honoring each creation you see. “Blades of grass, I honor you. Cedar trees, I honor you. Beloved cat, I honor you!”
4. Closing ritual
A signifier that it is finished. Perhaps, if you were outside in the grass, you could bring a handful of grass seeds to add to the growth. Then you could sprinkle the grass seeds in all directions, offering life.
Be creative! This framework for ritual was created by my friend, Deborah Globus. Her avatar is LaPadre. She’s awesome!
Shalom and Amen!
© 2014, words and illustration, Terri Stewart, All rights reserved