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Spiritual Ecology: The Cry of the Earth

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Showing the deep connection between our present ecological crisis and our lack of awareness of the sacred nature of creation, this series of essays from spiritual and environmental leaders around the world shows how humanity can transform its relationship with the Earth. Combining the thoughts and beliefs from a diverse range of essayists, this collection highlights the current ecological crisis and articulates a much-needed spiritual response to it. Perspectives from Buddhism, Sufism, Christianity, and Native American beliefs as well as physics, deep psychology, and other environmental disciplines, make this a well-rounded contribution. The complete list of contributors are Oren Lyons, Thomas Berry, Thich Nhat Hanh, Chief Tamale Bwoya, Joanna Macy, Sandra Ingerman, Richard Rohr, Wendell Berry, Mary Evelyn Tucker, Sister Miriam MacGillis, Satish Kumar, Vandana Shiva, Pir Zia Inayat-Kahn, Winona LaDuke, John Stanley, John Newall, Bill Plotkin, Geneen Marie Haugen, Jules Cashford, and Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee.

280 pages, Hardcover

First published January 1, 2013

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About the author

Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee

61 books108 followers
Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee is a Sufi mystic.

Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee (born 1953, London) is a Sufi mystic and lineage successor in the Naqshbandiyya-Mujaddidiyya Sufi Order. He is an extensive lecturer and author of several books about Sufism, mysticism, dreamwork and spirituality.

:: History
Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee was born in London in 1953. He began following the Naqshbandiyya-Mujaddidiyya Sufi path at the age of 19, after meeting Irina Tweedie, author of Daughter of Fire: A Diary of a Spiritual Training with a Sufi Master. He became Irina Tweedie's successor and a teacher in the Naqshbandiyya Sufi Order. In 1991 he moved to Northern California and founded The Golden Sufi Center to help make available the teachings of this Sufi Lineage (see http://goldensufi.org).

:: Works
Author of several books, Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee has lectured extensively throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe on Sufism, mysticism, Jungian psychology and dreamwork. He has also specialized in the area of dreamwork, integrating the ancient Sufi approach to dreams with the insights of Jungian psychology. Since 2000 the focus of his writing and teaching has been on spiritual responsibility in our present time of transition, and an awakening global consciousness of oneness. More recently he has written about the feminine, the world soul, the anima mundi, and the emerging field of spiritual ecology (see http://workingwithoneness.org). He has also hosted a number of Sufi conferences bringing together different Sufi orders in North America (see http://suficonference.org).
His initial work from 1990 to 2000, including his first eleven books, was to make the Sufi path more accessible to the Western seeker. The second series of books, starting from the year 2000 with The Signs of God, are focused on a spiritual teachings about oneness and how to bring them into contemporary life, with the final book in this series being Alchemy of Light.
Llewellyn has been featured in two films, One the Movie & Wake Up. He has also been featured in the Tv series Global Spirit and in August 2012, he was interviewed by Oprah Winfrey as a part of her Super Soul Sunday series. He also writes a blog on the Huffington Post.

:: Books
* The Lover and the Serpent: Dreamwork within a Sufi Tradition (1990: out of print)
* The Call and the Echo: Sufi Dreamwork and the Psychology of the Beloved (1992: out of print, reissued in 1998 as Catching the Thread: Sufism, Dreamwork, and Jungian Psychology)
* The Bond of the Beloved: The Mystical Relationship of the Lover and the Beloved (1993)
* In the Company of Friends: Dreamwork within a Sufi Group (1994)
* Travelling the Path of Love: Sayings of Sufi Masters (1995)
* Sufism: The Transformation of the Heart (1995)
* The Paradoxes of Love (1996)
* The Face Before I Was Born: A Spiritual Autobiography (1997, 2nd Edition 2009 with new Introduction and Epilogue)
* Catching the Thread: Sufism, Dreamwork, and Jungian Psychology (1998)
* The Circle of Love (1999)
* Love is a Fire: The Sufi's Mystical Journey Home (2000)
* The Signs of God (2001)
* Working with Oneness (2002)
* Light of Oneness (2004)
* Moshkel Gosha: A Story of Transformation (2005)
* Spiritual Power: How It Works (2005)
* Awakening the World: A Global Dimension to Spiritual Practice (2006)
* Alchemy of Light: Working with the Primal Energies of Life (2007)
* The Return of the Feminine and the World Soul (2009)
* Fragments of a Love Story: Reflections on the Life of a Mystic (2011)
* Prayer of the Heart in Christian and Sufi Mysticism (2012)

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 55 reviews
Profile Image for Wil.
16 reviews
January 30, 2015
This is certainly the most powerful book I have read in years and one that I hope to continue reading for the rest of my life.

Spiritual Ecology is a collection of essays written by religious/spiritual and environmental leaders. I was blown away by the selection of authors that were chosen for this book and the insight that each of them shared. Each essay touches upon ecology in a unique, inspiring way.

I originally bought this book because I was interested in Thich Nhat Hanh, who wrote a great piece for this book. However, some of my favorite pieces were written by Joanna Macy, Wendell Berry, Bill Plotkin, Thomas Berry, and Richard Rohr.

The authors come from diverse backgrounds: from Thomas Berry and Richard Rohr who are Christian ecotheologians, to Thich Nhat Hanh, a Buhhdist monk, to Chief Oren Lyons, a member of the Onondaga Nation.

If you know and appreciate any of the writers, reading this book is a great way to find other writers that you will really enjoy.

I also want to point out that essays are really uplifting. A lot of ecological literature, like Eaarth by Bill McKibben, use fear tactics to spread environmental awareness, which I don't think is as enlightening. This book invokes concern, but it is also very positive, and practical.
357 reviews47 followers
November 22, 2019
Don't you love it when a book puts into words what you have felt but couldn't articulate? That is what this book did for me-- things I had pondered and felt but couldn't quite turn into words.
This is a collection of essays by several thoughtful, spiritual people writing from a variety of perspectives. All point toward a lack spiritual groundedness at the core of the ecological devastation we are currently participating in.
It is not a book to be read in one easy sitting but should be read slowly, carefully, thoughtfully.
It would be difficult to pick a favorite but if I did, it would be Wendell Berry's
Profile Image for Melissa.
554 reviews3 followers
August 19, 2015
I absolutely loved this book and fought the urge to highlight and apply tabs to every page, but only because it was the library's copy...my own copy coming soon.

This is a fantastic collection of essays on behalf of the earth. In these varied essays, we are faced with all the ways we, as a species, fail the planet, how we started failing thousands of years ago, and how industrialization is taking us beyond the tipping point. Susan Murphy's essay really drove home ways we are failing. Through our insistence that earth and it's plants and animals are provided for the use and exploitation of the obviously superior humans, we are killing our own life support system. These essays also bring to light evidence that the earth is not a dead thing to be abused and pillaged, but a living entity and critical player in the life of the whole. Each essay looks at the situation from a different perspective, but all to the same conclusion. We must not just "save the earth", but "unite with the earth" and start developing rules for the sustainability of ALL life, not just the advancement and economic windfalls of the current population of humans.

Religion comes up a lot in the essays. Why? Because many believe that the only sustainable solution is to regain the spiritual relationship with our mother (earth) and learn to live in harmony with nature, not as it's master/assasin. What I found most interesting, was that most of the world's spiritual paths and religions heavily incorporate the care of the earth in practice or doctrine, except the Judeo-Christian religion which is predominant in the most materialistic/Imperialist areas of the world. I also really enjoyed Kumar's essay about how key movements/philosphies/dogmas use a trinity of one sort or another to relate essential messages. Khan's essay on Sufi and Zoroastrianism theology and efforts to sustain life were quite interesting, as was Cashford's essay on Gaia, and Rohr's inconvenient truths to members of his religion. All the essays were extremely thought provoking.

As the author notes in her essay, "Our present ecological crisis is calling to us and it is for each of us to respond. This crisis is not a problem to be solved, because the world is not a problem, but a living being in a state of dangerous imbalance and deep distress. This distress belongs to its body and soul, and as the voices in this book show, there are different ways we can respond to this calling."
Profile Image for Guttersnipe Das.
67 reviews48 followers
November 2, 2013
If you arrive suddenly in a foreign city, a city where you do not know the landmarks and do not speak the language, you may find yourself urgently in need a guide. In the same way, this book is vitally necessary, now that we find ourselves in a changed and unfamiliar world. If we wish to survive as a civilization, we need to find new paths - and we need to find them quickly. You would do well to call in sick to work - and stay home to read this.

A few of the texts here I'd found previously, including one that blew open my mind when I read it aged 19: Joanna Macy's "Greening of the Self". It is even more amazing than I remember. Thich Nhat Hanh is here as well and just because he's a beloved Zen master who knows the right way to eat an orange doesn't mean he pulls his punches: "In my mind I see a group of chickens in a cage disputing over a few seeds of grain, unaware that in a few hours they will all be killed." He knows we may not make it. Even acknowledging we may not survive, there is a way forward, a way to take action and not be paralyzed by helplessness.

Of the thinkers I discovered for the first time while reading this book, the most helpful and inspiring was Sister Miriam MacGillis. The interview here with Sister Miriam, a contemplative inspired by Thomas Berry, was stunning - perhaps the most profound example of skillful means united with a vast perspective that I have ever come across. Her understanding is so vast - and she brings it to bear on the farm that is in her stewardship. I read it three times in a row. It is magnificent.

I loved, too, Susan Murphy's essay, "The Koan of the Earth". Susan Murphy is a Zen teacher in Australia and her gaze is stark and clear. When the situation is as serious as this one, it is best to have a physician who does not mince words. In order to survive, we will need vast compassion, and it is compassion like this, tough as nails. (After reading this essay, I wanted very much to read `Minding the Earth, Mending the World', Murphy's book on this subject, but it appears to be unavailable. Somebody please bring this book back to print!)

I was particularly grateful to Geneen Marie Haugen and the essay "Imagining Earth". Haugen writes about how the imagination can be used to reacquaint ourselves with the sacred in the land and how this practice, which involves some "make-believe", might turn out to be essential for our survival.

Haugen helped me a lot to understand my own experience. As a boy in New Hampshire, I experienced my family's farm as a place vastly alive and full of spirits. Certain places had certain powers; there was even an area I believed to be "the heart of the farm". I grew up, thought myself foolish, and it was years before I was able recognize how correct I'd been as a child! This essay is a beautiful guide to this practice. She helped me understand, too, why I find the unfortunate fate of my family's farm (and life in Tokyo) so wrenching. Haugen writes, "A practice of attending an animate world may have a cumulative effect of rearranging our own consciousness in a way that we cannot later withdraw from without pain"(166). Yes, indeed.

Anthologies like this one aim to reach many people by providing many styles and approaches. I admit there were a few essays here that seemed to me "keynote addresses" - general statements aimed at an audience already convinced. I hope that this book will serve as a sort of general introduction for a series of books on this subject.

Hopefully these essays will serve to fuel discussion. Admittedly, I did not agree with all the approaches found here. A few, like the essay by Sandra Ingerman, seemed to be examples of cheesy, old-style New Age thinking that is too busy being airy and optimistic to actually be useful. This sort of thing was good enough for 1987 (when "The Aquarian Conspiracy" was going to save us all) but - we're going to need to think a lot harder now.

In a book of strong essays, there was one essay that dismayed and even offended me: Satish Kumar's "3 Dimensions of Ecology: Soil, Soul, Society." As a keen student of Hinduism and Buddhism, I think the ecological perspectives of these traditions are both fascinating and urgently necessary. This essay, however, is an embarrassing concoction of platitudes, generalities and sentimentality. This is not 1893, Mr. Kumar is not Swami Vivekananda, and we do not need dumbed-down, platitude-ridden, soft-serve presentations of Hinduism anymore. Pardon me for being rude, but I think this is an argument worth having!

Kumar translates yagna, tapas and dana as soil, soul and society. I'm sorry, but that's not what those words mean. If he wishes to give a creative translation or reinterpretation, that's great, but he should give the traditional meanings and the reasons for his reinterpretation - not just assume that we are ignorant and cannot handle the actual definitions of words. It is no longer necessary to gloss over what is complicated in these faiths -- we can handle the complexity of the real tradition. For a brilliant discussion of how Hindus see the divine as manifest in the land around them, please read Diana Eck's marvelous book India: A Sacred Geography, a book that is as necessary to ecologists as it is to students of religion.

I am grateful to this wonderful collection of essays for giving me so much to investigate and ponder - as well as a few things to argue about! May there be more books like this one - and fast! May the conversation continue deep into the night.
Profile Image for Ilona Meagher.
8 reviews7 followers
August 19, 2013
This book is so refreshing, so empowering, so magic-revealing and so human meaning-making. If your response to the environmental challenges we face (yes, they *are* serious and quite painful to digest) is to tune out and weep as if all is already lost, this book may buy you some hope.

More of us putting its concepts to practice may also buy Gaia (and all of her life forms) more time.

44 reviews
November 15, 2018
“Spiritual ecology is the fire by which you can sit, to hear the stories of our human legacy and responsibility told once again in clear voices. It is the place where you can understand most intimately and immediately that spirit and nature are one, and that what affects one thing ultimately affects everything.”

I read this book for a class. The message from each author, while coming from a slightly different place of realization/philosophy/spiritual tradition, was powerful and important. It provides a good reflection on the common thinking of humans being separate from nature to acknowledging that humans are part of nature. It just got a bit redundant chapter after chapter.
Profile Image for David Salmon.
1 review3 followers
September 13, 2013
Spiritual Ecology is a collection of essays illustrating humanities past relationships with the Earth and the current issues our relationship faces. It is beautiful, insightful and inspiring to read. Not only does it motivate you to deepen your connection to the land, it also keeps you grounded. Each writer comes from a unique background and shares their understanding of spiritual ecology in a beautiful way.
Profile Image for Stephanie Bogdanich.
Author 1 book12 followers
January 27, 2023
I thought this would have some interesting and unique ideas about communicating about climate change but it's the same old stuff I've read elsewhere.
Profile Image for Justin.
65 reviews1 follower
March 22, 2015
This is an extraordinary compilation of short essays that successfully updates the concept of deep ecology. The well chosen authors offer a diversity of perspectives that run the entire imaginable gamut. I am especially impressed with this book because the authors are not afraid to boldly state and explore the vital spiritual dimension of ecology.

As Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee says, “In only relating to our planet from a physical perspective, much of the ecological movement perpetuates the concept of the earth as something solely physical, without sacredness or soul, and so reinforces the divorce of matter from spirit.”

Our external world accurately reflects the current state of our internal world. I like that very few lines in this book were dedicated to describe the symptoms of the current ecological crisis as this turns into scare tactics all too easily. Rather, several authors took the time to bring to light this spiritual dimension of both humanity and the soul of the living Earth.

Perhaps the essay I enjoyed most was written by Joanna Macy called The Greening of the Self. In it she argues that the current environmental crisis comes from understanding of ourselves based on Newtonian physics which separates us from the material world and gives us dominion over it.

The argument that we are part of the Earth system is one of the two or three deepest roots of all ecology. It goes without saying that since we want to take care of ourselves, then it is obvious that we need to take care of our environment. This perspective is brilliantly explained by Joanna Macy:

“The obvious choice, then, is to extend our notions of self-interest. For example, it would not occur to me to plead with you, ‘Don’t saw off your leg. That would be an act of violence.’ It wouldn’t occur to me (or to you), because your leg is part of your body. Well, so are the trees in the Amazon rain basin. They are our external lungs. We are beginning to realize that the world is our body.”

Logical enough, but it contains a nearly fatal flaw that the author fails to address.

This thought process is aimed at Western culture because it is based on logic. However, it won’t hit its target because it fails to take into account that Western culture has long since decided to not take care of itself.

The mantra that advertising agencies bombard people with is: be free; do as you wish. Happiness comes from a life unhindered by restrictions to pleasure.

Nowhere is this attitude more evident than in our diet. The so called Western diet can be described in no uncertain terms: it is the antithesis of what our body has evolved to use as nourishment. It is manufactured for maximum immediate pleasure (read: taste). It rests on the bedrock of refined sugar, refined wheat and alcohol. Take these away and far too many people will lose all pleasure they find in life, that is if they survive the withdrawal symptoms.

It is also illustrated in our attitude towards corporal beauty. If you are not pleased with any certain part of your body, then just have it surgically improved. A friend of mine recently attended her 20th high school reunión and found out that she was the only woman present who had not undergone cosmetic surgery. It is increasingly becoming a popular 15th birthday gift from parents to their overjoyed daughters. Undoubtedly the improved self esteem of these girls cannot be overrated, but at what cost?

If by living this type of life you get, for example, high blood pressure, then you take a pill to control it and continue with your life. In fact there are pills for just about every ill imaginable. In this way, we have gradually lost our intuitive sense for our body’s proper functioning. Obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure and even some cancers are increasingly considered normal, even inevitable, exposing both the shortsightedness of our current historical perspective and what can only be called having the wool pulled over our eyes by the broadcast media.

As Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee affirms, “A sacred substance that nourishes our souls and the soul of the world is diminishing. And we do not even know that this is happening.”

So, if individuals under the influence of Western culture are not even interested in caring for their own body in a way that would make sense to any of our great grandparents, then what makes us believe that extending our notions of self-interest will result in harmony between humanity and the Earth? If the body is not sacred, let alone the soul, then how could anybody find sacredness in a tree or a mountain or a pond or a fish or even another human being?

I don’t think that self-interest has a place in this discussion. The self ceases to exist as we know it because we fit into a tide of unity like that among fingers on a hand, like that among fruit on a tree, like that seen among waves on a shore. In this sense we don’t focus our energy on taking care of ourselves, or even others. Rather it is the act of taking care that demonstrates our true nature. In this material world, that takes will, planning, effort, coordination, reflection and strength. Before these, though, it takes comprehension and vision of who we truly are and our place in the world, as Joanna Macy states so eloquently in this book.

Only once does this book wander into the entirely esoteric, new age quagmire. In that essay the author tells us at least 30 times what humanity MUST do to restore harmony. The essay is a sore thumb, though, it stands out from the rest which are insightful, well researched and original.

Overall, this is a must read for anybody interested in deep ecology.
Profile Image for Heidi Hanley.
Author 6 books14 followers
May 13, 2021
Finding this book was a blessing. I thought Spiritual Ecology was a term I made up until I Googled it and discovered this spiritual way of caring for the earth is already a thing. I thought it was going to be a book about how to care for the planet, but it is more about how to connect with the earth on a spiritual level. It’s about learning to love the earth in a deeper way. There is not a lot of instruction, which at first disappointed me, until I understood how it was meant to lead the reader to an experience of the earth that could be healing for both the human reader and the earth herself. Told from multiple spiritual perspectives, it highlights how love for the earth is deeply rooted, not in any one religion or practice, but in a transcendent and yet fully present awareness that the earth is part of us and we are part of it, both sacred beings with perennial value. We are so close to the tipping point ecologically speaking and this book could very well make the difference in which way we tip. I liked some chapters better than others but only because they spoke to my personal spiritual leanings. Every chapter offers a key, an insight, a wisdom that is desperately needed- NOW.
Author 5 books1 follower
January 25, 2020
A good collection of essays combining ecology, spirituality, and the predominant crisis of our time.
92 reviews1 follower
February 26, 2016
A really important and beautiful book including reflections from leaders and thinkers in many different spiritual traditions. The theme is the soul of the planet, which is a different tack than most books like this that examine the physical side of ecological degradation. These writers are more about the degrading of our spirituality and our sense of the earth as sacred, and the disastrous consequences thereof. One essay postulated an expansion of the "I" to include our identification with the planet, rather than just with our own personal current physical self. Why are the water molecules that were once part of "me" now not still "me?" The ecological crisis of our time will not be solved just by laws and policies. It can only be solved by our spiritual maturity and growth, so that we are no longer prone to treat others (things, life-forms, and people) as objects to be used and spent, but as expressions of the Creator with their own integrity and beauty. As a pastor I remain even more convinced that our worship and mission has to be increasingly creation-centered in order to honor and obey the Creator. The other thing about this book that is important is the inter-faith aspect. Yes there are differences between the shamanistic, Buddhist, Muslim, and Christian takes on creation. But none of them support the psychotic fear and hatred of the earth that has resulted in our current exploding crisis. In the end, we are all earthlings fashioned by a good God and placed in a blessed and beautiful garden. Finally, the book makes the point that what we do to the earth we do to our own bodies/souls; they reflect each other and killing the earth is suicide.
Profile Image for Diogenes.
476 reviews
September 20, 2014
There could be so much said for this collection of truly didactic and spiritual voices not only raising a heightened awareness of our increasingly sickened planet, but also rallying a call to moral arms for each and every one of us to DO SOMETHING about it, by communing with nature, appreciating the universal spirituality of life on both micro and macro levels, and by waylaying the vices of consumerism, myopic narcissism, wanton waste, ruination, and insatiable greed, for the greater good of the planet and all life upon it, present and future. The task is herculean, but one way or another we will all face the drastic imbalances taking over Mother Earth and bequeath it all to the next generations.

"EARTH IS WHERE we all live. Earth sustains us. Earth allows us to be here temporarily. Like a good guest, we [should] respect our host and all the beauty and bounty we are lucky to experience. We [should] do no harm. And then we leave."
Profile Image for Dana.
51 reviews1 follower
January 3, 2014
A stirring collection of essays discussing the calamity of climate change. Because of our spiritual connection to the earth, we suffer as Gaia suffers.
Profile Image for Jordan Wong.
9 reviews
August 1, 2020
Spiritual Ecology presents a series of essays concerning our much abused Earth and our spiritual darkness resulting from its deterioration. These essays, written by leaders of differing faiths and spiritualities, collectively point towards a single notion: the Earth is suffering as a consequence of our (humanity's) perceived detachment from the world. Our present, prevailing culture views nature as a resource to exploit, deemed only worthy in its utility to human purposes. Yet in reality, we are one of many life forms inhabiting this sacred planet, all of which are interdependent on each other to survive and thrive.

We have forgotten our values of life and care for humanity, fauna, flora and the Earth itself in exchange for the bottom line, “progress,” and “development.” We prioritize our own comfort, at the expense of Earth and her inhabitants (including other humans) suffering. Yet fate beholds a twisted irony: in our pursuit of happiness/comfort we find a lack thereof and a resultant spiritual hunger. And in that pursuit, we’ve christened the destruction of the Earth and deafened ourselves to its cry.

This book is a deep imploration for our reconnection with the sacred Earth and understanding humanity's role in the universe: one of many species, each contributing its part in the well-being and continuation of the Earth, and the evolution of life itself. In realizing our role within the universe, we become a part of something greater than ourselves. A possible spiritual answer to the millenia-old quandary being “What is the meaning of life?”

Indubitably, this book contains some hard truths and this interpretation some conjecture. Yet these perspectives become increasingly pivotal to our society in the current climate. Indeed, Spiritual Ecology is a must-read for everyone, however, those with spiritual and/or environmental questioning may find themselves more receptive to these concepts.
Profile Image for Jim.
414 reviews2 followers
November 23, 2021
The last couple of months, one of my regular groups has been reading an assortment of books on spiritual ecology; it was from an interest in how Evangelicals approach the climate crisis. We read books by and addressed to, the evangelical audience as well as the recent Papal Encyclical, "On Care For Our Common Home."
This book is filled with essays by a diverse group of writers looking at the spiritual side of ecology from their personal spiritual perspective or that of the religion/religious organization to which they belong.
While I found a number of the essays illuminating, several were tendentious while tedious. Or trying to be sweetly spiritual. So, pick and choose which essay may particularly interest or educate in your case.
Profile Image for Stacy Sevier.
213 reviews3 followers
October 31, 2017
Earth is sacred, simple enough. My 2 favorite essays are: The World of Wonder (Thomas berry) and The Call of the Earth (Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee). This book is a call to action, to bring us back to the mindset that we are the guardians of this sacred planet and connected to every living thing. Earth is alive and crying for us to notice what is happening to our "Mother". This is not a scientific book about climate change but a collection of essays focusing on our loss of spiritual connection to the natural world and the consequences of such. Reconnecting ourselves to the natural world is necessary in reversing the devastation already begun.
Profile Image for Laura Coramai.
5 reviews1 follower
January 8, 2021
Spiritually viewing the climate crisis we are in makes sense - actually it's about more than just the Climate, it is about the whole of creation...and with a spiritually mindful approach to understanding one is inspired to activism as in Engaged Buddhism, of which I am so about from reading this book. Essays that are show us how an "evolutionary crisis of the human spirit" (Stanley and Loy's essay) is at the root of the crisis we face, but how we can also heed "the call of the earth" (Vaughan-Lee concluding essay) and move into action and be effective because we start where it all begins: in our souls.
Profile Image for Sarah.
Author 7 books11 followers
January 5, 2022
I like this book because lots of the writers say some interesting and nuanced things about ecology. I enjoyed Richrd Rohr's rebuke to Christians for being rubbish on climate change. However, it does also serve in some places to show that the language around our 'relationship with nature' and how to deal with climate change is still slightly confused. I found Satish Kumar's chapter interesting for example and I have a lot of empathy with his approach and some of what he writes in this book but... it doesn't always make sense and is often contradictory. However, I would reccomend the book if you wanted an overview of thinking on ecology by different shades of the major religions.
Profile Image for Muhammad.
39 reviews19 followers
June 24, 2020
"Spiritual ecology is  about  a  shift  in  consciousness, a  return  to  the  sacred  that  embraces  and  infuses all  of  creation.  Rather  than  a  soulless,  materialistic world, it envisions a living universe resonant with wonder  and  meaning.  But  in  order  to  heal  an  Earth polluted  and  ravaged  by  our  present  civilization, the  principles  of  spiritual  ecology  need  to  be  put into  action.  This  is  the  calling  for  those  who  have the  energy  and  passion  to  act  from  a  place  of  service and love for the Earth."
12 reviews
July 28, 2019
The opening phrase of chapter 1, "NEYAWENHA SKANNOH," (thank you for being well) reverberates throughout the many surprising chapters, showing soulful links between humans and their environment. The notion of "place," as something other than space/ and time definition, is another surprising theme of the book that is covered from the perspective of many cultures.

Awesome book to start the summer, even better in the midst of a heat wave.
Profile Image for Sara.
554 reviews14 followers
March 26, 2020
This was an interesting collection of essays on deep ecology and spiritual ecology. Some (like the shaman woman and her group that "charged up" fruit) were too woo-woo for me, but many others were very heartfelt and offered surprisingly insightful views on how the world's many religious exhort us to be kinder to the earth, particularly the essay by a Franciscan friar who had some very pointed words to say about Christian exceptionalism.
160 reviews4 followers
July 29, 2020
Some ideas are brilliant to use and persuade people to change in this "material" world. However, others are abstract and inapplicable to me. Or I'm not convinced completely that spiritual approach can change the whole environmental issue, though I believed significance of spirit to some extend (or I'm too rational).

Profile Image for Cheyenne.
37 reviews1 follower
February 3, 2022
Although I immensely enjoyed parts of this books, I found it painful to get through other parts. I think this is mostly due to every chapter having a different author. Some authors were phenomenal while others had me feeling like I wanted to stop reading the book all together. Definitely some gem essays in here but you have to read through some poorly executed ones as well.
881 reviews
July 8, 2017
This is an inspiring collection of essays. Of course, I found some more enlightening than others, but all around good read. I hope to read more books by the essayists. I would read this again! May have to purchase a copy so I can bookmark and highlight my favorite passages!
Profile Image for Lukas Rupp.
120 reviews4 followers
December 30, 2020
Die Klimakrise widerspiegelt die innere, seelische Krise der Menschheit. Mit unserem rationalen Denken haben wir uns von der Natur getrennt und uns über sie und ihr ganzes Tier- und Pflanzenreich gestellt. Es ist Zeit unseren Planeten wieder als etwas Heiliges zu betrachten und demütig gegenüber Mutter Erde zu sein.
Profile Image for Dani Scott.
384 reviews
October 28, 2021
An incredible collection of essays on the deep importance of the natural world, our place in it, and our place in protecting it. Highly recommended for nature lovers, environmentalists, spiritual folks, religious folks, and anyone who feels like they need more connection with the larger world.
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