14 May 2024

By Roshni

‘The flowers are my teachers’ – Earth Care Group Introduction

Welcome to the first blog co-written and shared by the Plum Village UK Earth Care group. We are a collection of individuals brought together by Thay’s teachings and our love for the Earth. So far, our work has been largely behind the scenes. We have created resources for local sanghas including: guided meditations, contemplations, and deep relaxations. You can find all of these on the Plum Village UK website here. We have also hosted a few themed Mornings of Mindfulness, the most recent of which was on mindful consumption. 

Yet, our Earth Care group is made up of many beautiful and diverse voices. Thus, by way of introduction, I have asked some of our members to share what ‘earth care’ means to them.

From the mountains of Scotland, Bill writes: There is no separation between Earth and self. Our needs inter-are with those of the planet. Just as we can see the cloud in our tea, that same cloud is in us. We are not inferior, superior, or equal to our Mother Earth or any of the plants, animals, or minerals. We are simply a part of it all. Earth care means understanding this relationship and with love, compassion, and healing actions finding a way to live together in harmony. 

Down by the fens of Cambridgeshire, Murray writes: When I walk in nature, enjoying the birdsong and wildflowers, I know that to care for the Earth is to truly care for myself, for all other beings and for the environment. How can I best live to honour this ultimate gift?

Within the Scottish highlands, Maggie writes: I start with a sense of wonder and gratitude that I am alive and part of this beautiful earth. So what do I do? How do I travel? What do I eat? How do I interact with other beings, both animate and inanimate? So how do I heat my house? How do I educate myself about the state of our beautiful earth and maybe change what I do in the light of growing awareness? How am I with those who think differently?

Below the Peak District moors, Roshni writes: Earth care is to recognise I belong. I belong on this planet because I am part of the Earth. The trees are my brothers. The mountains are my sisters. The streams are my cousins. The flowers are my teachers. I am part of a multispecies family. I recognise that this family cares for me, and my practice is to learn the ways in which I can care for them. 

At the core of our group is an aspiration to facilitate meaningful and sustainable action for the Earth. We recognise that many activists burnout; overwhelmed by the amount of change that needs to take place. Therefore, we hope to offer resources and stories that inspire mindfulness and joy when acting in service of our planet. 

Each month, we aim to spotlight an ‘earth care’ story that shares how local people and sanghas bring the welfare of the Earth into their daily lives. So, if you have a story, no matter how big or small, please email us at earthcare@plumvillage.uk. In time, we hope to develop an archive of Earth Care stories that can empower us to act with love for our precious planet.