Thich Nhat Hanh: Connect With and Love Mother Earth to Heal the Planet

“We need a real awakening”

– Common Dreams staff

Thich Nhat Hanh, Buddhist monk, peace activist and scholar, says that we must see the connection between the Earth and ourselves, and that we must fall back in love with Earth in order to heal the planet.

Guardian editor Jo Confino interviewed the 86-year-old at his Plum Village retreat center. Confino writes:

Thay, as [Thich Nhat Hanh] is known to his many thousands of followers, sees the lack of meaning and connection in peoples’ lives as being the cause of our addiction to consumerism and that it is vital we recognise and respond to the stress we are putting on Earth if civilisation is to survive.

Thay believes that seeing the environment as separate from ourselves is the problem; change can only come when we move beyond that dualistic way of thinking:

“You carry Mother Earth within you,” says Thay. “She is not outside of you. Mother Earth is not just your environment.

“In that insight of inter-being, it is possible to have real communication with the Earth, which is the highest form of prayer. In that kind of relationship you have enough love, strength and awakening in order to change your life. […]

“Fear, separation, hate and anger come from the wrong view that you and the earth are two separate entities, the Earth is only the environment. You are in the centre and you want to do something for the Earth in order for you to survive. That is a dualistic way of seeing.

“So to breathe in and be aware of your body and look deeply into it and realise you are the Earth and your consciousness is also the consciousness of the earth. Not to cut the tree not to pollute the water, that is not enough.” Read more…