“When we can truly see and understand the Earth, love is born in our hearts. We feel connected. That is the meaning of love: to be at one. Only when we’ve truly fallen back in love with the Earth will our actions spring from reverence and the insight of our interconnectedness

– Thich Nhat Hanh, Statement to the United Nations 2015

Practise with Us

The Earth Holder Community of Ireland meets online on the third Sunday of every month, from 4-5:30pm (Irish time). Typical online EHCI gatherings include a guided meditation, a reading, and dharma sharing. These gatherings are open to all. You are very welcome to join the mailing list here to receive the link to our Zoom meetings, as well as follow-up emails with relevant resources.

About the Earth Holder Community

“While the energy of our thought, speech and actions is powerful, this energy is infinitely more powerful when we join together with others. When we come together as a group, with a common purpose and commitment to mindful action, we produce an energy of collective concentration far superior to our own individual concentration. This energy further helps us to cultivate compassion and understanding..this collective energy can lead to collective insight and to a collective awakening”– Thich Nhat Hanh, Love Letter to the Earth

The Earth Holder Community(EHC) is a branch of the Plum Village tree that applies Thich Nhat Hanh’s core teachings on engaged Buddhism, mindful living, racial and social justice, and inter-being with Mother Earth at this time of ecological crisis. The EHC is grounded in Thich Nhat Hanh’s Plum Village tradition and teachings on Interbeing, and also takes inspiration from the work of Mahatma Gandhi, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Joanna Macy. The aim of the EHC is to “bring mindfulness, compassion, healing, and non-violence to protecting ourselves, each other, all beings, and the Earth”. In practising deep, compassionate connection to ourselves, our communities, all living beings and the Earth, we not only have the opportunity to transform ourselves and touch a deeper peace and joy, but also to heal our families and our society. For more information and a wealth of Earth Holding supports and resources, you can visit the international Earth Holder website here.

The EHC practises to transform suffering and cultivate clarity and peace in four strategic ways:

1. We grow an Earth loving community

2. We share Earth-based mindfulness practices

3. We advance Earth-healing compassionate direct action

4. We uplift and support the presence and voices of marginalised communities

 

Origins

Growing out of a retreat in Plum Village’s Deer Park monastery, California in 2014, the EHC continues to grow and nurture new green shoots across the world. The EHC has recently invited communities to join them, and to encourage and coordinate Plum Village Sanghas and practitioners to engage in Earth Holding practices and mindfulness-based Earth Justice work in our own local communities.

Earth Holder Community Ireland

The Irish branch of the Earth Holder Community honours and is inspired by the foundation laid down by the Four Elements Sangha (a Mindfulness Ireland/Plum Village Sangha). In the words of the Four Elements Sangha, “Through the insight of interbeing we see that we are our environment, we are the Earth and there is truly no separation between us. We aspire to practice deep looking as a community so we can respond to the challenge of climate change with compassion, creativity and Right Action.”

The Irish Earth Holder Community had its first Day Of Mindfulness in Galway in February 2020. Monthly online meetings were launched in June 2020, with the first session led by Br. Phap Man (Br. Fulfilment), monk and peace activist, and a founding member of the international EHC Care Taking Council. Br. Phap Man is part of a community of resistance called ‘The Mindful Rebels’ that is committed to ecological and social justice through meditation and nonviolent direct action. Please see here a link to his talk during our online session, entitled “Love in Action”.

Example of an EHCI guided meditation
Interbeing with Mother Earth
by Jen Ardis, for the September 2020 EHCI online gathering “Falling in Love with Mother Earth”

1. Breathing in, I feel the weight of my body connecting me to the Earth
Breathing out, I touch the mountain in me – strong, solid and stable
(Connected to Earth / Mountain in me)

2. Breathing in, I see the branching, tree-like structures of my lungs (also known as the “bronchial tree”)
Breathing out, I smile to the trees in me
(Lungs as trees / Smiling)

3. Breathing in, I see the river-like structures of my circulatory system
Breathing out, I smile to the rivers and streams in me
(Circulatory system as rivers / Smiling)

4. Breathing in, I am aware that the water circulating throughout my body has been a part of clouds, rivers, oceans, glaciers, and lakes.
Breathing out, I smile to the cloud in my veins
(Water in me / Smiling)

5. Breathing in, I am aware that the minerals in my flesh, blood and bones have come from the Earth.
Breathing out, I am aware of the constant cycle of exchange of minerals between my body and the Earth
(Earth in me / Constant exchange)

6. Breathing in, I am aware that we have arrived at the time of the Autumn Equinox, when days and nights are of equal length.
Breathing out, I embrace both the light and the darkness
(Autumn Equinox / Embracing both light and dark)

7. Breathing in, I am aware of the inner landscape of my emotions
Breathing out, I embrace the entirety of my inner emotional landscape
(Aware of inner emotional landscape / Embracing)

8. Breathing in, I know that Mother Earth is within every cell of my body
Breathing out, I embrace Mother Earth in me
(Mother Earth in me / Embracing)

9. Breathing in, I am aware that I am within Mother Earth – I am a part of her
Breathing out, I release all of my joys, my sorrows, and my very self, into this eternal mother’s embrace
(Myself within Mother Earth / Releasing into Mother’s embrace)

 

To Contact Us

If you would like to find out more about the EHCI or have any further queries, please contact us at earthholdercommunityireland@gmail.com

To join our mailing list for further updates, please add your name here.

Watch recordings of previous EHCI speakers on our YouTube channel here.

 

Resources

Websites

●     Plum Village https://plumvillage.org/

●     Plum Village app https://plumvillage.app/

●     International Earth Holder Community website https://earthholder.training/

●     Earth Holder Community Sangha Resources https://earthholder.training/sangha-resources/

●     One Earth Sangha https://oneearthsangha.org/

●     EcoBuddhism https://www.ecobuddhism.org/

●     Buddhist Climate Change Collective http://gbccc.org/

●     Ecodharma: Radical Ecology, Radical Dharma http://www.ecodharma.com

 

Articles

●     Mindfulness Bell Magazine Autumn 2014 issue on Mother Earth https://www.mindfulnessbell.org/archive/category/%2367+Autumn+2014

●     Sister True Dedication: What We Can Learn From Buddhist Insights for the Climate Crisis http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sister-true-dedication/what-we-can-learn-from-bu_1_b_8473678.html

●     Befriending Eco-anxiety: a practice of deep adaptation by Kaira Jewel Lingo https://ethical.net/health/eco-anxiety/

 

Books

●     Love Letter to the Earth by Thich Nhat Hanh

●     The World We have by Thich Nhat Hanh

●     For a Future to be Possible by Thich Nhat Hanh

●     Being Peace by Thich Nhat Hanh

●     Active Hope by Joanna Macy and Chris Johnstone

●     How to eat by Thich Nhat Hanh

●     Savor by Thich Nhat Hanh and Harvard nutritionist Dr. Lilian Cheung

●     Vegan for Life by Jack Norris and Virginia Messina

 

 

Anti-Racism Resources

●     ARISE Sangha: Awakening through Race, Intersectionality, and Social Equity (Plum Village tradition) http://arisesangha.org/

●     Anti-racism resources from Parallax Press https://www.parallax.org/anti-racism-resources/

●     Tara Brach anti-racism resources – https://www.tarabrach.com/racism/

●     White Awake https://whiteawake.org/

●     Responding to anti-Black racism, oppression, and ecological collapse — a wake-up call to radical love in action — in the streets and in community – article by Br Phap Man https://medium.com/@phapman/standing-up-to-oppression-its-now-or-never-65768cddb467

●     Immigrant Council of Ireland https://www.immigrantcouncil.ie/

●     Anti-racism pack from the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission https://www.ihrec.ie/documents/anti-racism-resource-pack/

●     Doras: an independent, non-profit, non-governmental organisation working to promote and protect the rights of people from a migrant background in Ireland.https://doras.org/

●     Movement of Asylum Seekers in Ireland https://www.masi.ie/

●     Book: Racism and social change in the Republic of Ireland, Brian Fanning, Manchester University Press

●     Irish Network Against Racism https://inar.ie/

●     Irish Travellers Movement https://itmtrav.ie/

●     Earth Holder Community Care Taking Council Statement of Support and Commitment in Solidarity with Racial and Earth Justice https://earthholder.training/earth-and-racial-justice/

●     A new Paradigm for Racial Justice and  the Global Pandemic http://orderofinterbeing.org/2020/06/five-mindfulness-trainings-new-paradigm-for-racial-justice-and-the-global-pandemic/

 

Irish Organisations and Resources

●     Friends of the Earth Ireland https://www.foe.ie/

●     Friends of the Irish Environment https://www.friendsoftheirishenvironment.org

●     Climate Case Ireland https://www.climatecaseireland.ie

●     Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment www.dccae.gov.ie

●     Environmental Protection Agency http://epa.ie/

●     Stop Climate Chaos https://www.stopclimatechaos.ie/

●     Extinction Rebellion Ireland https://extinctionrebellionireland.com/

●     Not Here Not Anywhere https://notherenotanywhere.com/

●     Irish Wildlife Trust https://iwt.ie/

●     Biodiversity Ireland https://www.biodiversityireland.ie/

●     An Taisce https://www.antaisce.org/

●     Climate Change.ie http://www.climatechange.ie/

●     The Environmental Pillar http://www.environmentalpillar.ie

●     Earth Directory Ireland: Directory of Irish environmental organisations and government departments https://www.earthdirectory.net/ireland

●     Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland http://www.seai.ie

●     ENFO Public environmental and sustainable development information service http://www.enfo.ie

●     Permaculture Ireland https://permaculture.ie/

●     Cultivate Cloughjordan Ecovillage http://www.thevillage.ie/

●     Afri https://www.afri.ie/

●     Food Sovereignty Ireland https://www.foodsovereigntyireland.org/

●     Irish Seed Savers Association http://www.irishseedsavers.ie

 

International Organisations and Resources

●     350.org https://350.org/

●     Extinction Rebellion https://rebellion.global/

●     Project Drawdown: nonprofit organization that seeks to help the world reach “Drawdown”— the future point in time when levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere stop climbing and start to steadily decline. https://www.drawdown.org/

●     Ecosia: web browser that uses its profits to plant trees – https://www.ecosia.org

●     Fridays for Future https://fridaysforfuture.org/

●     Acts of Restorative Kindness “Weaving a patchwork of safe havens for Nature globally, in our gardens, schools, public spaces and beyond.” http://wearetheark.org/

●     Mary Robinson Foundation – Climate Justice https://www.mrfcj.org/

●     Mothers of Invention podcast on feminist climate change solutions with Mary Robinson and Maeve Higgins – https://www.mothersofinvention.online

●     World Wildlife Fund https://wwf.org/

●     The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) https://www.ipcc.ch/

●     Local Futures (works to renew ecological, social, and spiritual well-being by promoting a systemic shift towards economic localization) https://www.localfutures.org/

●     Global Ecovillage Network (GEN) https://ecovillage.org/