May 1 Becoming Earth Holders

This week Bea will facilitate.  

She shares and excerpt of a beautiful article title "The World We Have" by Thich Nhat Hanh published by Lion's Roar on April 6, 2017.  To read the complete piece please go here.  

"Our planet Earth has a variety of life, and each species depends on other species in order to be able to manifest and to continue. We are not only outside of each other but we are inside of each other. It is very important to hold the Earth in our arms, in our heart, to preserve the beautiful planet and to protect all species. The Lotus Sutra mentions the name of a special bodhisattva: Dharanimdhara, or Earth Holder, someone who preserves and protects the earth.


Earth Holder is the energy that is holding us together as an organism. She is a kind of engineer or architect whose task is to create space for us to live in, to build bridges for us to cross from one side to the other, to construct roads so that we can to go to the people we love. Her task is to further communication between human beings and other species and to protect the Earth and the environment. It is said that when the Buddha tried to visit his mother, Mahamaya, it was Dharanimdhara who built the road on which the Buddha traveled. Although the Earth Holder bodhisattva is mentioned in the Lotus Sutra, there is not a chapter devoted entirely to her. We should recognize this bodhisattva in order to collaborate with her. We should all help to create a new chapter for her, because Earth Holder is so desperately needed in this era of globalization.


When you contemplate an orange, you see that everything in the orange participates in making up the orange. Not only the sections of the orange belong to the orange; the skin and the seeds of the orange are also parts of the orange. This is what we call the universal aspect of the orange. Everything in the orange is the orange, but the skin remains the skin, the seed remains the seed, the section of the orange remains the section of the orange. The same is true with our globe. Although we become a world community, the French continue to be French, the Japanese remain Japanese, the Buddhists remain Buddhists, and the Christians remain Christians. The skin of the orange continues to be the skin, and the sections in the orange continue to be the sections; the sections do not have to be transformed into the skin in order for there to be harmony.


Harmony, however, is impossible if we do not have a global ethic, and the global ethic that the Buddha devised is the Five Mindfulness Trainings. The Five Mindfulness Trainings are the path we should follow in this era of global crisis because they are the practice of sisterhood and brotherhood, understanding and love, the practice of protecting ourselves and protecting the planet. The mindfulness trainings are concrete realizations of mindfulness. They are non-sectarian. They do not bear the mark of any religion, particular race, or ideology; their nature is universal."