Shodo Spring: “We insist on stealing what the earth has always given freely. Now we are living with the wreckage.”


Shodo at the White House.

This morning I’ve pointed to the lives and work of two extraordinary women, Mary Saint Marie and Rebecca Hardcastle Wright. Now here’s a third, Shodo Spring. All of these women, seasoned through many decades of consciously lived experience into compassion and truthtelling, are also walking their walk.

Shodo Spring is a Buddhist monk, environmental activist, permaculturist and blogger who now lives in Minnesota but who graced us here in Bloomington with her presence for a number of years. And Shodo happens to be doing her walk literally, on the ground, with others, this summer.

I root for Shodo, her courage, her tenacity, her utterly uncompromising focus on what we have done and what we must do to redeem ourselves. As he remarked, to me: “The earth has always supported us and we insist on stealing instead of accepting the free gift.”

The Compassionate Earth Walk
We walk as a blessing to the earth and to those we meet, and as a prayer for all earth’s children.Humans are destroying the earth, including ourselves. We are using up all the natural resources (coal, oil, water, soil, natural gas) as if they would replenish themselves – or as if there were no tomorrow. We make chemicals that make millions of us sick. Our extraction of fossil fuels (and our unnatural methods of farming) are causing climate change that has already caused catastrophic floods and droughts – and we are on track for much, much worse.Knowing this, our governments and institutions have chosen to continue extracting resources at an ever-increasing rate, to create new and more sophisticated poisons, and to ridicule or imprison those who object. The disease of our day is to see ourselves as independent and the world as a resource to consume.In this walk, we openly announce that it is the other way around: we are part of the earth, embraced, supported, and given life by it. None of us could take a single breath without the help of the myriad beings that inhabit this planet. In doing so, we ally ourselves with millions of people who have lived in harmony with their natural communities, for centuries and millenia. We thus begin to decolonize ourselves, which is a step toward real decolonization.

  • Walking, we consciously give energy to the earth, going against the flow of constantly taking as if it were our right.
  • Meeting people, we listen to their stories and offer them love and support.
  • Entering communities, we offer our hands in service and invite dialogue and shared prayer. Where we are invited, we connect communities with resources, knowledge and skills for restoring the earth and their local economy.
  • Sharing our story, we invite everyone to leave the values of consumption and destruction, and return to membership in the community of life.
  • Living together as we travel in conscious spiritual community, we allow ourselves to be opened and healed by all these encounters and each other.

“So, if on one hand, you had an unpredictable path, that leads into a new dream, a new way of life for all of mankind, and on the other hand, you had a predictable path that leads to the slow, inevitable decline of a civilization. Which path would you choose?”

This entry was posted in 2013, as above so below, conscious grieving, culture of secrecy, dark doo-doo, local action, new economy, visions of the future, waking up, wild new ideas. Bookmark the permalink.

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