Is your health the same as the Earth’s?

the world in your hands (Earth map furnished by NASA)

In his new book, Love Letter to the Earth, Thich Nhat Hanh writes this: “If we understand the Earth as a living, breathing organism, we can heal ourselves and heal the Earth as well….If we can see our body as a wonder, we also have the opportunity to see the Earth as a wonder, and healing can begin for the body of the Earth.”

I quiver with joy when I notice that countless writers, teachers, and activists are embracing the truth of our entwinement with this luscious, threatened planet we inhabit.  We are moving beyond our centuries of mistaken assumptions that we are separate from and superior to the natural world.  Just as we live, breathe, and need nourishment, so too do all other species and ecosystems.  Many of us exchange the essentials of life with one another, as when plants’ respiration gives us oxygen, and ours gives carbon dioxide to plants.  Thich Nhat Hanh encapsulates a great deal of science and spiritual teaching in his statement that understanding our own bodies and the Earth’s body as the same leads us onto the path of healing for both self and Earth.  Once we absorb this realization, how can we ignore climate change, ecosystem decline, and species extinction?  We can’t, because we are part of the system, its members are our siblings, and we all need one another to survive.

Experiment today with seeing the Earth’s body and health as part of the same equation as your own body and health.  Keep your eyes open for connectedness and ways you can provide a healing touch to yourself and other beings alive with you on this marvelous planet that so needs our love and care.

I welcome your comments here, or visit me at if you want to share your thoughts on mutual flourishing for self and Earth.

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