Wednesday, August 4

Mindful Monday: Interbeing with the Earth

Here at, we will focus on the climate throughout the week as it leads to the People’s Climate March on September 21st.

In A Love Letter to the Earth, Thich Nhat Hanh tells us that "[w]e often forget that the planet we are living on has given us all the elements that make up our bodies. The water in our flesh, our bones, and all the microscopic cells inside our bodies all come from the Earth and are part of the Earth. The Earth is not just the environment we live in. We are the Earth, and we are always carrying her within us."* In this way, Thay teaches us about the non-duality of all life: there is not us over here and the Earth over there. We are not separate from the Earth, nor is the Earth separate from us. We are not the same, yet we are the same: not two, not one. Thay calls this "interbeing." That is, we inter-are with the Earth, with all life. Thay's poem, "Please Call Me By My True Names" captures this concept, this reality, well.

Please Call Me By My True Names**
By Thich Nhat Hanh

Do not say that I'll depart tomorrow
because even today I still arrive.

Look deeply: I arrive in every second
to be a bud on a spring branch,
to be a tiny bird, with wings still fragile,
learning to sing in my new nest,
to be a caterpillar in the heart of a flower,
to be a jewel hiding itself in a stone.

I still arrive, in order to laugh and to cry,
in order to fear and to hope.
The rhythm of my heart is the birth and
death of all that are alive.

I am the mayfly metamorphosing on the surface of the river,
and I am the bird which, when spring comes, arrives in time
to eat the mayfly.

I am the frog swimming happily in the clear pond,
and I am also the grass-snake who, approaching in silence,
feeds itself on the frog.

I am the child in Uganda, all skin and bones,
my legs as thin as bamboo sticks,
and I am the arms merchant, selling deadly weapons to Uganda.

I am the twelve-year-old girl, refugee on a small boat,
who throws herself into the ocean after being raped by a sea pirate,
and I am the pirate, my heart not yet capable of seeing and loving.

I am a member of the politburo, with plenty of power in my hands,
and I am the man who has to pay his "debt of blood" to my people,
dying slowly in a forced labor camp.

My joy is like spring, so warm it makes flowers bloom in all
walks of life.
My pain if like a river of tears, so full it fills the four oceans.

Please call me by my true names,
so I can hear all my cries and laughs at once,
so I can see that my joy and pain are one.

Please call me by my true names,
so I can wake up,
and so the door of my heart can be left open,
the door of compassion.

Cecropia Moth Caterpillar (Hyalophora cecropia)...

for Mindful Monday

© September 15, 2014, post: Donna Pierce

*Thich Nhat Hanh. Love Letter to the Earth. Berkeley: Parallax Press. 2013.
**From "Call Me By My True Names": The Collected Poems of Thich Nhat Hanh. Berkeley: Parallax Press. 1996.
Photo credit: Marvin Smith, Cecropia Moth Caterpillar (Hyalophora cecropia), 2009.
#mindful #monday #findingGod



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