Last week,
a 140-seat movie theater
in Oklahoma City sold out
a one-time showing of the documentary
This Changes Everything,”
based on the book by Naomi Klein.
It is climate change
that changes everything. The film’s images
made that painfully clear, as conversations
with friends who saw the film
testify. It became clear to us all
that we’re not doing enough
and that everything we do
and don’t do
matters
and that the more we
come together to do
together,
the better off all life on the planet
will be.

A few of us have been walking
each morning the last eight days
to “hold Earth”
during the UN Climate Summit in Paris.
Emerging for me
during the walking meditation
is a connecting
I haven’t experienced before.
Yes, I notice the frosty grass,
the blue sky,
the birdsong,
oranges, reds, golden in the tree leaves,
sun-glistened strands of spider webs
in the dewy grass,
the beautiful lantern shape of a fallen seed pod,
as well as the steady rush of 23rd street traffic
as Earthlings make their way
into their day.
Too, the focus on left footfall
onto solid Mother Earth:
healing energy flowing up through my heart,
down through my right footfall
and back into Mother Earth’s solidness
beneath me—
through my heart
as part of the entire Earth
community.
This also would seem
not enough
except
that I know there are “Earth Holders”
all over the world.
And activists
all over the world,
local communities in Germany
and India
and Canada
and Paris
coming together,
many footfalls
marching together,
to be “heard:”
for one thing,
“We want renewable
energy.”

This afternoon
a conversation with a young friend
who has many more miles to walk
on this planet
made real for me
that this effort
to respond to climate change
by lowering our fossil fuel use
is going to require much
of us all
working together—
even, or especially,
in Oklahoma (a fossil fuel
Ground Zero)
where the transitions
will be painful.
As we join together
to step up
and step out
of step
for Earth,
may we remember
each step
is grounded in,
part of,
Earth’s lively
life-giving
life.

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{UPDATE:
It’s an icy morning in central Oklahoma!There has been much rain too,
for which we are grateful.
Because it is so critically important
that people all over the world
attend climate events this weekend
on the eve of the UN Climate Summit in Paris,
we will march tomorrow in Oklahoma City
at the Bicentennial Park outside the Civic Center.
AND IF IT IS STILL RAINING,
we will meet at St. Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral,
127 NW 27th, not far from Bicentennial Park.
Bring your friends, family,
signs, banner,
voice
and let’s show world leaders
(this weekend’s first march was in Australia
and 60,000 people showed up!)
that we want them to commit to carbon emission reductions
because we care about our stupendous
planet home.}

 

A year ago,
hundreds of thousands of people
globally
marched in the People’s Climate March
to let world leaders know
we want them to commit
to reducing carbon emissions
and reduce global warming,
lessening climate change.
More than 300 of us marched
in downtown Oklahoma City
that beautiful September  day.

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This coming weekend,
on the eve of the UN Climate Summit in Paris,
we are marching again.
As climate change increases,
as the temperatures reach ever-higher records,
as CO2 in the atmosphere reaches 400
(the Earth can only withstand 350 parts per million,)
as we discover that all the “climate denial”
was manufactured and funded by fossil fuel companies,
as air pollution in China is at its worse,
this is the greatest chance ever
for world leaders to agree to commit
to reducing carbon emissions.
The Global Climate March supports
that effort.
In Oklahoma City we will march on Sunday,
November 30. Gathering at 2 p.m.,
at Bicentennial Park,
on the east side of the Civic Center.
Music and speaking and tables of information
begin at 2 p.m. We will march in downtown Oklahoma City
at 3 p.m. Those who want to stay in the park
during the march
are invited to bring lawn chairs.

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We will carry the Turtle Rock Farm banner
and we will have a table where you can pick up
a green ribbon.

Green ribbon poster 1

Green ribbons are to be worn each day
during the Paris Summit, Nov. 30-Dec. 11.
Also each day during the summit,
we will participate in another
of the Earth Holder activities.
Every morning at 7:35,
we will gather on the south side
of Angie Smith Chapel,
on the Oklahoma City University campus,
and participate in the Global Climate Prayer—
a walking meditation
for and with Earth. We will end by 8 a.m.
All are welcome to join us,
any day,
or every day.

Thich Nhat Hanh:

We think that the earth is the earth and we are something outside of the earth. But in fact we are inside of the earth. Imagine that the earth is the tree and we are a leaf. The earth is not the environment, something outside of us that we need to care for. The earth is us. Taking care of the earth, we take care of ourselves.

When we see that the earth is not just the environment, that the earth is in us, at that moment you can have real communion with the earth. But if we see the earth as only the environment, with ourselves in the center, then we only want to do something for the earth in order for us to survive. But it is not enough to take care of the earth. That is a dualistic way of seeing.

We have to practice looking at our planet not just as matter, but as a living and sentient being. The universe, the sun, and the stars have contributed many elements to the earth, and when we look into the earth we see that it’s a very beautiful flower containing the presence of the whole universe. When we look into our own bodily formation, we are made of the same elements as the planet. It has made us. The earth and the universe are inside of us.

One of Thich Nhat Hanh’s
walking meditations,
to be said in silence
walking slowly,
(perhaps one step for an in-breath,
one step for an out-breath)
feeling the solidity
of Earth under our feet:
Breathing in, Mother Earth is breathing in with me.
Breathing out, Mother Earth is breathing out with me.

Meditating with Earth
is a huge contribution
to the health of life on the planet.
Again, Thich Nhat Hanh:

…to meditate is the most basic, crucial thing we can do. To meditate is to give ourselves a chance to free ourselves from despair, to touch non-fear, and to nurture our compassion. With the insight and fearlessness born from meditation, we will be able to help not only ourselves, but also other species, and our planet.

We can breathe with the Earth and we can breathe for the Earth. Many of us are so caught up in our plans, fears, agitations, and dreams that… we’re not in touch with..Earth. We can’t see all the miraculous beauty and magnificence that Mother Earth ceaselessly offers to us. We live in a world of imagination and we become increasingly alienated. Returning to our breathing brings body and mind back together and reminds us of the miracle of the present moment. Mother Earth is right here at every moment, all around us – so powerful, generous, and supportive; so patient, accepting and compassionate, and with an immense capacity to transform. Once we recognize these qualities in Mother Earth, we can take refuge in her in difficult moments, making it easier for us to embrace our fear and suffering and to transform it.

With the practice of breathing, we can regain our freedom. We are no longer helpless. We regain our sense of gratitude and reverence for the Earth.

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We hope you will march
with us Sunday
(Dress warmly—we hear
a change in the climate
is on its way!)
And join us
for the Climate Prayer,
mornings
at OCU.

Robert, Jamie, Tanner Installing Solar Panels

New Solar Panels

Solar Attic Fan

When we finally woke up
to the realization
that there are many, many changes
we need to make
to live in cooperation
and sustainably with Earth,
we were overwhelmed;
then relieved,
when we learned Sierra Club’s helpful slogan:
“Pick Two You Can Do.”
Pick two changes you are ready to make,
do them
and then pick two more.
Our list was long to begin with
and things get added to it
as we learn more.
We started with reusable bags
and compact flourescent bulbs.
As time has gone on
the things on the list are more challenging—
and have more impact.
We still have much more to do—
small things,
big things.
Today was a big-thing day:
Solar panels were installed
on both houses.
And a solar attic fan
at the farmhouse.
(Soon, a solar water pump
at the Big Pond,
to water gardens.)
It seems they were a long time coming.
Many thanks to Bob Willis
and to Robert, Jamie and Tanner,
all of Sunrise Alternative Energy.
We are thrilled
to be reducing our carbon emissions.
And thank you,
Sun.