Intimate relationship with the natural world

We believe that industrial development and un-reflected, ignorant, human-centric expansive behaviors have seriously damaged our natural environment and endangered life on earth.

Our separateness from ourselves and others includes our separation from the natural world, so evident in our ecological crisis and the devastation and mass extinctions occurring in the animal, bird, fish and insect populations.

This set of practices, titled Healing Our Relationship with Grandmother Earth, is first and foremost devoted to a spiritual reconnection, tangible and sensual reawakened awareness of the natural world as being our very body. We combine text and video educational resources with practical guided experiences in gardening and farming, land restoration, outdoor crafts through hiking and camping, and developing Inter-Being Animal relationships.

We need to establish a new and intimate relationship with the natural world. Our Red Path Zen tradition calls this “healing our relationship with Grandmother Earth,” and describes life’s unity as “mitakuye oyasin, all my relations.” We have adopted Zen Master David Loy’s term “ecodharma” to describe a Zen Buddhist approach to this. Loy suggests three aspects:

  • Committing ourselves to a spiritual reconnection, a tangible and sensual reawakening to the natural world as being our very body.
  • Exploring the ecological implications of Buddhist teachings.
  • Embodying that understanding in the eco-activism that is crucial at this tipping point in time.

We offer guided experiences of direct immersion in natural environments teaching outdoor survival crafts, hiking skills and camping. We are developing organic community teaching gardens and land restorations that nurture the microorganisms in the soil universe and provide carbon capture and oxygen creation and release. We encourage Care Farms that offer opportunities to develop inter-being relationships with rescue animals.