by Thich Nhat Hanh
Reviewed by pam mcnew
Translated by Rob English
This is an outstanding book full of wisdom. All our living, all our thinking, all our
appreciation and gratitude would be rightly placed were it to make known our commitment
to simple humble ways to traverse this our earthly home. John Muir (founder of the Sierra
Club) wrote that “When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to
everything else in the Universe.”
Words of such universal and such deep wisdom cannot but offer us hope and guidance. This is my heart prayer for us all. Here is an excerpt from the book:
Dear Mother Earth,
“I bow my head before you as I look deeply and recognize that you are present in me and that I am a part of you. I was born from you and you are always present, offering me everything I need for my nourishment and growth. My mother, my father, and all my ancestors are also your children. We breathe your fresh air. We drink your clear water. We eat your nourishing food. Your herbs heal us when we’re sick.
You are the Mother of all beings. I call you by the human name Mother and yet I know your mothering nature is more vast and ancient than humankind. We are just one young species of your many children. All the millions of other species who lived or have lived on Earth are also your children. You aren’t at a person, but I know you are not less than a person either. You are a living breathing being in the form of a planet.
Each specie has its own language, yet as our Mother you can understand us all. That is why you can hear me today as I open my heart to you and offer you my prayer. Dear Mother, wherever there is soil, water, rock or air, you are there, nourishing me and giving me life. You are present in every cell of my body. My physical body is your physical body, and just as the sun and stars are present in you, they are also present in me. You are not outside of me and I am not outside of you. You are more than just my environment. You are nothing less than myself.
I promise to keep the awareness alive that you are always in me, and I am always in you. I promise to be aware that your health and well-being is my own health and well-being. I know I need to keep this awareness alive in me for us both to be peaceful, happy, healthy, and strong.
Sometimes I forget. Lost in the confusions and worries of daily life, I forget that my body is your body, and sometimes even forget that I have a body at all. Unaware of the presence of my body and the beautiful planet around me and within me, I am unable to cherish and celebrate the precious gift of life you have given me. Dear Mother, my deep wish is to wake up to the miracle of life. I promise to train myself to be present for myself, my life, and for you in every moment. I know that my true presence is the best gift I can offer to you, the one I love”.
This book review was coordinated by Linda DeStefano. For more information about this and other books contact People for Animal Rights, P.O. Box 15358, Syracuse 13215-0358 or 315-488-PURR (7877) between 8 a.m. and 10 p.m. or firstname.lastname@example.org