Standing with the Earth

This is a call.
Not a call for arms.
A call to stand.
To stand with the Earth.

Lucia Renée

Standing with the Earth is a call collectively to pause from action, to stand in silence, listen to and connect with the Earth, humbly acknowledging and deeply sensing our interbeing – a starting point for any measure taken to meet the urgent problems of our time.

Standing with the Earthis a very simple and at first sight unimpressive format (not really media effective). In these times of undeniable crisis and urgency we tend to assume that only something very spectacular and radical can save us. Yes. And the opposite might just as easily be true. It could be that silently reconnecting with the Earth is the most radical thing we can do.

Standing with the Earth as one form of activism

We want to implement the simple ritual of Standing with the Earthin the field of political activism and in every day life: in demonstrations, gatherings, campaigns we invite people to stand, to feel the earth underneath their feet and to immerse themselves in the experience of interbeing. This can become a daily ritual anywhere.

We see Standing with the Earth spread around the world and become something that can happen on any town square: people stand, perceive, connect, as they witness, support and embody the Earth‘s healing process. We believe that it become contageous, because each of us has deep within a longing to feel again that we are alive and connected. We need only make opportunities for one another to experience this collectively.

Standing with can be complementary to discussing about, working for, fighting against. We don‘t need to choose only one approach.

In times of great upheaval and severe threat to life itself it feels necessary to act on all levels:

  • to take action in the form of protest, frontline activism, holding actions, blockade against the ongoing exploitation of this planet;
  • to find ways to engage for the earth on a personal, local and global scale, by simplifying our lives, investigating sustainable ways of living, searching for participatory methods of political decision making, changing laws, putting into practice structures that support life;
  • to just stand with this violated planet, acknowledging and feeling her wounds, as well as her healing power, sensing that we are inseparably connected, that we are the Earth.

Standing with the Earth can provide a solid, nurturing and empowering basis for taking action, because it offers a solid stance from which to operate, an alignment that can prevent blind and erratic activism.

There has been a long political tradition of people standing hand in hand in human chains. Why do we now give an extra call for Standing with the Earth?

Our desire is to stand not only in human solidarity with each other, but we invite a way of experiencing all-encompassing interbeing with the more-than-human-world: to pause, to listen, to connect with life itself and thus with the planet we belong to, the planet that holds and nourishes us. The planet that we are.

The invitation is to pause from our never ending hurry, not merely to stand still. Our aim is to invite embodyment into the political realm. Standing openly and receptively is about letting go of superfluous tension, of control and domination, and so entering a state of awakened being and making ourselves available for a power greater than our personal selves. This quality stands in contrast to the usual condition of modern humans that brought us and the planet into the crisis we are experiencing.

Standing with the Earth as a way to reconnect

Bonding with the Earth is the first thing that happens when we are born. When suddenly gravity acts upon us, all we can do as newborns is to yield and let our weight drop towards the center of the earth. Whatever else happens, this connection is always there. We stick to the globe, and the globe will stick to us until we die. What a firm and committed relationship! The strongest hold in our lives is right beneath our feet. As we grow up, we forget about it. Our normal way of being in this world is a state of numb disconnection.

Joanna Macy, initiator of the Deep Ecology movement calls her work „the work that reconnects.”

Yes. It is time to reconnect to what, although it has been neglected and perverted, has always been there, been here.

In these times so hostile to all forms of life, dominated by structures that would force us to mere subsistence, bare survival, it is an act of political resistance to sense, tune into and connect with the power of life. Sensing this, we witness, honour and protect the basis of all that we know to be true.

Embodyment is absolutely political. We need to share this treasure of sensing, this vital competence with a world in crisis, and we invite people all over to stand with the Earth.

Standing with the Earth

The method is simple and powerful.
We gather. Two people, three, a hundred, 10.000, or we can stand alone as part of our daily practice.

We might stand in a circle or scattered.
Perhaps we want to be barefoot.
To stand outside barefeet on the bare earth is wonderful, but the connection is powerful enough to penetrate every pavement and to be felt indoors.

We find own words to guide us and express our sense of what we are doing. We trust that we know in our bodies how to stand with the Earth.

Here are examples of the words we have spoken during the ritual:

Let us stand and feel our feet touch the floor.
We release and let our weight drop into the center of the earth. We let go of needless tension and witness the movement that is there without our setting it in motion. We enjoy this dialogue, this dance between us and the Earth beneath our feet.

We open our senses, to hear, to smell, to taste, to see and to feel everything around us. We hear the birds and the cars. We connect with the trees, the rocks, the waters, the winds. We connect with the pollution, the exploitation, the deforestation, the furious pace of extinction, the loss of variety. We connect with the threat to life itself. And we connect with our love for life.

We connect with the wounds and the powers. We connect with what is violated and what can heal, both within ourselves and within the Earth.
We are inseparably connected with the Earth.
We are the Earth.
We are standing with the Earth.

And we are growing into an understanding of standing as the Earth.

And to make it very concrete:
In our newly founded community Akademie für angewandtes gutes Leben we are practing Standing with the Earth daily from 8.15-8.30 (GMT/UTC +2 now, +1 in the winter) right next to our vegetable garden…

You are invited to join us wherever you are or find a timeslot that suits you. Spread the news and there will be more and more of us!