Earth Holding comes from the name of a Bodhisattva described in the Lotus Sutra, chapter 25 (an important Mahayana Buddhist text), Dharanimdhara (which means to hold, to protect, to preserve the Earth). Our Teacher, Thay (Thich Nhat Hanh) has written about this Bodhisattva, Bodhisattva Protector of the Earth, or Earth Holder, in his book Peaceful Action, Open Heart (published by Parallax Press). Thay writes: “This Bodhisattva helps further communication between humans and other species… Earth Holder works to preserve this planet for living beings by taking care of the air, water, and soil… We have to take up the practice of Earth Holder Bodhisattva and make protecting and preserving the Earth a top priority… We cannot say that we are too busy to take up this work… We must work to increase awareness of the situation because only mindfulness, awareness of what is happening, can save us from the path of certain disaster we are currently on.”
Here and Now invites us to live, practice and serve in the present moment. The Buddha teach us about living happily in the present moment, that life is available only in the present moment, that the past is already gone and the future not yet come. Our regrets about the past and worries about the future can prevent us from living fully, contributing to the collective transformation.
The Earth Holding Sangha of North America was formed in 2015 with the following Purpose and Vision:
The Earth Holder Sangha applies mindfulness and the guidance of the Five and Fourteen Mindfulness Trainings to help ourselves, other individuals, and sanghas care for the earth and all beings, preserve our precious planet by ending contributions to global climate change and environmental destruction, promote sustainability, and address societal impacts locally, nationally, and internationally.
We envision the Plum Village community helping to transform and heal our societies through mindfulness, community living, and the insight of interbeing. We envision our societies living in harmony with the Earth’s natural life sustaining systems and all beings.
Aware that much suffering is caused by war and conflict, we are determined to cultivate nonviolence, compassion, and the insight of interbeing in our daily lives, and promote peace education, mindful mediation, and reconciliation within families, communities, ethnic and religious groups, nations, and the world. We believe that living this way, living deeply our daily lives, is climate action and it is necessary to the process of healing
ourselves and healing Earth.
We envision the Plum Village community, as an embodiment of the living Dharma, listening deeply to the cries of the most vulnerable and the cries of the Earth. We are stopping and actively resisting the unwholesome ways of living that are leading to the destruction of life on Earth. The fruit of our
practice—our insights and our actions—are bells of mindfulness ringing loudly, helping to awaken others, especially local communities, to the reality of interbeing and the beauty and wonder of life.