“WE BREATHE, THEREFORE, WE ARE”
DR. SHANTI MAYBERRY HHP, Ph.D.
BREATH means spirit in many languages and oxygen Is our life’s essential nutrient
Trees and vegetation are not the only source of this precious elixir; more than half of the our planetary oxygen is produced by the ocean’s phytoplankton which are threatened by acidification. Three minutes without air and we die. We enter this world on an inhale and expire on an exhale. Breathing unites us with the Oceans and all Nature’s flora and fauna in the spiritual atmosphere of our Mothering Earth. We dwell within a sea of chi, an ocean of Prana. The word breath contains both ‘earth and heart’ ; Aloha in Hawaiian means ‘we share love and breath together.’ At this moment, you, I and Gaia are joined together in breathing.
We exist because we breathe not because we think as Descartes asserted in his famous axiom of 1644 (cogito ergo sum) which helped catalyze the age of reason and the industrial era that regarded nature, even other humans as a set of commodities. With our clever thinking minds, we learned how to manipulate natural forces and manifest many wonders of science and comforts of civilization. But now, as most of us know, this man-made materialistic world is on a self-destructive trajectory because it is out of sync with Nature’s laws, such as limits to growth and zero waste. Humans may soon be on the endangered species list along with the rest of Earth’s creatures. WE CANNOT CONTINUE TO EXPLOIT AND UNDERMINE THE VERY ECOSYSTEMS THAT SUSTAIN OUR SURVIVAL, YET THAT IS WHERE WE ARE HEADED UNLESS WE SHIFT OUT OF THE CURRENT INDUSTRIAL CONSUMERIST MODEL INTO A NEW GAME PLAN.
A NEW GAME PLAN–THE ECOLOGICAL PARADIGM
The old patriarchal industrial dominator paradigm or world view is deeply embedded in our culture, the media, social institutions and in our collective psyche. World views provide the assumptions, beliefs, values and images that pattern cultures and human experience and the one we’re trapped in leads to suffering, exploitation, violence and oppression.
Uprooting this pattern in our bodymind is now essential to our well-being and evolution, but this task takes effort, training, support and awareness. Thanks to the dedicated efforts of the green movement over the last few decades, much has been accomplished in recycling, buying and growing organic food, eco-friendly building, championing renewable energy, restoring ecosystems and protesting harmful development.
These progressive changes have brought us to the threshold of the Ecological Era. Now we must fully enter the new era, deepen our self-transformation and bond with the Living Earth. WE NEED TO CLEARLY NAME, CLAIM AND EMBODY THE ECOLOGICAL PARADIGM AS Our 21ST CENTURY GAME PLAN, for it values empathy, interconnectedness, intuition, co-operation and the rights and wisdom of women, indigenous peoples and the Earth and provides the structure for a sustainable future.
THE GREAT TASK OF THE 21ST CENTURY
ENTERING THE ECOLOGICAL ERA IS THE GREAT WORK OF OUR 21ST CENTURY, DECLARED THE RENOWNED CULTURAL HISTORIAN THOMAS BERRY. He suggested the magnitude of this transition might be similar to the shift from the medieval to the modern age. Such a transformation in consciousness has the potential to alter every aspect of society and usher in a sustainable future for the whole Earth community.
Fortunately there is a major evolutionary perk in this change for our pleasure-seeking sensibilities; IT FEELS SO GOOD TO LIVE IN A ECOCENTRIC WAY OF BEING, FEELING AND SEEING, ONCE YOU GET THE KNACK OF IT. SO WELCOME TO THE ADVENTURE OF OUR LIFETIME–THE EXCITING, ENERGIZING JOURNEY OF LEARNING TO BECOME EARTH CITIZENS. You can start where you are– in your own body, backyard and bioregion.
PUT MISSION STATEMENT IN BOX INDENTED ON BOTH SIDES
Our mission is to provide ways for connecting to the living Earth that activate and cultivate the joy, inspiration, vitality, abundance and health benefits of an ecocentric lifestyle and mindset. When we are deeply bonded with the Earth, we will naturally desire to live harmoniously within Her larger ecosystem and will act to protect what we have come to know and love as our greater ECOLOGICAL Self, as well as insuring that all Earth’s creatures (including humans) have a sustainable future.
Through this website, forthcoming book, educational programs and retreats we offer Earth- centered practices, principles and stories of transformation drawn from over 35 years of research, teaching, counseling and personal experience that INSPIRE AND SUPPORT OUR INDIVIDUAL AND COLLECTIVE EVOLUTION INTO THE ECOLOGICAL ERA. The background material is derived from studies in Ecopsychology, Nature wisdom traditions, Neuroscience and Quantum physics, the Sacred Feminine, Eco-therapy and Natural healing.
Shanti Mayberry HHP, Ph.D. received a BA with honors from UC Berkeley, an MA from the State University of New York and a Ph.D. in psychology with a dissertation emphasis in the emerging field of Ecological Psychology. She is also a certified Holistic Health practitioner, a co-founder of an alternative health center and ordained in the Essene ministry of natural healing. She has served as a university professor, a movement and meditation teacher and has led contemplative Nature Immersion retreats internationally.
Through numerous seminars, classes and private sessions given over 35 years, she has helped thousands of clients and students shift out of culturally conditioned patterns that generated suffering and separation into a more Nature- oriented expansive mindset which unleashed healing energy, creative potential, spiritual inspiration and a deep experience of being a unique part of the Earth’s web of life.
Widely traveled, she has lived in England, India, France and Canada and as part of her contemplative path, she has had the opportunity to practice and meet with many spiritual leaders, including sages from India, Buddhist and Taoist masters and the Dalai Lama.
Further study and training include… (More Bio)
(Further study and training include the Eastern traditions of Yoga, Taoism and Zen Buddhism, Native American teachings, Western metaphysics, spiritual feminism, Jungian dream work & sand-tray, somatic therapies, modern dance and T’ai Chi. }
She finds great joy in helping to promote the emerging Ecological Era and supporting people in experiencing the restorative, guiding and healing powers of Nature.”Once we deeply know we are part of the Earth’s network of energy and intelligence, we will take action to preserve it’s ecosystems as our larger body.”
Bill McKibben…Fantastic work Shanti in emphasizing the beneficial aspects of Nature connection as a support and motivation for environmental activism, like that of 350.org.
Lynne Twist—Shanti is a friend of the Pachamama Alliance and
a pro-active Ecopsychologist dedicated to demonstrating the healing benefits of Nature connection and the power of the Ecological paradigm to bring forth a sustainable future.
Barbara Marx Hubbard—This work is Shanti’s loving gift to the Shift
Shirley MacLaine—Shanti is a fine teacher of Nature-oriented healing practices that unite mind, body and soul with the Earth.
ETC PLUS 8 MORE
AWAKEN INNER NATURE & BOND WITH THE LIVING EARTH
OUR BODY AND THE EARTH’S BODY ARE TOTALLY INTERCONNECTED. ALL INDIGENOUS PEOPLE KNOW THIS, but in our urbanized world, OUR INNER NATURE IS REPRESSED AND MOST OF US DWELL IN AN ARTIFICIAL LIFESTYLE BUBBLE SEPARATE FROM OUR REAL EARTH HOME The heart-mind of care and empathy and right brain of intuition are suppressed by our culture’s hyper-activity of left brain dominance and high tech media immersion and this imbalance generates stress, illness, exhaustion, burnout and innumerable social ills.
By reawakening our PRIMAL SELF through deep Nature connection practices, we can be infused with healing energy and guidance that supports us in creating a more balanced, simpler, slower, sustainable and healthy lifestyle for person and planet.
AN ANCIENT BODY- EARTH INTELLIGENCE RESIDES WITHIN US BUT IT IS DORMANT. THIS INNER NATURE can be reawakened through the practice of Earth-based therapies. By learning to progressively strengthen your Earth bond, this primal knowing will anchor you in the Earth’s larger body-mind.
Many of my students have found that the Communion with Mother Earth aids in relieving mental stress, physical tension, anxieties and other ailments, as well as increasing inspiration, vitality and feelings of sensuality, sacredness and security. Some environmentalists and ecotherpists feel that the lack of such a bond between our body and the Earth’s larger body is an underlying cause of our current ecological crisis. To experience a deep umbilical connection with our Mother Earth can be radically life changing and provide an impetus for environmental activism.
THE MOTHER EARTH COMMUNION is a guided meditation I developed many years ago for my own healing and then shared it with many clients and students over the last 30 plus years. It’s origin is my Mother’s gift to me as child. We spent much time outside in her gardens and Nature became a playground, school and sanctuary for me at an early age,so I dedicate this meditation to the memory of my beloved Mother.
THE MOTHER EARTH COMMUNION FOR HEALING, INSPIRATION AND REJUVENATION
AUDIO WITH MUSIC….20 MINUTES– (The previous text should be on the left side and the Avebury photo beside it and the photo of woman lying on the ground should be on the side of the meditation and the enter email stuff to access the audio
EARTH ENTRAINMENT AND YOUR BRAIN–WHY IT MATTERS
READING THE BOOK OF NATURE…LESSONS OF TH EARTH SCHOOL
“To survive, you must make the bond with Nature.” – Avatar, the movie
Learning to bond with Nature is an essential element in the recent blockbuster film AVATAR that takes place on Pandora, a planet where bio-luminescent energy –networks connect everything to the central Tree of Life and the Mother Goddess of the indigenous Navii. In order to survive in this realm and prove he is worthy of life, Avatar’s main character, the Earthling Jake, must show that he can ‘make the bond’ with a wild dragon-bird, thereby connecting his inner nature to the powers of outer Nature and harnessing them through empathic telepathy.
Like Jake in Avatar, we must learn how to free our deep instinctual self and forge a strong bond with the energies and intelligence of our Earthly Pandora. Many environmentalists and ecotherpists feel that the lack of such a bond between our body and the Earth’s larger body is an underlying cause of our current ecological crisis. To experience a deep umbilical connection with our Mother Earth is life changing and can open the way to an ecological spirituality.
MOTHER EARTH COMMUNION FOR HEALING REST AND REJUVENATION
AUDIO WITH MUSIC….15 MINUTES
>BENEFITS OF LIVING DEEPLY WITH THE EARTH
“At times I feel as if I am spread out over the landscape and inside things, and am myself living in every tree, in the splashing of the waves, in the clouds and animals that come and go in the procession of the seasons. There is nothing…..with which I am not linked.” – C.G. Jung
LIVING in conscious relationship with Nature means COMING BACK TO YOUR SENSES—awakening the precious gifts of sight, smell, touch and hearing. Notice where you dwell, how the wind blows, who are your native plant neighbors and creatures and from whence comes the water you drink. Our ancestors had to know these things or risk death; this instinctive ‘knowingness’ of place is dormant within us, but can reawaken given the right stimulus.
NATURE EXISTS IN THE PRESENT MOMENT and can bring you fully into the Now. Who hasn’t experienced their mind disappearing into an exquisite sunset or a Full Moon rising. The door into Nature’s realm is never locked; we must learn to stop, look, listen and enter.
Learning to be an Earthling is about awakening to yourself as conscious Nature and being part of a vast network of information and energy. You are linked in a meaningful way to something much larger than your small self and yet Nature connection also supports you in activating your full potential as an unique individual, healing emotional
WITH the Earth as a source of relationship and inspiration, our human dramas around love can be viewed from a larger perspective. We can have vitalizing relationships not only with other humans and pets, but also with the wildness of whales, owls, trees, roses, stars and rocks. We no longer need to feel isolated, alone or adrift in urban existential angst for we belong to a large Earth community. E.O. Wilson names this longing to link with all life, Biophillia. In the Eastern wisdom traditions, this interconnected web of being is called ‘the Jeweled Net of Indra, in which the brilliance of creation is reflected in all its myriad aspects.
CREATING YOUR OWN NATURE MEDITATION SANCTUARY
“Being on vacation is sometimes a state of mind.” Dr. Shanti
Along with many other children of the pre-digital age, I had transformational experiences in Nature from such simple activities like napping in beds of clover or watching butterflies emerge from cocoons. These happenings often seemed more real and meaningful than school lessons and so Nature became for me a source of lessons, guidance and solace, a great Mother in whom I could find sanctuary. Although easy access to Nature is far more limited now, IT’S STILL possible to CREATE a small sacred Nature space in your backyard or porch, where you can go for RENEWAL and REST, much like a mini-vacation. Instructions for creating your own secret garden spot are on the free AUDIO MEDITATION.
Developing an Ecocentric world view in which we acknowledge and follow the laws of Nature, such as limitations to growth and zero waste, is both an enormous task and an exciting adventure. Knowing ourselves as Nature is also common sense; it’s obvious, and yet we must do inner work to really ‘get it.’
For Emerson, Thoreau, Muir and Whitman, nineteenth century American transcendentalists, NATURE is a spiritual path to the DIVINE. As Muir said, “The quickest path into the universe is through a forest.” We exist within the atmospheric Spirit of Earth and this is a primary truth of Sacred Ecology.
BEING IN LOVE WITH YOUR BIOREGION
Heaven follows Tao, Earth follows Heaven, therefore humans must follow the way of Earth – Tao Te Ching
Much personal and social suffering results from our collective entrainment in a left-brained, patriarchal, techno-industrial, materialistic mindset, which is based on the false premise that we can dominate and bend Nature to our will. Nature rules on this planet, not humans; we are merely part of her great field of life. We are inextricably embedded in the flow of inhaling and exhaling with all the flora and fauna. We can no longer pretend, ignore or deny that we are utterly dependent on Nature’s benevolence for our survival. The extreme storms, floods, droughts, hurricanes, wildfires and tsunamis of the last decade demand we acknowledge that NATURE’S POWERS ARE SUPREME. Environmentalists from Rachel Carson and Thomas Berry to activists like Bill McKibben declare we must break the spell that binds us to the world of ‘busyness as usual’ if we wish to avoid the full catastrophic retaliation of Gaia upon our errant species.
Our global environmental crisis is an opportunity to pay homage to our greatest teacher—the Earth, whose cycles and laws can help guide our way into the new era. We don’t have to go kicking and screaming into the ECOLOGICAL ERA, but we can instead immerse ourselves in a love affair with Nature as a healing and MOTHERING PRESENCE, whose discipline may be at times wrathful, but necessary to WAKE US UP. The return of the Sacred Feminine and the values of co-operation and compassion, along with the importance of women’s rights and leadership are also primary components of the new era which will balance the patriarchal world powers that are out of control and leading to planetary destruction.
When we learn to entrain our body-mind to the Earth’s larger body-mind and deeply experience ourselves as part of Nature’s energy network, it’s easier to disengage from self-destructive urban behaviors and thought patterns. Instead of over-valuing the old male model of success as dominance, power and money, we need to redefine what the ‘good life’ lived in harmony with Nature might be like. For instance, we could be enjoying more contemplative outdoor leisure, developing the gifts and insights of our inner world and experiencing the restorative bliss of Nature communion; thereby balancing the time we spend in driving, shopping and living in virtual electronic realities. There are many Earthly pleasures that money cannot buy.
Research is now revealing how detrimental excessive media immersion is to human intelligence, happiness and health and how much better people feel when they spend more time being in Nature. Also children who are educated partly through classrooms in Nature and free play outside develop emotional resilience, curiosity, cooperation and creative problem solving, according to Richard Louv.
EMBRACING THE ECOLOGICAL PARADIGM
“Nature is an incomparable teacher, if we know how to follow her” C.G. Jung
The Ecological Era provides a new paradigm for a global society, since it views Earth as the primary matrix for our human, cultural and spiritual life. Humans have a place in the scheme of things as the self-reflective, co-creative nervous system of the planet, embedded within the greater Biosphere.
EVEN THE DIGITAL AGE of internet, computers and cell phones, along with the global economy are subsets of the Earth’s vast ecological field. THE somber fact that there will be no i-phones or computers on a dead planet has YET TO HIT HOME.
As we grasp the truth that we are inseparable from Nature and that the Earth is not just the background and inexhaustible resource for all our human dramas and desires, but the GREAT MOTHER on whose body we are utterly dependent for LIFE, our way of living, thinking and being on this planet will change accordingly. For decades, many environmental groups have been working towards sustainable living, green design, organic agriculture, fair trade and conservation and can now rally together for greater impact in the ECOLOGICAL ERA.
SHIFTING into the 21st century ECOMIND is easier with supportive Nature therapies that help mid-wife THIS BIRTH This website and accompanying audio meditations, training courses, webinars and forthcoming book provide methods and maps for the journey of RESTORING YOUR EARTH BOND, transforming your lifestyle, enhancing your well being and discovering the wisdom and powers of your inner Nature.
SO WELCOME TO THE BEST VACATION ADVENTURE ON EARTH—DISCOVER yourself as an Earthling, HEAL yourself in NATURE and ENTER a loving, joyful and co-creative way of living on our HOME PLANET. Dr. Shanti Mayberry