“Green spirituality – a spirituality centred on this planet Earth, which is the only home we humans and our ancestors have ever known – is without doubt the oldest form of spirituality in existence.”
~ Marian Van Eyk McCain. From What is Green Spirituality?
What is Green Spirituality?
Edited by Marian Van Eyk McCain
Contributors: Joan Angus, Niamh Brennan, Brendan Caulfield-James, Michael Colebrook, Janice Dolley, Victoria Field, Claudia Van Gerven, Malcolm Hollick, Mary Kelson, Emily Kimball, Alison Leonard and Susan Meeker-Lowry.
This is the introductory volume in an inspiring series of books about green spirituality. The book describes and illustrates, through the well-blended voices of thirteen writers, the basic concepts and expressions of this rapidly growing kind of spiritual attitude in today’s world – what it is, where it comes from, who practises it and how and why.
Green spirituality is based on a love of the Earth, the intrinsic value of all life forms, and a deep respect for the integrity of ecosystems and for the importance of biodiversity. It includes a belief in the total interconnectedness of the cosmos and offers a sense of identity rooted in being part of – and interdependent with – ‘all that is’. It regards Nature as a great teacher and as a revelation of the divine and holds ideals of peace, social justice, ecological justice, low-impact living and sustainability.
“Eden, I think, is not simply a mythical place, or a metaphor for original innocence, or an outworn and divisive religious symbol. Eden is a state of being, and we are free to return every time we know ourselves again in deep communion with the rest of life.”
~ Eleanor O’Hanlon. From All Our Relations.
All Our Relations: GreenSpirit connections with the more-than-human world
Edited by Marian Van Eyk McCain
Contributors: David Abram, Clea Danaan, Franziska Holmes,Kathleen Martin, Sky McCain, Susan Meeker-Lowry, Helen Moore, Eleanor O’Hanlon, Rupert Sheldrake, Stephanie Sorrell, Suzannah Stacey and Hilary Wilmshurst.
All Our Relations celebrates and honours human beings’ relationships with all those other life forms who share our planetary home. How we treat these ‘fellow-travellers’, how we perceive them and interact with them – and the extent to which we love and respect them – is a measure of our humanity and our spiritual evolution.
Contributors to the book include scientists, researchers, poets, authors, health practitioners and others. Here you will find discussions ranging from the merits of vegetarianism to the problem of linguistic ‘speciesism’. You will read about dogs who know when their humans are coming home and be encouraged to rediscover your own inherent, animal ‘knowing’. Above all, you will almost certainly delight in the first-person accounts of life-changing interactions with members of other species, from snakes to horses, from dogs to oak trees and from huge whales to baby frogs.
“The story of the Universe is the epic unfolding of the world, an evolutionary tale of awesome scope. It speaks of unity and diversity, of desire and curiosity, of wonder and awe. It speaks of creativity and imagination, of death, destruction and transformation. It is the story of science. It is the story of spirit.”
~ Niamh Brennan. From The Universe Story in Science and Myth.
The Universe Story in Science and Myth
By Greg Morter and Niamh Brennan
Everyone has a life story. Cultures too have stories about how the world and its creatures came into being. We call those ‘mere myths’ but had nothing to put in their place until science gave us the contemporary story of our Universe. This book retells that awesome story, the span of which covers billions of years of evolution, and considers its implications for the future development of human consciousness.
Greg’s lives with his family and works as a gardener in Somerset. His fascination with the story of the Universe was kindled when he watched Brian Swimme’s ‘Canticle to the Cosmos’ in the early 1990s. Since 2009 he has been teaching the Universe Story in the form of a scaled walk in which each metre represents a million years in time. Further details can be found at www.universewalk.co.uk
Niamh is a writer and facilitator in Cosmology and Spirituality. Having studied under Brian Swimme and Jim Conlon, she is committed to the telling of the Universe Story and the implications it contains for our spirituality. Her latest book is The Human in the Universe (Wyndham Hall Press, 2014). She is currently completing a Phd at Trinity College Dublin on ‘A hermeneutical reading of The Universe Story‘. Contact details firstname.lastname@example.org
“If we embrace the whole – including Earthly life, the more than human life, and transformative and compassionate actions – in order to untangle ourselves from unhealthy patterns of grasping for things we do not need, or from rejecting wholesome ways of living because they force us to reassess how we view the rights of other people and species, we will arrive at a more centred, nourishing and spiritual place.”
~ Santoshan (Stephen Wollaston). From Rivers of Green Wisdom.
Rivers of Green Wisdom: Exploring Christian and Yogic Earth Centred Spirituality
By Santoshan (Stephen Wollaston)
In Rivers of Green Wisdom the author shares personal reflections on Christian, Yogic and Earth centred wisdom and key stages encountered on his own spiritual journey. This book unveils central teachings about the sacredness of Earth and Nature, covers both past and present understanding about our interdependent relationship with the natural world, and how various teachers have looked for east-west fusions for deeper and more responsible living.
Overall, Rivers of Green Wisdom highlights essential challenges we need to embrace in order to move forward skilfully and build a harmonious and sustainable Earth community that compassionately cares about the diversity of life our Earth-Mother has sought to celebrate.
Santoshan (Stephen Wollaston) played in one of London’s first punk rock bands and later studied world religions and religious education at King’s College London. He is a member of GreenSpirit’s Publications Committee and an author and coauthor of several books, including Spirituality Unveiled: Awakening to Creative Life, and The House of Wisdom: Yoga Spirituality of the East and West. For more details visit his Facebook page (River of Green Wisdom also has its own FB page).
“First, it is important to affirm that every action makes a difference. In a religious or spiritual perspective such as animism, where we are all inherently connected within the fabric of Nature, the smallest action is significant. Perceiving every part of Nature as animate, soul-full, shimmering with its own story, changes how we behave with everything.”
~ Emma Restall Orr. From Pathways of Green Wisdom.
Pathways of Green Wisdom: Discovering Earth Centred Teachings in Spiritual and Religious Traditions
Edited by Santoshan (Stephen Wollaston)
Contributors: Jean Boulton, Vivienne Cato, Chris Clarke, David E Cooper, Jean Hardy, Donna Ladkin, Marian Van Eyk McCain, Marie Miller, Emma Restall Orr, Chris Philpott, Aidan Rankin and June Raymond.
Pathways of Green Wisdom covers teachings and practices that promote honouring and compassionately caring for Nature. It brings together numerous reflective and informative pieces by contributors to GreenSpirit magazine spanning a period of 11 years, along with especially written new material.
Contributors include progressive and insightful writers from scientific, educationist and eco-activist backgrounds. Each of them writes skilfully while displaying a wealth of knowledge and deep understanding of green wisdom found within a specific tradition. Each offers an enriching well for eco-spiritual readers to draw some nourishment and appreciate numerous Earth centred dimensions of a particular path.
“Once we truly understand that we are the Earth, that the Earth is a living, conscious being and that it is NOT all about us; we shall surely recognise that our health and Gaia’s health are not just connected but utterly intertwined, joined and interdependent. They are one and the same. Our healing and the wellbeing of all life are dependent on Gaia’s healing. Neither we nor any other living organism can be healthy unless Gaia is healthy.”
~ Sky McCain on Healthy Planet – Healthy Beings. From Deep Green Living.
Deep Green Living
Edited by Marian Van Eyk McCain
Contributors: Eric Alan, Ted Carter, Helen Cockburn, Rachel Corby, Duane Elgin, Ellen Gunter, Chris Holmes, Donna Ladkin, Nigel Lees, Sky McCain, Eleanor O’Hanlon, Peter Quince and Marianne Worley.
Beyond simply living green there is an even more radical way to live. And that is to understand, with your entire mind and body and soul, that you are not simply ‘on’ the planet, you are an intrinsic part of the planet.
When you can truly know and feel yourself not as something separate from the Earth, but as a living part of a greater living organism, a cell in the body of that great living organism that many of us like to call Gaia, you touch into an even deeper level of awareness. Deep green living is not only to know and understand that but to live your entire life out of that humble knowing. It is the path of sustainability, spirituality, a sense of permanent and eternal belonging and of deep, abiding joy.
“So far, what I most love about this way of life is having more time, flexibility and autonomy for the things that really matter to me. For me this has been as much a spiritual journey and awakening as anything else.”
~ Sally Lever on Downshifting in the West Country. From The Rising Water Project.
The Rising Water Project: Real Stories of Flooding, Real Stories of Downshifting
Compiled and with a Foreword by Ian Mowll
Contributors: Claire Appleby, Hazel Beck, Mary Dhonau, Jane Faith, Lynne Jones, Sally Lever, Marian Van Eyk McCain and Graham Styring.
Many of us have heard about the science of climate change and may have wondered how it causes turbulent weather conditions, particularly flooding. You may have wondered what can be done about it on an individual level and how to inspire a difference in the way we humans live.
This book is about people’s personal stories of flooding, produced by extreme weather conditions. By listening to people’s experiences, we become aware that the problem of climate change is immediate, affecting us today. Also, by listening to people’s positive experiences of downshifting, we can learn that combating climate change can be beneficial for the environment, leading to a more fulfilled life because downshifting can result in reduced carbon emissions and a simpler way of living.
“At every level our health is inextricably linked to our connection with the planet. Everything, physical, emotional and spiritual within ourselves resonates with qualities already within creation.”
~ June Raymond. From Dark Nights of the Green Soul.
Dark Nights of the Green Soul: From Darkness to New Horizons
Edited by Ian Mowll and Santoshan (Stephen Wollaston)
Contributors: Joan Angus, Grace Blindell, Alex Brianson, Christine Connelly, Caroline Rosie Dent, William Fulford, Malcolm Hollick, Marshall Wayne Lee, Marian Van Eyk McCain, Mary Jo Radcliffe, Trevor Sharman and Nicola Smalley.
While bringing together a collection of articles published mostly in GreenSpirit magazine, Dark Nights of the Green Soul highlights insights about facing difficult times, alongside reflections on our interactive relationship with Nature and our shared responsibilities.
The book’s three main parts present various perspectives about working with darkness and ways in which we can creatively move forward. The first and smallest section considers different types of darkness as well as its benefits. The middle and largest section includes further wisdom, along with personal stories about times of difficulty people encountered, and how each of the storytellers found new meaning and growth by either connecting with an animal friend or in Earth-centred spiritual awakenings and teachings. The four articles in the last section reflect upon the state of the planet and offer practical views for the times in which we live and ‘the great work’ we need to embrace.
GreenSpirit is a registered charity based in the UK. The main contents/written material, editing, design and promotional work for all our publications is done on a purely voluntary basis, or given freely by contributors who share our passion for Gaia-centred spirituality.