Earth Prayers: 365 Prayers, Poems, and Invocations from Around the World

Earth Prayers: 365 Prayers, Poems, and Invocations from Around the World

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by Elizabeth Roberts, Elias Amidon

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"An exquisite and powerful harvest, this – truly a Book of Common Prayer for our planet's people in this time."
JOANNA MACY, author of 'Despair and Personal Power in the Nuclear Age'


"An exquisite and powerful harvest, this – truly a Book of Common Prayer for our planet's people in this time."
JOANNA MACY, author of 'Despair and Personal Power in the Nuclear Age'

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HarperCollins Publishers
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Earth prayer begins with our intuition of the oneness of all life. We recognize that our identity is inextricably entwined with lives beyond our own. This sense of expanded identity goes beyond human relationships, We depend upon trees, trees depend upon grasses, grasses depend upon animals, mountains depend upon oceans, the dolphin depends upon the farthest star. Physically and spiritually, we all are woven into the living processes of the Earth. We take part in-as science now tells us — a planet-sized living system. Our breathing, our acting, our thinking arise in interaction with our shared world. Our own hearts constantly beat out the cosmic rhythm within us. We cannot escape our involvement any more than we can escape breathing the air that has traveled from plants thousands of miles away.

The mountains, I become part of it ...
The herbs, the fir tree, I become Part of it.
The morning mists, tbeclouds, the gathering waters,
I become part of it.

When we ground our spiritual awareness in this ecological context, then the strength and wisdom of the living Earth, in all its manifestations, flows through us. Our Earth Prayer becomes a means of acting upon ourselves. It helps us to empty the self and to open our hearts to be filled with empathy and creativity.

The ecological self, like any notion of selfhood, is simply a metaphor, but it is a dynamic one. It involves our choice. We can choose at different moments to identify with different aspects of our interrelated existence-be they hunted whales, or homeless humans, or the planet itself. The prayers in this chapter remind us of this deep kinship-our bondednesswith all of creation.

Look deeply: I arrive in every second
to be a bud on a spring branch,
to be a tiny bird, with wings still fragile,
     learning to sing in my new nest,
to be a caterpillar in the heart of a flower,
to be a jewel biding itself in a stone....

Please call me by my true names,
     so I can wake up,
and so the door of my heart can be left open,
the door of compassion.

These prayers seek to heal the division that has grown between us and the rest of nature. They tell us: Pay attention. Attend to the relationships alive among all forms of life. Use imagination toexplore the binding curve that joins us together. Seek to know the other. Join with it. Care for it as for yourself. When the human spirit is understood in this sense, as the mode of consciousness in which we are connected to the planet as a whole, it becomes clear that our entire life is an Earth Prayer.

Meet the Author

Elizabeth Roberts, Ed.D., and Elias Amidon are well known advocates for social justice and spiritual awakening. They are on the faculty of the Naropa Institute and lead rites-of-passage ceremonies, spiritual retreats, and transformation programs across the United States, Europe, and Southeast Asia. Together they edited Earth Prayers and Life Prayers.

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Earth Prayers/Earth Songs 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
   This has been one of my most cherished, dog-eared and battered books since it's publication in 1991. Through this book, I had my first introduction to poets who are now my favorites, Wendell Berry, Mary Oliver, and Rumi foremost among them, but many other less-known poets, cultures and leaders who have verbalized what I have struggled to express to myself, from profound connection and gratitude with nature through despair at what we are doing to the world. The overall impact of this volume for me has been one of comfort, peacefulness and of hope.  If there are people from so many diverse cultures and religions around the planet who are attuned and harmonious in this way, perhaps there is hope after all, and perhaps human beings do, after all have "a place in the family of things", as so perfectly expressed by Mary Oliver in her poem "Wild Geese".  As far as prayers of gratitude, of which there are many in this collection, I came to realize the "address" for prayers of gratitude does not matter i.e. whether one believes in a particular deity or believes there is no deity, (as I believe), whether you personify the earth and nature or not (as I do not), feeling gratitude and releasing that breath of gratitude into the world can only be healing. PS I do not write reviews
Heidi Weatherford More than 1 year ago
An excellent collection of poetry, prayers, and sayings about the earth Includes secular writings and multi faith sacred writings Everything from Thich Nhat Han to Neruda to Levertov to Chief Seattle Wonderful