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May 07
Friday

Touching the Earth Collective: May Newsletter

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Mind Blindness
By John Rockwell

A while back, I read an article about “plant blindness.” When shown a picture that shows a pair of elephants in a clearing and asked what they see, virtually everyone says, “Two elephants.” Even when the question is repeated, “What do you see?” people persist in saying “Elephants,” as if the questioner were stupid or blind. No one says that they see grass and trees, much less describes the type of plants. The biologists lament this lack of appreciation for the greenery that is our constant background. They point out that plants are just as important and in fact make up the base of the food chain that supports our existence. This lack of connection and community with the plant world can ultimately support a life style and work ethic that is destructive to our environment. What we don’t perceive, we have no feeling for. What we have no feeling for, we don’t care about. What we don’t care about, we can destroy and feel nothing amiss. Of course, by destroying the plant world, we are undermining our own existence.

When I told this story to my wife, she said, “What about the air and oxygen that support the plants?” At first, I felt irritated that she was making a simple example too complicated and missing the point. Then I realized the wisdom in her words. When we look at the picture, the elephants are in the foreground. We generally focus on the foreground as the most interesting event and ignore the background. If we expand our awareness, we can include all the green plants, bushes, trees, and the like. If we look further, we can see the sky and clouds in the background and the earth as the literal ground out of which the plants grow and on which the elephants walk. We can infer from the clouds the presence of water vapor and rain that water the plants and nurture and bathe the elephants. If we contemplate the picture even further, we can intuit the presence of space that accommodates everything in this picture. Space blindness is just as prevalent. Continue…

Entries filed under Community Articles


Touching the Earth—October Newsletter

Touching the Earth—October Newsletter – HIGHLIGHT

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Posted October 6, 2020 by archives-staff
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Posted October 2, 2020 by archives-staff
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Letter from the Druk Sakyong Wangmo regarding SMC Wildfire – HIGHLIGHT

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Posted September 27, 2020 by Ashley_Dinges
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Climate Warriors: Move to Karme Choling – HIGHLIGHT

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Posted September 26, 2020 by archives-staff
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One Madder Woman, by Dede Crane – HIGHLIGHT

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Posted September 22, 2020 by archives-staff
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Mudra: A Tool for Chaos – HIGHLIGHT

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Posted September 11, 2020 by archives-staff
Touching the Earth—September 2020 Newsletter

Touching the Earth—September 2020 Newsletter – HIGHLIGHT

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Posted September 9, 2020 by archives-staff
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Thank You for Building Karmê Chöling—Now Help Us Celebrate – HIGHLIGHT

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Posted September 4, 2020 by archives-staff
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Posted September 1, 2020 by archives-staff
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A Few Thoughts About Karma and Reincarnation – HIGHLIGHT

Photo by Anastasia Zhenina on Unsplash by Bob Siegel The Buddhist law of karma emphasizes cause and effect. Our actions have consequences and these consequences in turn affect who we are. This does not negate free will. We can change those consequences by changing our behavior and thereby ... continue
Posted August 25, 2020 by archives-staff
Touching the Earth Collective—August 2020 Newsletter

Touching the Earth Collective—August 2020 Newsletter – HIGHLIGHT

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Posted August 20, 2020 by archives-staff
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Posted August 14, 2020 by archives-staff
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The Secret to True Power (hint: it has something to do with Spiderman) – HIGHLIGHT

Photo by Miguel Bruna on Unsplash My son and I love the movie Into the Spiderverse. In case you don’t know, it’s the Spiderman movie that came out a couple of years ago about Miles Morales, a young kid from the Bronx who becomes the new Spiderman. ... continue
Posted July 27, 2020 by archives-staff
Touching the Earth Collective—July 2020 Newsletter

Touching the Earth Collective—July 2020 Newsletter

From the Shambhala Times: the original publication of this newsletter begins with a loving tribute to Shastri Russell Rogers. You can find that tribute here. From the Collective:  Here we share with you the first Shambhala Touching the Earth Collective monthly Newsletter,  one of the first sprouts arising ... continue
Posted July 21, 2020 by archives-staff
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In Loving Memory of Shastri Russell Rogers – HIGHLIGHT

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Posted July 21, 2020 by archives-staff

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