Dear Friends of PrimaMundi.com,
This auspicious turning from autumn into the deep winter of the holiday season always marks the beginning of a time of reflective introspection for me—one of resting in the deep snowy quiet after another year’s outdoor chores are done, taking stock of the year just past, counting true blessings, meditating, and feeling the stirrings of ideas to act upon in the year ahead.
The Gift of Winter’s Quiet Grace
The shift from fall to winter can be very special. In the natural world, this primordial change involves a process of death and entombment with the potential for authentic rebirth in the spring. It correlates directly to some of the most powerful spiritual/religious themes and stories the world over.
Living here at the edge of the Colorado wilderness, I find the deep dark of the winter—when night is longer than day—to be a good time to rest, to go inside the “cave” and to sink into the nothingness, the emptiness of complete stillness that is so much more accessible now than during other seasons.
This stillness is literally that very quiet place from which new creations arise. It is profound, mysterious, and incredibly fertile. Invariably, I find good medicine when I retreat into this stillness of winter. I find it—or rather, it finds me—in meditation or, sometimes quite unexpectedly, during walks through the snow, sitting by the fire, reading, etc. This quiet is vitally important because it allows space for pre-creation to be present. It is directly akin to the empty, nothingness state that existed before the initial flash and massive creativity exhibited in the Big Bang, and we all know what a phenomenally productive event that was!
Due to this powerful transformative aspect, winter is often considered the most sacred time of the year. We can, if we wish, step off the dominant economic/political/cultural merry-go-round for a while, and use this time for a deep transformation of our being. It can help us more directly mirror and align internally with the natural transformation happening all around us in Nature. It can be an effective time of sleep, of dream, and then later, of awakening. We all have the ability to introspect and brainstorm on the things we can change. Then, in the spring, we can awaken to a new way of being in the world—a new, improved incarnation—when the time arrives for us to put our plans and New Year’s resolutions to work in our lives and in the world.
Blessing-Counting and Giving Thanks
I have much to be grateful for this Thanksgiving. One of the greatest things is the recent launch of the PrimaMundi.com website that allows us to join together. It’s an entirely new enterprise for me, and I’m just getting the hang of it. Thanks to the magic of the Internet, our October webcast/website launch that began with a few dozen brave souls has already grown the PrimaMundi family to nearly 500 strong!
We’ve made good progress on other fronts of mutual interest as well. The next leg of our communications journey is unfolding nicely, with the first volumes in the forthcoming Global Awakening series being readied for release. The volume entitled Introduction: The Awakening Experience will be available shortly, and followed soon by the volume entitled Awakening into Unity, The Global Awakening Series Reader.
These two books will give a great overview of the complete body of work, and we plan to have as much of the full series completed by this time next year as possible (please visit https://primamundi.com/store-freebies/series-volumes-for-sale/ for breaking news on the release dates of these first offerings). We’ll also be offering many other helpfulproducts at https://primamundi.com/store-freebies/ .
The next webinar is also being readied for launch. This one, a 3-session series, will have video and audio content, and will give a nifty sneak peek at all three parts of the complete Global Awakening series. (Please visit https://primamundi.com/global-awakening-a-3-part-webinar/ to learn more about this offering.)
Introducing the PrimaMundi.com Project Team
Many of you have asked me how this website and my recent work came about. You can be sure, none of these great offerings, nor the larger message fueling them, could have been made without the great dedication of many devoted individuals. It does my heart good, at this time of Thanksgiving, to honor all my collaborators and share my gratitude for the great beings that have helped to make our existence and our gathering here possible.
The Global Awakening series and PrimaMundi.com started with a fleeting but powerful and comprehensive revelatory vision of the intrinsic unity of all things and of a corresponding human unity toward Earth-healing. This vision came to me in meditation in the winter of 2006–7, after which it gradually became unshakably seated in me. That’s when I started writing it down and gathering folks together to help bring it into the world.
The basic structure was the first thing to arrive, and it has changed little since December of 2006. Much of the time since then has been spent in researching, organizing/sorting, writing and revising the many drafts of the various pieces and parts of this comprehensive vision. I have the talented scientific illustrator Emily Damstra and the multi-talented Cynthia Lane to thank for their diligent, hard-working efforts which have greatly helped me during this massive, multi-year assemblage and elaboration phase.
Once project development was completed (I finished writing in September 2012), I began packaging the material in earnest—getting the website going and making the content presentable. Paul Cash, Molly Rowan Leach, Thayne Rigby, Elise Rudoff, and Adele Hutchinson have been especially helpful during this phase.
PrimaMundi.com and the Global Awakening series are the result of over 15,000 work-hours spent during the years 2008—2013 by the following dedicated individuals: Paul Cash, June Fritchman, and Anne Kilgore, affiliated with Larson Publications (larsonpublications.com), Emily Damstra (emilydamstra.com), Adele Hutchinson, Cynthia Lane (firstlighttransformations.com), Molly Rowan Leach, Thayne Rigby (antishrillwebdesign.com/), Kelly Roberts (pom-design.com/), Dee Rudoff (rudoff.com), Elise Rudoff (eliseclaire.me), Jelehla Ziemba, and, of course, Lee Temple.
Each team member has made significant and important contributions that enhance the final work. We hope you will greatly enjoy and benefit from the fruits of our labor!
I also want to thank Bill McKibben for his wonderful Foreword to the series, and my friends James O’Dea and Bill Bauman for their terrific endorsements. I’m so honored to have such great beings in my corner!
Thoughts for the Future
During winter’s quiet, restful stillness, while Nature’s healing gifts enfold us in her great love, I invite each of us to go deep into our hearts, to make our commitments for doing all that we can for more effective Earth-healing in the year to come. We can rest in this highest intention, as we all make plans for achievable action in 2014. I’d like to share some reflections for the momentous time ahead.
Here’s a quote that my friend Paul Shippee gave me from a very important resource: A Buddhist Response to THE CLIMATE EMERGENCY (Wisdom Publications, 2009). This book contains many fine contributions from leaders in the Buddhist tradition, including His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s Endorsement of a Safe Level for Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide (350 ppm). His Holiness made the moving, unequivocal statements that “our greatest responsibility is to undo the damage done by the introduction of fossil carbon dioxide” and that “It is now urgent we take corrective action to ensure a safe climate future.”
The following excerpt is from the great Vietnamese Zen Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh, in his piece entitled “The Bells of Mindfulness” (pp. 265–268). Current events such as the recent climate talks in Poland and/or the typhoon devastation in the Philippines bear stark witness to the increasing relevance of his powerful words:
The bells of mindfulness are calling out to us, trying
to wake us up,
reminding us to look deeply at our impact on the planet.
The bells of mindfulness are sounding. All over the Earth, we are experiencing floods, droughts, and massive wildfires. Sea ice is melting in the Arctic and hurricanes and heat waves are killing thousands. The forests are fast disappearing, the deserts are growing, species are becoming extinct every day, and yet we continue to consume, ignoring the ringing bells.
…. The future of all life, including our own, depends on our mindful steps. We have to hear the bells of mindfulness that are sounding all across our planet. We have to start learning how to live in a way that a future will be possible for our children and our grandchildren.
I have sat with the Buddha a long time, and consulted him about the issue of global warming, and the teaching of the Buddha is very clear. If we continue to live as we have been living, … then devastating climate change is inevitable. Much of our ecosystem will be destroyed. Sea levels will rise and coastal cities will be inundated, forcing hundreds of millions of refugees from their homes….
We need a kind of collective awakening.
…. We have the power to decide the destiny of our planet. If we awaken to our true situation, there will be a change in our collective consciousness….
I find great inspiration in Hanh’s description of his time in the meditative stillness and the powerful revelation that came to him there. This is the sort of truth that motivates my work and that can truly enliven us in the PrimaMundi.com community.
During our immersion in winter’s deep, healing quiet, let’s fully accept the truth of our global situation. Let’s also rededicate ourselves to ringing the bells of mindfulness for a global awakening toward more compassionate Earth-healing in every way we can this coming year. This cause is vitally important and necessary, just and right. Now is the time, this is the place, and we are the ones who must act.
Making a Difference with the Ten Steps
I believe the Ten Steps are a great place to start or renew our commitment for this effort. They are my version of the old spiritual adage “chop wood, carry water,” a simple, concise way of seeing Earth-healing as an essentially spiritual enterprise. They help us bring the profound, lofty spiritual experience of the intrinsic oneness of all things, and the collective imperative of uniting as one human family to heal the world, into concrete daily life and achievable actions we all can do. They can help us bring Hanh’s compelling words alive in the world.
They can also be a sort of gateway into greater personal or even communal joy and happiness, because they help us better engage with all of life. Knowing that we are all united with this Earth, and are thoroughly committed to the welfare of her many life-forms—this can ease our hearts’ pain and loosen the hurtful vice-grip of the dysfunction, despair, and destruction all around us. Then, standing unshakably in the strength of our commitment, its purity and righteousness, we naturally open with and to others of like mind and heart. Friends, this is truly good for the soul!
We can, if we choose, take the Ten Steps more deeply to heart during winter’s quiet, and commit further to their appropriate use and implementation in our lives. Each of the steps is essentially about the creation of a new reality in one way or another. Pick the particular one you are most drawn to, and take a little while to meditate on it, however it is that you engage contemplation in your life. See what comes in the days and weeks that follow—look for signs that your inner reflection is coming to life in how you engage the world. Listening to the signs of what to do next is often the best thing to do before taking action: Guidance can come as an intuition at just the right time. We can use these reflections on one (or many) of the Ten Steps as roadmaps for turning significant and effective Earth-healing changes into our living reality.
The Ten Steps and the World
The recent Big Fossil Fuel (BFF) divestment campaigns advanced by Bill McKibben/350.org and others have helped draw attention in significant ways to the need for behavioral change by powerful multinational companies.
We are finally having an effect, thanks primarily to the rise in natural gas usage, increases in energy efficiency, the recent recession and many other carbon-footprint reduction efforts. According to a Huffington Post article, the total US carbon footprint has been declining since it peaked at about 6 billion metric tons in 2007. In 2012 it fell to a 20-year low, at about 5.2 billion metric tons. (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/16/us-carbon-dioxide-emissions-2012_n_1792167.html)
Of course, this is good news. The bad news is that we still have much to do, because other developing nations have footprints that are steadily increasing, and global emissions rose 2.6% last year. We see evidence of entrenched corporate/governmental sandbagging from the Warsaw climate conference, amid greater environmental destruction from continued over-consumptive and fossil-fuel-reliant lifestyles. It’s hard to escape the conclusion that we have to take another huge and decisive step.
To move BFF more quickly toward a healthy outcome, we have to collectively “just say no” to fossil fuel, as much and as soon as possible. Our next great challenge is to convince BFF to move away from their core extraction industries, to further embrace and champion alternative renewable energy in a much bigger way, in the immediate future.
Many organizations are planning mobilization for more concrete action in early 2014—including greater lobbying, more protesting, greater networking and re-envisioning, among other actions. Such efforts are vitally important. Yet we aren’t all able or willing to participate in them. For those of us who aren’t fully in the activist camp, committing to participate in the Ten Steps will make a difference, from right where we are today.
The Ten Steps give us an effective, achievable route to the decimation of BFF’s core fossil fuel markets, through becoming a more empowered, growing, and savvy public that in ever louder unison insistently demands alternative, renewable fuels.
If we can move a nation’s or the world’s fossil fuel consumption from 100% down to 50% and then to 25% in short order from the bottom up, while at the same time the EPA increases fuel efficiency standards (as it has recently) from the top down, such undeniable market drivers will force BFF toward alternative-only fuel businesses in a hurry, if they want to remain commercially viable in the future.
For my part, I’m happy to report that, after recently recalculating my household’s carbon footprint, we’ve managed to reduce it to just about 8 tons per year (a 43% reduction since I last calculated it). This was achieved largely by recent further reductions in transportation mileage and in upgrades to our existing solar photovoltaic power generation system. Now we actually generate as much as 50% more power than we use here at the homestead, which also means we can share our excess clean solar power with friends and neighbors!!!
This is how actions speak louder than words. This is how we can, humbly and with great determination, walk our talk as an integral part of Nature. This is how we can, each and every day, give back more than we take and live our lives with more conscious gratitude to our Mother Earth and all our relations for the precious gift of our shared earthly life. This is how you too can help make a decisive difference—one person, one family, one household, one business, school, community, state or nation, at a time.
The PrimaMundi.com family and circle of intention (like many others) is growing, getting stronger and more determined, more active, move effective. In just a few short months, it is already making an important difference. I thank each and every one of us for this, and I commit to doing my best to be worthy of your love and respect, as we move forward together.
Thank you for believing in me and in the importance of this work. I pray each day for the strength to continue working on behalf of all sentient beings. May winter’s peace and healing grace be with you, your family and your home.
All My Love,