Cosmology includes spiritual principles and practices from a broad range of disciplines: primal religions, shamans, eco-spiritualists, biologists, and mystical quantum physicists all of whom are integrally woven into the tapestry of understanding our connectedness with the Universe, planet Earth and all sentient beings.

Primal tribes have always revered the land as their source of plenty and abundance. Our ancestors have taught us varied and diverse lessons of the skies, the land and its people which today we accept as part of our evolutionary DNA. Earth is holy to all because it is the common ground which, at the most basic level, is the very source of life itself. And as common ground, it affords us a place to reach out, understand, and appreciate our interconnectedness and interdependence with one another.

Earth Teach Me to Remember

Earth teach me stillness, as the grasses are stilled with light.
Earth teach me suffering, as old stones suffer with memory.
Earth teach me humility, as blossoms are humble with beginning.
Earth teach me caring, as the mother who secures her young.
Earth teach me courage, as the tree which stands all alone.
Earth teach me limitation, as the ant which crawls on the ground.
Earth teach me freedom, as the eagle which soars in the sky.
Earth teach me resignation, as the leaves which die in the fall.
Earth teach me regeneration, as the seed which rises in the spring.
Earth teach me to forget myself, as melted snow forgets its life.
Earth teach me to remember kindness, as dry fields weep with rain.
Ute, North America

The very molecules that make up your body, the atoms that construct the molecules, are traceable to the crucibles that were once the centers of high mass stars that exploded their chemically rich guts into the galaxy, enriching pristine gas clouds with the chemistry of life. So we’re all connected with each other biologically, to the Earth chemically, and to the rest of the universe atomically. That’s kind of cool. That makes me smile, and I actually feel quite large at the end of that. It’s not that we’re better than the universe, we are part of the universe. We’re in the universe and the universe is in us.
Neil de Grasse Tyson

Five Steps to Reawakening:

Surrender: We give up trying to force our will through the use of ego. We surrender to being a member in the whole community of life and accept its rights, privileges and responsibilities.

Decision: We decide to turn our life purpose and our ego will over to the Originating Mystery for the good of the interdependent whole.

Confession: We release our shame and guilt about our past actions, attitudes and thoughts replacing them with compassion, honor and respect for ourselves and others.

Restitution: We become willing to make amends for our ignorant actions to ourselves, all other species and Earth, herself.

Service: We are committed becoming an example of what it means to be a member in a planetary community recognizing our interconnectedness and interdependence.

Step 1: We admit we are powerless over an addicted society, that our lives and all life have become degraded.

We admit we are powerless over an addicted society, and that our lives and all of life has become degraded. When the consumption of anything is killing us and we cannot stop, we are addicted. We are one with Earth and Earth is becoming toxic. This poisoning is the result of overproduction and over consumption. According to cultural historian, Thomas Berry, the main reason we find ourselves in such ecological chaos is because we are in between stories. “We are out of touch with our true and larger Self.” We have not integrated what we are learning about the Cosmos from science into our existing creation story.

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The universe, the solar system, and the planet Earth in themselves and in their evolutionary emergence constitute for the human community the primary revelation of that ultimate mystery whence all things emerge into one being.
Thomas Berry

To pollute, disfigure, or harm the gift that is the Earth is to spit into the face of the Creator. But to take joy in the Earth is to rejoice in God and to become like God, who takes joy in the creation.
Douglas Bowman


Answer these questions honestly to discover if and how you are powerless:

Can you provide your own food?

Can your provide your own fuel?

Can you provide yourself with clean water?

Can you provide your own clothing?

How dependent are you on others to provide for your needs and wants?

How much personal power do you feel over your life?

Step 2: We come to acknowledge the existence of an Originating Mystery accomplishing the evolution of the Universe which will reveal to us our natural relationships to self, others, the Earth and the Universe.

It is time for us to integrate what we are learning from science about the Cosmos into our existing creation story. Thomas Berry, cultural historian, observed, “For peoples generally, their story of the universe and the human role within the universe is their primary source of intelligibility and value. Only through this story of how the universe came to be in the beginning, and how it came to be as it is, does a person come to appreciate the meaning of life or to derive the psychic energy needed to deal effectively with those crisis moments that occur in the life of the individual and in the life of the society.”

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The universe is a unity, an interacting and genetically related community of beings bound together in an inseparable relationship in space and time. The unity of the planet earth is especially clear; each being of the planet is profoundly implicated in the existence and functioning of every other being of the planet.
Thomas Berry

It is the story of all life that is holy and is good to tell, and of us two-leggeds sharing it with the four-leggeds and the wings of the air and all green things; for these are children of one mother and their father is one spirit.
Black Elk

Just as neurosis, recognized and diagnosed, can be the first step toward sanity, so a narcissistic fascination with the self can be the beginning of cultural renewal.
Theodore Roszak


Take a walk in your favorite outdoor natural setting.

Sit down and take time to become aware of all the sounds, smells,
colors and textures which surround you.

Express your gratitude for how Earth gifts you with her beauty and abundance.

Step 3: We decide to surrender our lives and our wills to this Originating Mystery however we choose to name it.

In an evolving universe everything is constantly in a state of flux; nothing is static, nothing remains the same. Science demonstrates this at a subatomic level everything is vibrational energy, however, our eyes and our minds trick us into believing it is constant because matter appears dense and static. This is precisely why we need faith. We need to trust in the unseen, the Mystery.

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There is nothing in the whole world that is permanent. Everything flows onward; all things are brought into being with a changing nature. The ages themselves glide by in constant movement.

Our faith imposes on us a right and duty to throw ourselves into the things of the Earth.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Going down into a darkness where there appears to be no faith, we can make three important discoveries. I see them as redeeming discoveries that can ground us in our ecology and serve as our faith: and I believe that our survival depends on making them. These three discoveries
1. the discovery of what we know and feel,
2. the discovery of what we are, and
3. the discovery of what can happen through us or, as one might express it, grace.
Joanna Macy


Sit or kneel in your meditation position, preferably in the presence of another person. From your heart and using your own name say the following out loud:

I, _________, Originating Mystery, and creative power emergent in the unfolding of the Universe and the Earth, surrender my life and will, to the Originating Mystery within. I willingly release any barriers that stand in the way of listening and following the guidance of this Originating Mystery unfolding in me now.

Step 4: We examine ourselves, listing all our attitudes and actions which harm the created order, inhibiting the emergence of this Originating Mystery.

This step asks us to examine our part in how we have harmed the Earth itself and the species with whom we share the planet. We must ask ourselves when we have demanded more satisfaction than was our fair and equitable share of the supply (food, water, sex, oil, energy, money etc.) Only when we take this step personally, can we identify our own addictive behaviors and their consequences.


The three basic laws of the universe at all levels of reality are differentiation, subjectivity and communion.
Thomas Berry

Because we are all interconnected, suffering in our personal lives always has roots in our collective lives, and the suffering of each of us compounds in turn our collective pain. Our experience of personal suffering can serve to sensitize us to the sufferings of our world.”
Joanna Macy

For He brought things into being in order that his His goodness might be communicated to creatures, and be represented by them; and because His goodness could not be adequately represented by one creature alone, He produced many and diverse creatures, that what was wanting to one in the representation of the divine goodness might be supplied by another. For goodness, which in God is simple and uniform, in creatures in manifold and divided; and hence the whole universe together participates in the divine goodness more perfectly, and represents it better than any single creature whatever.
Thomas Aquinas


List any judgments you have of yourself, other genders, other sexual orientations, other ethnicities, and other species. How do these judgments reflect your need to develop compassion and connectedness?

When have your actions been driven by fear and what have been the consequences?

When have apathy and inertia kept you from actively showing up for life?

When has your ego overridden your conscience resulting in harms to self or others?

What are your most significant regrets?

Step 5: We acknowledge to ourselves, to the Originating Mystery and to another person our responsibility for our ignorant attitudes, thoughts and actions by admitting their consequences.

Step Five is a “confessional” step designed for us to empty ourselves – to empty our psychic trash. In Zen, this process is called sunyata. In spiritual concepts, it is creating a void through emptying. We know from physics that a void is never static, always available to be filled. Once we remove the psychic toxins we have been holding, we are ready for the Originating Mystery to recreate us.

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The universe has a violent as well as a benign aspect, but it is always creative in the larger arc of its unfolding.
Thomas Berry

Creativity is nothing else but the unfolding of evolution. The question, where evolution will proceed to, occupies many people today. It may be posed in a meaningful way where there is openness, where novelty has a chance to be woven into evolution.
Erich Jantsch
The Self-Organizing Universe

The first beginnings of all analytical treatment of the soul are to be found in its prototype, the confessional.
C.G. Jung


When we sit with another human and admit the realities of our lives and find they are not horrified, and have done many of the same things themselves, we begin to feel forgivable. When we feel our grief and remorse we clear away the blockages of shame and guilt, and only then can the Originating Mystery recreate us. We become outlets for the creative dynamic force of the Universe as it continues to create itself.

Share the lists and insights from completing Step 4 with a trusted other. Allow the Originating Mystery to assist and support you as you move into the integrity of recognizing who you really are – a child of the Mystery itself.

Step 6: We become entirely willing to have all habits of illusion removed from our thoughts, attitudes and behaviors.

We become willing to allow the Originating Mystery to transform us from within from being self-centered to other-centered. We become entirely willing to take responsibility for our thoughts, attitudes, and actions. As we are transformed, we respond to ourselves and all planetary beings in a more humane and loving way.

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The human is that being in whom the universe attains reflexive consciousness of itself
Thomas Berry

Let us live happily then among the greedy! Among those who are greedy let us dwell free from greed.
The Dhammapada

Somewhere else it is written that the love of creation is a brilliantly shining light and that it is the nature of good to do good.
Rabbi Nahem


Each of us must ask:

Am I willing to be changed?

Am I willing to have my self-centeredness changed into concern for the whole of life?

Am I willing to become sensitized by my own pain to the pain of the world?

Am I willing to fall in love with other people and with all the living and nonliving components of the Earth?

Am I willing to become a wounded healer providing sanctuary for myself and all life?

Am I willing to befriend the Earth and the Universe?

Step 7: We humbly ask the Originating Mystery to remove our shame and guilt and the habits of thought, attitudes and actions which stem from our pain and allow us to be transformed.

This step calls for us to be humble. Humility comes from the word humus or soil. Humility helps us recognize that we come from the soil. We are earthness. We plant, harvest and eat the products of the soil. When we die, we compost into soil again.

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The earth, within the solar system, is a self-emergent, self-nourishing, self-educating, self-governing, self-healing, self-fulfilling community. All particular life systems in their being, their nourishment, their education, their governing, their healing, their fulfillment must integrate their functioning within this larger complex of mutually dependent earth systems.
Thomas Berry

The new cosmology is forcing us to make a number of significant shifts in our thinking. One of the most important of these is the shift from thinking that we could know the whole truth about something to an understanding that everything is evolving. It takes humility to accept the fact that truth, like everything else, is in process, and that time tends to unfold broader and deeper meanings of whatever is understood to be true.
Michael Dowd


After much thought and self-reflection, speak the following to a trusted other person:

I am open and receptive to Originating Mystery within me to heal my pain. I choose to trust the perfect timing of the emerging Mystery within me. I know Originating Mystery is dissolving all barriers to expressing the creativity, joy and love that is here for me now. I willingly and creatively express this joy and love to all planetary beings.

Step 8: We make a list of all the persons, species and life systems of the planet we have harmed and are ready to replace our life-destructive habits with life-renewing ones.

We trust that the Originating Mystery inherent in all matter causes life to self-organize, self-evolve and self-regulate. We humans need to allow this process to evolve.

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Who is our neighbor: the Samaritan? the outcast? the enemy? Yes, yes of course. But it is also the whale, the dolphin and rain forest. Our neighbor is the entire community of life, the entire Universe. We must love it all as our self because in fact it is our Self. The Universe is the primary subject.
Brian Patrick

What if Mary is another name for Gaia? Any living organism a quarter as old as the Universe itself and full of vigor is as near to immortal as we ever need to know. She is of this Universe, and conceivably, a part of God. On Earth she is the source of life everlasting and is alive now; she gave birth to humankind and we are a part of her.
James Lovelock
The Ages of Gaia


Write a list of all harms you have done to humans, to other species and to the planet. Next we must ask if we are ready to begin to heal these wounds. Each of us must ask:

Am I willing to make life-renewing priorities?

Am I ready to replace my prejudicial defenses with love and compassion?

Am I ready to do what I can to alter my life-style to reduce waste, reuse what I can, and recycle as much as possible even if it means creating new habits?

Am I willing to take the following oath?

I am willing to allow myself to be transformed towards life-enhancing habits of thoughts, attitudes and actions. I acknowledge how my blind actions have harmed planetary communities and I resolve to become more mindful of my every day actions and their consequences. I am committed to reducing waste, reusing what I can and recycling as much as possible as a daily practice which honors planet Earth

Step 9: We make a continuously mindful effort to increase life-enhancing thoughts, attitudes and actions.

We move into action. We become an active part of the healing of the planet. Many will discover the giving of ourselves was what we longed for all our lives. We become filled with the marvelous power of hope. We join others in the great work of renewing the Earth and we begin to experience community again.

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Our hope for the future is for a new dawn, an Ecozoic Era, when humans will be present to the Earth in a mutually enhancing manner.
Thomas Berry

There is a web of justice between humanity and all other creatures.
Hildegard of Bingen

Love thy species as thyself.
Nicholas Georgescu-Roegen


When you are ready, make the following pledge to action:

I will be compassionate and will honor and respect myself.
I will be compassionate and will honor and respect my fellow humans.
I will be compassionate and will honor and respect my fellow species.
I will be compassionate and will honor and respect the soil.
I will be compassionate and will honor and respect the waters.
I will be compassionate and will honor and respect the air.

Step 10: We continue on a daily basis to be mindful of our thoughts, attitudes and actions. Whenever we find judgmental thoughts we admit it and become willing to extend compassion to all beings.

For Earth and its species to continue to evolve on its trajectory of growth and bountifulness, it is imperative that as a species we come to understand our proper place in the universal scheme. The time is now for us to take responsibility for our choices and actions because we are interconnected with all beings. As we grow in compassion for ourselves and all life, we utilize our strengths and gifts in a concerted and committed effort towards walking this Earth in integrity.

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Exploring the inner house of our soul means listening to the deep self. This exploring of the inner house is not just one’s personal inner house, but the inner house of our communities, the inner house of our nations, the inner house of our gender, the inner house of our species. In other words, the inner house is not just part of an individual; our way of life contains an inner house. It is because we are violent inside that our environment is dying all around us….so, this exploration of our inner house has everything to do with the ecological era. the word ‘ecology’ means the study of our home. Ecology is not something ‘out there.’ We are in nature and nature is in us. We are in the sacred home and the sacred home is in us.
Matthew Fox

Do not be conformed to this age any longer, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may be able to discern what is the will of God – what is good and acceptable and perfect.
Romans 12:2

Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible, without surrender,
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others,
even the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story.


Each night spend a few minutes going over the day. Ask yourself:

How have I harmed the created order?

What persistent habits do I have that continue to harm others?

Am I willing to be changed?

Have I injured anyone or anything today?

Am I prepared to apologize or repair the damage done?

Am I compassionately willing to make amends to the living beings I have let down today?

Step 11: Through our daily spiritual practices we surrender ourselves to be transformed by the Originating Mystery enabling us to nurture the health and healing of all planetary life including ourselves.

Spirituality provides a way for us to remember who we are and to reconnect with our Source. It teaches us how to build relationship with the Originating Mystery within us and nurtures our interconnectedness with the Originating Mystery in all life.

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The dark wind of my Mother expands and contracts, winding to and from the hub of the spinning wheel, which is everywhere. She spirals, uncoiling and recoiling, leaving and returning to her source; her spirit evolving, involving the entire universe.
Meinrad Craighead

Teach your children that we have taught our children that the Earth is our mother. Whatever befalls the Earth befalls the sons of the Earth. If men spit upon the ground, they spit upon themselves. This we know: the Earth does not belong to man; man belongs to the Earth.
Chief Seattle

And I saw that the sacred hoop of my people was one of many hoops that made one circle, wide as daylight and as starlight, and in the center grew one mighty flowering tree to shelter all the children of one mother and father. And I saw that it was holy.
Black Elk

I am the essence of the waters;
The shining of the moon;
OM in all the Vedas,
The Word that is God.
It is I who resound in the ether
And am potent in man.
I am the sacred smell of the Earth,
The light of the fire,
Life of all that lives,
Austerity of Ascetics.
Bhagavad Gita

One thing we know which the white man may one day discover: Our God is the same God.
Chief Seattle


This practice comes from Confucius who asks us to look straight into one’s heart with these four steps:

Jen – human-heartedness or universal compassion. It requires us to respect, revere and befriend ourselves, humanity, all life, Earth and the Universe.

Chun-Tzu or holism: It requires us to view the world and all that is in it as one interconnected whole and to learn to surrender our desires to the greater good of the whole.

Li or appropriateness: It requires us to see ourselves in relationship and proportion to the whole. This allows us to value the contribution we make without overvaluing or own importance.

Te or spiritual power: It is our ability to listen and respond to the voice of higher authority that resides in us. It requires that we learn to lead from authenticity rather than from force.

Step 12: Having experienced a reawakening to self, to humanity, to all species, to Earth and the Universe, we try to spread awareness to others and to practice these disciplines in all phases of our lives.



Communion or interrelationship is the underlying principle of the Universe. Everything in the Universe is in communion with everything else. It is all interdependent and interrelated in an unbroken bond of connectivity. There is no separation – diversity and subjectivity yes, but no separateness.

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The main human task of the immediate future is to assist in activating the intercommunion of all living and nonliving components of the Earth community in what can be considered the emerging ecological period of Earth development. Functionally, the great art of achieving this historical goal is the art of intimacy and distance, the capacity of beings to be totally present to each other while further affirming and enhancing the differences and identities of each.
Thomas Berry

I believe in the essential unity of humanity and, for that matter, all that lives. Therefore I believe that if one person gains spirituality, the whole world gains it, and if one person fails, the whole world fails to that extent.
Mohandas Gandhi

Integrity is wholeness, the greatest beauty is
organic wholeness, the wholeness of life and things,
the divine beauty of the universe. Love that, not man
apart from that, or else you will share man’s pitiful confusions
or drown in despair when his days darken.
Robinson Jeffers

I entered. I lost the boundary of my physical body. I had my skin, of course, but I felt I was standing in the center of the cosmos…I saw people coming toward me, but all were the same man. All were myself. I had never known this world before. I had believed that I was created, but now I must change my mind. I was never created; I was the cosmos: no individual existed.
Houston Smith


This practice requires us to take the following oath of commitment to practice these principles in all our affairs:

Surrender: We give up trying to force our will through the use of ego. We surrender to being a member in the whole community of life and accept its rights, privileges and responsibilities.

Decision: We decide to turn our life purpose and our ego will over to the Originating Mystery for the good of the interdependent whole.

Confession: We release all self-centered and greedy thoughts and actions, with a sincere intention to replace them with other-centered and compassionate thoughts and actions.

Restitution: We are willing and ready to heal the harms we have caused to ourselves, to others, to other species and to the Earth.

Service: We are committed to spreading the word to others.