Every so often we all experience a moment of oneness with nature. Whether it arises from admiring a beautiful flower or taking a deep breath of fresh air after sitting inside all day, noticing our intrinsic connection with the world around us is a profound joy of being human. This beautiful passage from Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh reminds us to treasure all aspects of life, and inspires us to see clearly that “each one of us carries the Earth within every cell of our body.”

“The Earth is our mother, nourishing and protecting us in every moment—giving us air to breathe, fresh water to drink, food to eat and healing herbs to cure us when we are sick. Every breath we inhale contains our planet’s nitrogen, oxygen, water vapor and trace elements. When we breathe with mindfulness, we can experience our interbeing with the Earth’s delicate atmosphere, with all the plants, and even with the sun, whose light makes possible the miracle of photosynthesis. With every breath we can experience communion. With every breath we can savor the wonders of life.

We need to change our way of thinking and seeing things. We need to realise that the Earth is not just our environment. The Earth is not something outside of us. Breathing with mindfulness and contemplating your body, you realise that you are the Earth. You realise that your consciousness is also the consciousness of the Earth. Look around you—what you see is not your environment, it is you.”

Read Hanh’s full essay for the United Nations Framework Connection on Climate Change here.

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