“Dear Mother Earth, You were born from the dust of distant supernovas, from the deaths of ancient stars. Your manifestation is but a continuation, and when you cease to exist in this current form you too will continue in another.”
The Vietnamese Buddhist monk and Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh died on January 22, 2022, in the Tu Hieu Temple in Hue, Vietnam—the place where he was ordained nearly eighty years ago as a teenager. He was ninety-five years old. Hanh was globally revered as a spiritual teacher, peace activist, and poet, and is widely credited with bringing the Buddhist practice of mindfulness to the West.
Thich Nhat Hanh was a pioneer in the field of spiritual ecology, applying ancient Buddhist texts and philosophy to his decades-long efforts to come to the aid of a planet in crisis. He coined the term “interbeing” in reference to his belief that we are a part of the Earth and She is a part of us, calling on us to awaken to this entwinement and fall in love again with the Earth.
In honor of his life and work we would like to share this powerful collection by Thich Nhat Hanh: Ten Love Letters to the Earth. In simple, elegant prose, these meditations are an invitation to engage in intimate conversation, a living dialogue, with our planet. As Hanh writes to the Earth, “I can awaken to the fact that I am never alone and can never die. You are always there within me and around me at every step, nourishing me, embracing me and carrying me far into the future.”
We invite you to take a moment to read these letters and honor the tremendous love for the Earth and all living things that Thich Nhat Hanh inspired in so many of us.