Meditation and the Environment

The ecological crisis is a central concern for the WCCM.

Contemplative consciousness is integral to the saving of our planet, to the healing of our relationship with Earth. Indeed, meditation can help in our response to the climate catastrophe and environmental destruction as it increases our awareness of the sacredness and the interdependence of everything and everyone on our planet. It may, also, lead us to be more active and responsive to the crisis we are facing.

John Main writes about the link between meditation and the environment in ‘Word Made Flesh’:

Through the experience of meditation we come to understand that each of us, meaning every living human being, is in a creative relationship with God through Christ. Meditation has such great importance, because as each of us comes closer to Christ, the whole fabric of human consciousness is knit more closely together. When we come to see this as individuals we also come to realise that the development of our own personal consciousness and the deepening of our own spiritual journey is not just a personal matter. It partakes of a responsibility for the whole human race. Meditation teaches us something more: that the more deeply we enter into this mystery of unity, the more truly human and humane we become. By deepening our commitment to our own human journey each of us is also deepening our commitment to the whole of humanity, in particular of course to that part of humanity that we encounter in our daily round. This is to say our commitment is to the universal Christ. Even more, if that is possible, it is a commitment to the whole creation. This means a committed concern and compassion for the beauty of nature, and of the human spirit expressed in art, a respect for the environment and all it encapsulates in terms of value and beauty. Every part of life is deepened as we enter the mystery of the universal Christ.
John Main

Our Commitment to Eco-Friendly Practices.

WCCM in the UK has an environmental charter for the UK community, which can be found under the policy section at the bottom of each page of the website. This invites all within the WCCM in the UK community to consider adopting sustainable, eco-friendly practices wherever possible in our daily lives. There are various suggestions and reminders on how we can reduce our harm on the environment in our daily lives as well as within the organisation and when planning events. Here is the link

Resources and suggestions for further exploration.

Sometimes you might choose to accompany your meditation practice with a reading that speaks of our environment, the natural world and the interconnectedness of all things and beings in God’s creation.  For starters, here are some examples:

Learning to meditate is not learning to do, it is learning to be. It is learning to be yourself, to enter into the gift of your own being …. learning to accept the gift of your own being, of your own creation. To be in harmony with your own being and with your continuous creation is also to be in harmony with all of creation around us, it is being in harmony with the creator. 
John Main

The stillness and silence of meditation, as a spiritual practice, changes the world because it changes us, as a way of connecting with a consciousness beyond the self… (to) a deeper awareness. We unite in our common need to protect the earth. A daily practice of meditation can be a catalyst for ongoing sustainable action for the environment.   
Laurence Freeman

Let us come alive to the splendour that is all around us and see the beauty in ordinary things. Let me seek, then, the gift of silence, and poverty, and solitude, where everything I touch is turned into prayer, where the sky is my prayer, the birds are my prayer, the wind in the trees is my prayer, for God is all in all.  
Thomas Merton

Other readings can be found on our environment leaflet, available for download here or on request using our online contact form.

Meditatio Resources

Meditatio is the Outreach arm of WCCM. It has a number of resources and initiatives under its Earth Crisis: Climate and Ecology programme. Here is the link Earth Crisis: Climate and Ecology | WCCM for the items below:

    • Earth Crisis Forum talks and Meditatio:  Meditators might be interested in the Earth Crisis Forum talks organised by Meditatio. Recordings of previous talks can be found on the main WCCM website. The talks are hosted by different meditators from around the world. So far, there have been talks hosted by Australia, New Zealand, and Brazil. See the above link.
      Further talks are planned for this year from other countries. If you would like to be on the mailing list for these webinars, please contact Kate Middleton at
    • Earth Crisis Forum blog:  There is a blog space on MYWCCM to share information and ideas with each other about all things climate and ecology. Again, please look under the Earth Crisis: Climate and ecology section, or click on the above link, to see how to join.
    • Other faith and environmental organisations:  On the Earth Crisis section there is a list of some relevant organisations, as there is on the ‘Our Commitment to eco-friendly practices’ document.
    • Contemplating Earth course:  If you wish to look more deeply at the contemplative response to the climate emergency, consider exploring Jim Green’s online course “Contemplating Earth”, which can be accessed through the main WCCM website and can be done in one’s own time. It, also, is a very useful resource of other writers on the subject. Again, see the above link.
    • Weekly online meditation group with focus on the ecological crisis:  This is on Thursdays at 7.00pm. The meditation is followed by a time of sharing thoughts and feelings around the climate crisis. If you would like to join, please contact Jane Greenlees, a UK meditator, by email.  

Sarah Feeney is the Special Interest Coordinator for the Environment in WCCM in the UK. Sarah links up with the international community of WCCM on larger outreach projects. If anyone in the UK community has a particular interest in the environment and the ecological crisis, then Sarah would be very pleased to hear from you, as she would like to look at offering meditation to other faith and environmental groups, as well as planning future events that have an ecological focus. Also, it would be useful to share ideas and resources.

To contact Sarah, please  click Contact Details for her email address. 

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