This is the idea behind a slow down movement. On March 21, 2011, solstice night, the wind was beckoning to me. It brought me to my senses and asked me to slow down and listen. The wind talked loud. I slowed down, put my bare body on the ground, feeling the earth on my skin. I laid there and took it in. When I took leave of this space I thanked the earth around me and the wind gusted up for a brief moment and thanked me as well.
From this moment I was reminded of the importance to listen to the Earth. It had been only a few weeks since the earthquake in Japan and there was fear and rumor that the "big one" could happen that night here in California. I had been paying attention to my cat because I've heard that animals know when earthquakes are coming. They can sense it and they leave or act differently. I wondered if I tuned into the earth and listened more closely if I too would be able to sense when an earthquake was coming. But it's not just about predicting earthquakes it's about remembering right relationship and that I am a part of the land I live on. And like any relationship, balance and harmony come through mutual listening and respect. And that's when I decided that I wanted to start a practice of slowing down and listening to the earth.
Ecouter means to listen in French. I want to spend time in nature taking time to listen. I want to listen in various ways such as just sitting and noticing with all of my senses what is around me. I want to notice in a variety of ways--through my eyes with paint, in my body with movement, noticing with words -- smells, sounds, temperature. I want to discover new ways to listen. And I want to invite others to join me in slowing down and listening to the earth and to ourselves in the earth, on the earth and with the earth.
Next Ecoutearth meeting:
Ecoutearth Bay area is going to meet monthly on the Sunday closest to the new moon. We will spend one year spending time in a redwood grove in the Oakland hills. Here are the directions: Directions from Highway CA-13 coming from Berkeley/Oakland (from the north):
Take EXIT 2 for Joaquin Miller Rd/Lincoln Ave. It is also marked as the exit for the Chabot Space and Science Center.
Slight LEFT at Monterey Blvd
At the Stop Sign, LEFT onto Lincoln Ave
Continue straight over the highway. Lincoln Ave turns into Joaquin Miller Rd.
The road will wind up the hill. At the first light, turn LEFT onto Skyline Blvd. Again, follow signs for Chabot Space and Science Center.
From the bottom of Skyline Blvd it will be 1.1 miles until you reach the pull-out area where we are meeting for the day.
As you wind up the hill you will pass Roberts Regional Park to your right and the pull-out parking area will be the next clearing to the left.
If you reach Chabot Space and Science Center you have gone too far.
If there is room, pull your car over to the left of the road to park for the day. It is legal to leave your car in this area. If the area is full, you can find spaces on the right side of the road across from the clearing.
Directions from Highway CA-13 from San Leandro/Hayward (from the south):
From I-580W/Oakland, slight RIGHT onto CA-13/Warren Fwy (signs for Berkeley)
Take the Joaquin Miller Rd exit
Turn RIGHT at Joaquin Miller Rd
SAME AS DIRECTIONS ABOVE
See you this Sunday, Sept. 8th from 3-5. We'll be just inside the grove.
RSVP or for more info: email@example.com
formal meeting time:
3:00 -- 3:30 instruction
3:30 - 4:30-- practice
4:30 - 5:00 -- sharing
Come for any or all of it!
go outside and find someplace to sit and write a letter or postcard to someone describing what you are seeing and hearing in the moment!