Nature is not natural and can never be naturalized — Graham Harman

Monday, April 18, 2011

Gobal Earth Exchange

When I was in the Cool Grove Charnel Ground on Mount Kailash, the idea was to sit with, to coexist simply with, the toxicity of death, the intensity of grief. It was a very warm experience, needless to say. Not at all terrrifying or even bizarre. It felt like being home, sitting in that giant region of death at 19 000 feet surrounded by yogis, yoginis, corpses, piles of old clothing, gifts that people had left. I was completely out of my mind btw. The small pieces of notepaper I left up there (3" by 5"?) looked like huge sheets of legal paper...

Pema Chödron suggests that tonglen, the Tibetan practice of “sending and taking,” be done at cleanup sites and toxic dumps, providing a kind of karmic air conditioning.

Meanwhile, these guys over at Global Exchange have a good idea:

Meet with friends at a wounded place.
Sit a while and tell your stories.
Notice beauty in surprising ways.
Give back an Act of Beauty.

“What is a wounded place? It's anyplace that makes your heart ache when you think of what's happened to it. The wounded places that people honored at our first Global Earth Exchange included: a clearcut forest in Oregon... a beach in Florida where the first oil from the BP spill was just coming ashore... a sacred spring in Bali... a Superfund site in Massachusetts... an abandoned pocket of wilderness near the site of the 2012 London Olympics... and even a melting glacier in Antarctica.

You can participate in an Earth Exchange alone, with a friend, as part of a school or church group, or with members of your community. Anything you do will make a difference! And everything you need is already there... except a camera.”


ai said...

Tim - This reminds me very much of the kinds of things New Agey folks were doing not so long ago (and still do) (see my chapter here) -- but with a twist. I love that (Buddhist/deconstructive/mournfully ecological) twist.

Timothy Morton said...

Hi Adrian, brilliant, can't wait to read your chapter there. I am one scholar who is okay to be thought of as New Agey--it's a badge of shame that perhaps we need to wear with some pride (various reasons too long to go into here but I like your intervention on Wilber for that reason).


Trebbe Johnson said...

The Earth Exchange is actually a simple action with intricate consequences. People confront the damaged places in their communities that were previously fenced off, both by wire and warning signs and by their own fear and distress. Changing their place in a communal, creative, spontaneous, impermanent way, they empower themselves to make change in a bigger way. Radical Joy for Hard Times!