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Touching the Earth page

Touching the Earth Collective’s Community Meeting on Saturday–September 26–Recording Available


We met on Saturday, September 26 at 2:00 pm (Eastern) to raise our collective lungta and harvest ideas and inspiration about the 2020-2021 Strategic Plan and how we will move forward in the year to come.

This gathering was also  an opportunity to celebrate our successes, and give thanks to each other, after almost 2 years of existence!

24 Hours of Reality: Countdown to the Future– Saturday, October 10

With Mayela Manasjan and David Takahashi.

 We’re at an inflection point. COVID-19, the climate crisis, and a global reckoning on racial justice have forced us to rethink normal and created a new world of possibilities. 





Please join Climate Reality Leaders, David Takahashi and Mayela Manasjan for a digital presentation dedicated to learning more about climate change, how the Sacred Path of the Warrior happens to fall within the intersection of the triple bottom line of people, planet, and profit, and the steps we can all take to solve our climate crisis.







Saturday, October 10, 2020 @ 1pm (Pacific) / 4pm (Eastern) / 5pm (Atlantic)

Please click here to register!

The Earth Salon, with D. Luscomb & D. Wimberly, “Gratitude” on Sunday, Oct. 11

A monthly meeting offering, with occasional guest ‘experts’,
hosted by the Touching the Earth Collective and Shambhala Online,
and co-facilitated by David Wimberly and Deborah Luscomb.

2nd Sunday of every month
At 11:00 (Eastern) / 12:00 pm (Atlantic)

Sunday, October 11: Gratitude

October 11th is Thanksgiving weekend in Canada.  Gratitude will be the focus of our October Earth Salon.  How can we approach fundamentally relating to our world, in every way, with love, with gratitude, and sacred outlook? In addition to a guided meditation, there will be opportunities to share what you are grateful for and the ways in which gratitude enhances your life and benefits others. Deborah Luscomb and David Wimberly will facilitate.
Scroll down for complete Zoom info.

We appreciate your donation in any amount!
Click here to contribute
The money collected will be used to offer an honorarium to our guest teachers.

Previous Salons

Backyard Chickens with Charlotte Mendel
Click here to access the recording!

“The consideration of where we are and what we are, on the spot, turns out to be very important. We are talking about a farming situation in some sense: how we are going to experience the land properly, the real land, the land that grows crops and the land on which animals are raised.

When we first wake up in our bedrooms, first thing in the morning, it would be so great if the first incense we smelled were either cow or horse manure or the smell of plants. We have to go back and experience how the earth works, rather than purely smelling our neighbor’s bacon cooking as soon as we wake up, and hearing taxicabs roaring and garbage trucks rumbling. We should all experience working on the land, literally and properly. That is the best way to wake ourselves up: smelling earth, actually experiencing good earth.

Ladies and gentlemen, there are a lot of problems that have come up because, since medieval times, the process of conquering the world has been based on conquering the earth
instead of touching ground, touching soil properly.”

From “Nowness,” a talk at the 1979 Kalapa Assembly.

The Earth Salon is intended to bring us together to explore the greater implications of our bodhisattva vow.  We hope to include guided practices, as well as guest speakers to focus on how our daily activities bind us or alienate us from the earth we share with all creatures.

How do we rouse our intention?  How do we move from intention to action?  How do we build resilience and appreciation?  How do we create a pathway for caring activity on this earth?

Together we will investigate these questions and more while looking at food & gardening, housing & construction, travel, clothing, energy, consumption, and many other areas that will undoubtedly arise during our conversations.

The Zoom meetings are free and open to all.
(Zoom info below.)

“Whatever we have done with our lives makes us what we are when we die.
And everything, absolutely everything, counts.”

-Pema Chodron


Topic: Earth Salon
Time: Every month, on the Second Sunday, 7 occurrence(s)

Oct 11, 2020 12:00 PM (Atlantic) to 1:30 pm (Atlantic)
Topic: Gratitude

Nov 8, 2020 12:00 PM (Atlantic)
Dec 13, 2020 12:00 PM (Atlantic)
Jan 10, 2021 12:00 PM (Atlantic)
Feb 14, 2021 12:00 PM (Atlantic)
Feb 21 2021 12:00 PM (Atlantic)

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 81262050347

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Humanity at a Crossroads: Laudato Si’ & The Shambhala Principle—Saturdays, October 17 & November 14

An online gathering hosted by the Touching the Earth Collective.

 Several members of the Touching the Earth Collective will discuss and compare these two analyses, in which the Pope and the Sakyong offered their assessment of the challenges facing our species and the earth’s biosphere. We have invited former Shambhala President Richard Reoch to facilitate the gathering and he has kindly agreed.

Join us from 3:00 pm to 4:30 pm (Atlantic) on Saturdays, October 17 and November 14!

“A certain way of understanding human life and activity has gone awry, to the serious detriment of the world around us. Humanity has entered a new era in which our technical prowess has brought us to a crossroads.”
– Pope Francis, Laudato Si’ 

“We humans have come to a crossroads in our history: we can either destroy the world or create a good future. Even climatically, the balance is shifting to dramatically change the face of the earth. Our ecosystem is in a precarious and fragile state, and our future depends on our actions as a species.” 
–Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, The Shambhala Principle

In the run-up to the 196-nation conference that adopted the historic Paris Agreement on climate change in 2015,  the Pope and the Sakyong offered their assessment of the challenges facing our species and earth’s biosphere. They also set out the personal and societal changes that would be needed to meet the threat of global devastation.

After retiring as President of Shambhala, Richard Reoch developed a 14-point comparison of these two analyses and found remarkable resonances between them.

Over two forthcoming programs, members of the Touching the Earth Collective will offer succinct, interactive presentations highlighting each of these points of convergence. The 2 events will be facilitated by Richard Reoch.   

Click here to register for both events Saturday, October 17 and November 14 .

Times: 11:00 (Pacific) / 12:00 (Mountain) / 1:00 (Central) / 2:00 (Eastern) / 3:00 (Atlantic) / 19:00 (UK) / 20:00 (CET)

Fee: $15 / Patrons $25


Two-Eyed Seeing with Elder Albert Marshall–Recording now available here!

Join us for this conversation with Elder Albert Marshall, HonDLitt – Mi’kmaw Nation, facilitated by Christine Heming.

Saturday, July 25 at 4:00 pm (Atlantic).

Climate change activists have been calling for indigenous peoples to be part of the solution to tackling climate change, emphasizing their traditional wisdom and practical knowledge.  Elder Albert Marshall’s two-eyed seeing is a guiding principle for how to join indigenous wisdom and knowledge with Western science and technology in a collaborative effort of co-learning how to live on this earth in a balanced and sustainable way.

Albert Marshall is a highly respected and much-loved Elder of the Mi’kmaw Nation; he lives in Eskasoni First Nation in Unama’ki (Cape Breton), Nova Scotia, and is a passionate advocate of cross-cultural understandings and healing, and of our human responsibilities to care for all creatures and our Earth Mother.  

In Albert’s words:  “So this is what we truly believe. This is what reinforces our spiritualities: that no one being is greater than the next, that we are part and parcel of the whole, we are equal, and that each one of us has a responsibility to the balance of the system”. 

Please enjoy the recording!

You can also read the transcript here!

Let Your Sustainability Values Lead the Way with Mayela Manasjan–Recording now available

A leadership workshop to help identify and manifest your core
values to lead and motivate yourself and others.

Think of your life purpose. Why are you here and what do you want to accomplish? Which of your core values will guide your behavior as you attempt to live a purposeful life? Your core values reflect what is important to you and they provide the foundation for your decisions, goals, and life. When you align with your core values, you create more energy and a sense of fulfillment in your life because you’re leading from what is most important to you. In this workshop, we will identify your core values, define and connect with them, share and understand each other’s core values, and explore ways to manifest your core values in your daily life. 

Waking up in the Climate Crisis: From Despair to Engagement — Two Study Sessions on the Seven Insights, on July 26 and Aug 23

Please join us for two study sessions to explore the Seven Questions/Insights, which Renée presented in her talk of May 24.

1) First Study Session:
Already took place on Sunday, July 26.
We discussed Insights 1 to 4. Here is the recording below.

2) Second Study session
Sunday, August 23, from 1 pm to 3 pm (Eastern)—Insights 5 to 7

If you wish to attend, please email us to confirm your presence and receive the Zoom link. <[email protected]>

In preparation, we suggest you listen to the first talk (below) and the follow-up study group (below), and if you have more time, you could look at her book, Environmental Melancholia.

Dr. Renée Lertzman is a researcher, educator and engagement strategist who uses psychological insights to unlock action on global climate and environmental crises.
It’s normal to feel anxious or overwhelmed by climate change. Can we turn those feelings into something productive?

Below is the recording of Renée’s talk of May 24, entitled “Waking up to the Climate Crisis: From Despair to Engagement,” which was facilitated by Sara Demetry.

You may also enjoy watching Renée’s TED talk: (

Here is the recording of the follow-up event on Zoom, facilitated by Sara Demetry (Sunday, June 7th)

Holding Grief with an Open Heart: A Facilitated Zoom Group


We are collectively feeling grief associated with climate disruption, species extinction, forest fires, water and food shortages, pandemic, and the disproportionate impact on marginalized populations at this time. Join together in community for a twice a month online group which will create a safe space to explore themes such as gratitude, grieving, activism, resilience and building capacity for staying present and awake in this time which portends both crisis and opportunity.

The work of the mature person is to carry grief in one hand and gratitude in the other and to be stretched large by them. How much sorrow can I hold? That’s how much gratitude I can give. If I carry only grief, I’ll bend toward cynicism and despair. If I have only gratitude, I’ll become saccharine and won’t develop much compassion for other peoples’ suffering. Grief keeps the heart fluid and soft, which helps make compassion possible.”  Francis Weller

No ongoing commitment is required. The basis of the group will be contemplation, space for listening, sharing and discussion.

This will be a drop in facilitated zoom group the first and third Sunday evening of each month from 7:00 – 8:30 pm EDT beginning in April, the 5th and 19th. If you are interested in attending, please email [email protected] to receive the zoom link. 

Sara Demetry has been a member of the Shambhala community since 1998 and lives in Barnet VT with her husband and cats. She keeps a psychotherapy private practice and works primarily with trauma and healing. She has been interested in “Inner Transition” work for many years and in the need for communal approaches to griefwork.