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Touching the Earth page

Climate Cafe –> April 30 at 1pm (ET) / 2pm (AT)

Shambhala Touching the Earth Collective is offering a big space to bring all our disparate emotions, hopes and fears about our home planet’s climate dissonance. A place that can open a space of empowerment for sharing feelings, listening, and witnessing: Climate Cafe. The idea is simple. Meet with other people and take turns expressing and listening, to what arises in us in response to our changing climate and the degradation of our ecosystems. No need to ‘fix it’ in these sessions, just share your heart.

Our warriorship and Buddhist practices are excellent preparation for the resilience we need at this time to rediscover the interconnectedness, not just between humans but between our species, the planet, and all of her creations. As our environment changes dramatically, and we learn of beings suffering and dying as a result of climate change, we are challenged to be present, to expand our ability to take our seat in uncertainty. So let’s explore coming together as an intergenerational community to work with the bardo of Gaia, the rebirth of our mother Earth.

Initially, Climate Cafe will be offered to the online community four times a year, on the Quarter Days (between the Nyida Days).
The first one will take place via zoom on Saturday, April 30th, 1:00 pm to 2:30 pm (Eastern) / 2:00pm to 3:30 pm (Atlantic)

Climate Cafe is limited to a maximum of 25 people per 90minute session, and will be facilitated by Sara Demetry, Angela Pressburger and Deborah Luscomb. The Quarter Day sessions are offered free of charge.

If you are interested in attending the first Climate Cafe, or in discussing scheduling one for your local Shambhala Center’s membership, please contact: [email protected]







The May Earth Salon —> 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 May Earth Salon

Dandelion Cuisine 

with Celebrity Chef David & Heroic Herbalist Deborah

Who knew that a “weed” was likely the most nourishing green in the garden, tasty when prepared right, and even a super medicinal? Learn all about it with David as Chef and Deborah as Herbalist!

After exploring the history of the dandelion, we will go through the steps of just some of the myriad ways to prepare dandelions – especially as magnificent omelettes! We will also showcase some of the medicinal uses of dandelions for the home herbalist.

Dandelions greatly contribute to the nourishment and aeration of lawns as well as adding early warm colours to the palette of spring. Don’t just blow it away, eat it up!

David Wimberly eagerly awaits the first dandelions of spring to make thick omelettes (a colander full of leaves in each), flower fritters, and more! Deborah Luscomb makes a variety of dandelion-based medicinals that are nourishing and beautiful.

Don’t “bee” absent bee-cause the bees also bee-light in dandelion pollen and nectar. All I am saying is give bees a chance!

The monthly Earth Salons are an initiative of the Touching the Earth Collective, and are curated and co-facilitated by David Wimberly and Deborah Luscomb, with occasional guest ‘experts’.

Zoom Link:
Passcode:  sacred

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 Earth Salons

Dandelion Cuisine
With David Wimbledon & Deborah Luscomb
Click here to access the recording


Align your money with your values… 
individual divestment
with Michael Richardson
Click here to access the recording


Love Letters to Mother Earth
by Thich Nhat Hanh
with Nyingje Gompel
Click here to access the recording

The Mindfulness Bell Autumn 2014 

You can read and download the love letters by clicking here!


Basic Medicinal Herbs
with Savayda Jarone.
Click here to  access the recording


Find Your Roots – in the Root Cellar:
All About Cold Storage
with David Wimberley
Click here to access the recording

Adventures in Bubbles and Brine:
Fermentation Gleanings from Nova Scotia Masters
with Philip Moscovitch
Click here to access the recording


Here Yesterday – Gone Today?
How to find a Drala Spot when the natural environment becomes increasingly less hospitable.
with Agness Au & Daniel Naistadt
Click here to access the recording



A Fieldtrip into the Four Fields: Towards an Eco-Political Spirituality
With Adam Lobel
Click here to access the recording


Meeting the Earth at Karme Chöling ~ the Foragers
Click here to access the recording


For the Love of Container Gardening with Karen Llewellyn
Click here to access the recording

Green Burial with Dawn Carson and Hanna Longard
Click here to access the recording


Wild Bees are Backyard Bees with Michelle McPherson
Click here to access the recording




Living with Eco-Anxiety with Melissa Moore
Click here to access the recording




Climate Victory Gardens with Bob Cervelli
Click here to access the recording




Gratitude with Deborah Luscomb and David Wimberley
Click here to access the recording!




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


The Zoom meetings are free and open to all, but we do appreciate donations.
(Zoom info below.)


Topic: Earth Salon
Time: Every month, on the Second Sunday, 7 occurrence(s)
Passcode: Sacred
Meeting ID: 81262050347

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Earth Day Celebration–Sunday, April 24, 2022 at 3pm (Eastern)

A Sunday Gathering Outside!!
Earth Protectors,
Everywhere we go, we are on the earth.
On this day, in celebration of Earth Day, we invite everyone to go outside, wherever you are…
We will be broadcasting from outside!

Show us where you are, sing to us from the outside, dance on the stage called Earth.
“I’ll meet you there.”

Join the Shambhala Touching the Earth Collective, friends from the Land Centers, and everyone… outdoors…

Make sure you have a zoom app on the device you are taking outside, your phone or computer by the window. Family-friendly, including pets!
And if you have questions, confusions, or suggestions, write to [email protected].



“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,
there is a field. I’ll meet you there.
When the soul lies down in that grass,
the world is too full to talk about.
Ideas, language, even the phrase “each other”
doesn’t make any sense.
The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you.
Don’t go back to sleep.
You must ask for what you really want.
Don’t go back to sleep.
People are going back and forth across the doorsill
where the two worlds touch.
The door is round and open.
Don’t go back to sleep.”

From Rumi’s poem, A Great Wagon






Working with Grief and Resilience, Sunday, June 5th at 6:30pm (ET)

If you are feeling grief associated with climate disruption, changing climate, species extinction, forest fires, water and food shortages, and the disproportionate impact on marginalized populations at this time, you are not alone. Join together in community for a twice a month online group which will create 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.

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

This is a facilitated zoom group usually taking place the first Sunday evenings of each month from 6:30 – 8:00 pm EDT

Facilitator: Sara Demetry. Please email Sara ([email protected]) for the Zoom link.

24 Hours of Reality: Countdown to the Future–Recording now available!

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 enjoy the recording below!

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.






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!

MOVIE OF THE MONTH– Thursday, April 15 at 7pm (Atlantic)

From November 2020 to April 2021, we will offer a film to watch on your own time and a scheduled Zoom meeting to have a discussion based on the topic(s) presented in the film. The program will present a broad spectrum of views on our relationship with this earth and will include both documentaries and features from around the world.   

Thursdays: April 15
At: 4:00 pm (MT) / 6:00 pm (ET) / 7:00 pm (AT) 
Zoom Link
Passcode: STECfilm
Meeting ID: 895 1609 7467

1- We announce the movie in this newsletter and on the Collective’s website
2- You watch it at home or with a friend before the discussion date
3- We discuss it online in a Zoom Room, with a break-out groups format
Our Programmer for this series is British-born film brat Angela Pressburger, who has been a Program Consultant for the Vancouver International Film Festival since 2000 and has sat on documentary juries for both the Vancouver and Seattle film festivals. In 2001, Angela founded the Sunshine Coast Film Society, which is still running, and in 2012 she started the Tatamagouche Movie Group, many of whose members will be joining us for this film series. At one point she wrote a movie review column for the Shambhala Sun and she is also the co-founder of the short-lived Shambhala Agricultural Foundation, which turns out to have been just a little before its time. 

April Films:

After a lively conversation about Africa and the state of protecting the land there at our last discussion, we decided we wanted to further explore the topic of  “soil”. These are two of the best on the topic as well as being excellent documentaries which will keep you entertained as you learn. Watch the films if you can, and if you’re inspired, please join us for the discussion

Recognitions: Best Feature Documentary, Boulder, Denver, Heartland, Hamptons, Miami, Mill Valley, Newport Beach, Palm Springs, Sarasota, Sedona, Thessaloniki, and Toronto; plus numerous Critics Awards.

A testament to the immense complexity of nature, The Biggest Little Farm follows two dreamers and a dog on an odyssey to bring harmony to both their lives and the land. When the barking of their beloved dog Todd leads to an eviction notice from their tiny LA apartment, John and Molly Chester make a choice that takes them out of the city and onto 200 acres in the foothills of Ventura County, naively endeavoring to build one of the most diverse farms of its kind in complete coexistence with nature. The land they’ve chosen, however, is utterly depleted of nutrients and suffering from a brutal drought. The film chronicles eight years of daunting work and outsize idealism as they attempt to create the utopia they seek, planting 10,000 orchard trees and over 200 different crops, and bringing in animals of every kind– including an unforgettable pig named Emma and her best friend, Greasy the rooster. When the farm’s ecosystem finally begins to reawaken, so does the Chesters’ hope – but as their plan to create perfect harmony takes a series of wild turns, they realize that to survive they will have to reach a far greater understanding of the intricacies and wisdom of nature, and of life itself.


KISS THE GROUND, 202, USA, 84 min.
Recognitions: Best Documentary, LA Doc., London International Film Festival; and many Critics Awards.

About two-thirds of the world’s soil is desertifying, and the remaining topsoil will be gone within 60 years. Pesticides rebranded for farms from toxic chemicals developed by German scientist Fritz Haber, who also developed the poisons used in the gas chambers of the Holocaust, have been turning the world’s soil into dirt for decades, leading to poverty and global warming. There is hope, however, with “regenerative agriculture,” which could balance our climate, replenish our vast water supplies, and feed the world.

Josh Tickell and Rebecca Tickell examine the eye-opening history of soil narrated by three-time Academy Award® nominee and environmental activist Woody Harrelson. Including historical context about the Dust Bowl—the largest man-made environmental disaster—the film follows modern-day conservationists such as Ray Archuleta, who teaches farmers regenerative agriculture, and French Minister of Agriculture Stéphane Le Foll, who introduced the “4 per 1,000” Initiative, which 30 countries signed except for the US, China, and India. Kiss the Ground takes us around the world, showing a global movement to regenerate the world’s soil

Link to Watch the Film:
In Canada or the US: Netflix


Online Discussion: Thursday, April 15, at 7:00 p.m. Atlantic / 6:00 p.m. Eastern

Zoom Link:
Passcode: STECfilm
Meeting ID: 895 1609 7467

See you in the Movie Zoom Room!


Humanity at a Crossroads: Laudato Si’ & The Shambhala Principle—RECORDING AVAILABLE HERE!

An online gathering hosted by the Touching the Earth Collective.

 Several members of the Touching the Earth Collective discussed and compared 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.


“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.

Click here to access the document, prepared by Richard, about the Points of Convergence. 

Here is the recording for Part 1, which took place on Saturday, October 17:


Here is the recording for PART 2, which took place on Saturday, November 14.