What is Spiritual Ecology?
Spiritual Ecology is a spiritual response to our present ecological crisis. It is a developing field that joins ecology and environmentalism with the awareness of the sacred within creation. It calls for responses to environmental issues that include spiritual awareness and/or practice. The principles of spiritual ecology are simple: In order to resolve such environmental issues as depletion of species, global warming, and over-consumption, humanity must examine and reassess our underlying attitudes and beliefs about the earth, and our spiritual as well as physical responsibilities toward the planet. Thus, ecological renewal and sustainability necessarily depends upon spiritual awareness and an attitude of responsibility.
Central to Spiritual Ecology is an understanding of the interdependence and living unity of the ecosystem. Real sustainability refers to the sustainability of the whole ecosystem rather than our energy-intensive, consumer-driven culture. This will require a re-evaluation of the central aspects of our materialistic culture as we move towards a way of life that is in harmony with the earth as a living whole, a culture that cares for the soul as well as the soil. Spiritual Ecology is not based upon any single religion or spiritual path, rather the primary recognition of the sacred nature of all of creation.
The field of Spiritual Ecology is informed by the foundational work of Thomas Berry, Joanna Macy, Mary Evelyn Tucker, Wendell Berry, Thich Nhat Hanh, Vandana Shiva, Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee, among others. For more information on the groundbreaking book "Spiritual Ecology: The Cry of the Earth" featuring essays by these writers, philosophers and spiritual teachers, please visit the book page.