Listening To Our Mother
An Experimental Experiential Expedition On
Madre Grande Mountain
The Wisdom of the Earth cannot be expressed in words, it can only be experienced by living. It is in the food we eat, the water we drink, the air we breathe. You can find it in the feeling of sunlight upon your face, a breeze blowing through your hair, the melodic sound of bird song, the fertile smell of rain falling on parched soil.
The Wisdom of the Earth is a knowledge shared by all living beings, encoded in our DNA and reflected in the balance and interrelationship of all life on Earth. It goes beyond words and thought. It is one thing to describe the beauty and wonder of nature and quite another experience it-- to stand on the top of a mountain peak and gaze out across a vast panorama of earth and sky to the horizon far away, to watch the luminous shifting colors of a sunset over the mountains, to walk through the power and majesty of a grove of towering redwood trees, or even to enjoy the beauty and scent of a patch of flowers in a garden. It is a feeling that leaves us speechless.
When we take a hike in the woods or desert, or walk along the ocean shore, or even sit quietly in a city park, we can lose ourselves and escape the confines of our own self-imposed mental restraints. We see and experience life and existence beyond our own egos. Our thoughts are stilled, our hearts are opened, and “I myself alone” becomes “I am the Earth alive”. To lose ourselves in nature is to touch our ancient roots of consciousness, to know the true reality and condition of our existence. Earth Wisdom is not merely knowing, it is being. It is a primal heartbeat, the first stirring of consciousness within the womb.
Humans are funny little creatures, such clever little monkeys. We have used our clever monkey minds to create all sorts of tools and machines and social systems to shape our environment and suit our wants and needs. We farm plants and domesticate animals. We build cities and civilizations. We establish and inherit rules, cultures, and beliefs, and then conclude these are the only truth and reality that exists. We lose contact with the very source of our life and being. We cut ourselves off from the complex interwoven web of life on Earth, and deny our deep interrelatedness with all creatures.
In our civilized world we are constantly surrounded by human things; buildings, cars, books, furnishings, cell phones, computer screens, and just about everything we see and interact with on a daily basis. We exist in a cloud of human thought, creation, and activity-- of clocks, jobs, appointments, breaking news, expert opinions, and the entire cacophony of our modern life. Virtually every thought in our heads is about human affairs, human wants, human needs. Many people spend their entire lives completely surrounded by the artificial creation of human civilization and ego.
We as a society have become virtually autistic, scarcely perceiving the existence of other beings, other voices from the multitude of living creatures on Earth, of the Earth itself. There was a time, not long ago, when we knew intimately our relationship with other animals, when our very survival depended on being able to read an animal’s tracks in the dirt, or feel a change in the weather, or know which plant is good to eat and which is poisonous. It is not merely knowledge we have lost, but a deeper realization and connection with the environment around us. So many people have lost the Wisdom of the Earth.
A great number of people may take vacations and visit nature on rare occasions. In their own words they “get away”, they “escape” . Many seek to commune with nature in recreation (re-creation), and some may even feel the ghost of a feeling deep inside, hear the faintest whisper of an ancient voice on the wind, catch the scent of nature in it’s pure, raw form. For the most part, nature is seen as a form of amusement, a pleasant distraction, best viewed from the comfort of an RV, in a National Park with clean and tidy restrooms. We often seem afraid or unwilling to take nature as it comes, to leave behind our human constraints, both mental and physical. We find it difficult and unpleasant to see beyond the thin veneer of our civilization, to remove the comfortable mask of our human identity and contact nature in its pure, wild truth and beauty. We often seem ashamed or terrified to admit that we are really just clever little monkeys on a planet teeming with other lifeforms of almost infinite beauty and complexity. We refuse to see that we are a part of the Earth, no matter what we think, as unique and interdependent as cells in the body of a larger organism.
We are the Earth. We eat the soil and breathe the sky. Everything humans have done or made comes from the Earth: Our cities, farms, and factories, our art and music, even our wars and seemingly endless cruelties. Human civilization is, in a very real and practical sense, a direct extension of nature. How can it not be? Where else could it come from?
The devastation we are currently unleashing on the Earth’s biosphere, the global environmental changes we are causing, originates not from our tools and machines but from how we use them, from how we relate to the Earth. When we separate ourselves mentally from the rest of life on Earth, when we hear only human voices and see only human creations and needs, then the Earth, our Great Mother, becomes merely a thing to use, a resource to plunder. We are blind and deaf to the Wisdom of the Earth.
We call the Earth our Great Mother, and this is more than just a metaphor. There is a presence and being in the Earth beyond our understanding, a wisdom beyond all words. She is Gaia, she is the primordial Mother Goddess, she is real.
At Made Grande we do not worship the Earth, we honor and respect her. We acknowledge and accept our place in the web of life on Earth, and recognize our limitations as clever little monkeys. We share the Earth with all our relations, human and otherwise. We strive to be humane as well as human, to live with compassion and gratitude for the gift and abundance of life.
It is our purpose and responsibility to hold the space at Madre Grande Monastery as a Sacred sanctuary for nature, a place of communion and connection for the Great Mother and her human children. We can use words to paint conceptual pictures of the Truth, of our experience and reality, but we cannot begin to capture the depth and meaning of the Great Mother, of the Wisdom of The Earth.
To know this Truth, you may come to Madre Grande and walk the land and climb the hills, breathe the air and touch the stones. Still your mind and remove your human mask, and you may hear the ancient whispers in the wind, the voices of all your relations. Free your soul and open your heart, and listen…. listen….
The Wisdom of the Earth is trying to teach you and heal you.
A Sacred site for healing, teaching, ceremony, and celebration
Madre Grande Monastery
For over forty years Madre Grande Monastery has been a sacred site for teaching, healing, ceremony, and celebration. Thousands of people following many positive spiritual paths have visited the land and felt the deep joy and wonder of our shared human experience on Earth. Most activities have taken place in the valley near the Monastery facilities, and only a few adventurous and hearty souls have ventured to climb the Mother Mountain, to listen to her profound and inspiring wisdom and power. Find out more here.