Earth Care 2022

Appreciation for Meaningfulness

SanghaSeva | Meditation in Action
2 min readFeb 19, 2022

By Zac Newman

I’m continuing to feel waves of gratitude and meaningfulness from our recent retreat.

I have remembered that on my way to the retreat, I was listening to a recording of James Hillman, in which he suggested that a human being’s purpose in the world was to appreciate the world. In the afterglow of our time together, I am noticing that my capacity to appreciate has grown, in particular in relation to soil, trees, and worms.

This appreciation is not so much just the dutiful appreciation of a self-conscious practitioner, but something more immediate and easier too, something that at times flows effortlessly.

My sense is that it is a consequence of really having spent time in nature. I am relating to soil, trees, and worms more as subjects with dimensions and life journeys, rather than objects to which I owe something ethically.

The care I feel is deep but also easy — of course I don’t want to harm these beings that I know. They are now inside my circle, so to speak, and as such it feels natural to sense their valuableness, to want to nurture them and not cause harm.

This appreciation and care are profound blessings from the retreat, not just because they make acting ethically so much lighter a path, but also because they bring with them beauty and preciousness and sacredness. And gratitude — for you (Nathan and Zohar — the retreat facilitators), in all the richness of your efforts and example, and for the aliveness of all beings.