by Lindsay Michko
As spring begins, warmer temperatures and longer days call upon us to deepen our connection to the natural world. We begin spending more time outside and taking notice of all the new growth and colors popping up in the world around us. As a celebration of Earth Day, Shambhala Publications has compiled a guide to books that will help readers to continue to connect to and celebrate the Earth, no matter the season.
Mindfully Green: A Personal and Spiritual Guide to Whole Earth Thinking
by Stephanie Kaza
For those wishing to live more in harmony with their environment, author Stephanie Kaza offers a “green practice path.” This Buddhist-inspired approach to practical and effective environmental action encourages deeper reflection on our personal impact on the natural world, and its impact on us. As Kaza explains, “When we come to see ourselves as part of the great web of life, in relationship with all beings, we are naturally drawn to respond with compassion” (xii).
Landscape as Spirit: Creating a Contemplative Garden
by Martin Hakubai Mosko & Alxe Noden
Acknowledging the value of time spent in nature, Martin Hakubai Mosko and Alxe Noden go beyond mere aesthetics to offer an approach to garden and landscape design that fosters contemplation and a deeper relationship to the land. Integrating Eastern and Western design elements, this approach serves as a reminder of the way our inner and outer worlds reflect and influence each other. This book offers, in addition to a new way to approach gardening, a collection of beautiful color photographs and design diagrams of Mosko’s gardens as examples and inspiration.
Wild Comfort: The Solace of Nature
by Kathleen Dean Moore
What can nature teach us during times of suffering? Kathleen Dean Moore explores this question in this collection of essays as beautifully descriptive as they are raw, personal, and insightful. After suffering the loss of multiple loved ones, Moore seeks healing in the form of solitude in nature, finding comfort and wisdom in her experiences, including this advice: “I don’t know why we live or die, whether that’s necessary or contingent. But I will tell my students this: life and death are all or nothing. When you die, it’s done, the chance is gone. So when you live? When you live, make it all. Don’t wait for the rain to stop. Climb out of your tent with your mind engaged and your senses ablaze and let rain pour into you” (168).
Integral Ecology: Uniting Multiple Perspectives on the Natural World
by Sean Esbjorn-Hargens & Michael Zimmerman
The issues facing our environment today are increasingly complex, and with so many different interests at stake, conflicting perspectives on what to do and what is even a “problem” abound. Here, authors Sean Esbjorn-Hargens and Michael Zimmerman present a framework for reconciling the varied, and often conflicting, views on our environment. Based on Integral Theory and the work of Ken Wilber, as well as more than a decade of research, this theoretical framework informs us in how we respond to issues such as climate change and species loss. Case studies and personal practices are also included to further clarify the theories presented in this highly informative text.
Compost City: Practical Composting Know-How for Small-Space Living
by Rebecca Louie
Living in urban environments or with little space can pose some challenges for those looking to connect with nature or live more ecologically responsible lives. Author Rebecca Louie is here to help solve these challenges with this fun and highly informative guide to making a composting practice fit into a busy life and limited amount of space. Louie debunks common myths about composting and presents several indoor and outdoor composting options, providing tips and troubleshooting for each.
As our environment faces ever-increasing stresses, deepening our connection to Earth remains invaluable. Whether spiritual, practical, or creative, our continued engagement with the natural world results in a heightened sense of interdependence with and compassion for the world around us. May these books help inspire green living and a joyful celebration of our home.