Finding Our Way Home: A Spiritual Journey into Earth Community was born from two passions in my life about two problems in our world. My first passion is my hunger for the healing of our broken planet. In these times, the earth is changing, many species are dying, the weather has gone chaotic, and we are in big trouble. We need to find a way to live on this earth in mutually beneficial relationship with all other beings. The term Earth Community evokes for me the interconnected web of all living beings on earth. It was used originally by the Earth Charter as an expression of a society built on partnership among people and with the natural world, with universal responsibility to and for one another and the earth.
My second passion is for spirituality, and for finding ways to free it from the baggage that has been attached to it by dogmatic or judgmental religions. I want to make a doorway into spirituality for skeptics, searchers, activists, and those who may think of themselves as not religious. I want to rethink our understanding of God, in a way that honors the connections between everything that exists. I explore a Spirituality that wakes us up to our connection with the earth, with each other, and with the Mystery at the heart of everything. If we experience our connections, we can heal. Alice Walker has said, “Anything we love can be saved.”
Finding Our Way Home: A Spiritual Journey into Earth Community shares a spiritual journey that is holistic, grounded, communal, and ecologically faithful.
I have also created a book by the same name as the blog–Finding Our Way Home: A Spiritual Journey Into Earth Community. This blog was first born as a venue for sharing the ideas in early versions of the manuscript, and then the manuscript further evolved as well. In December of 2016, the book will be available through Small Bird Press via lulu.com. Find out more on the blog page headed “The Book.” From the back cover:
In this time of ecological crisis, all that is holy calls us into a more intimate partnership with the diverse and beautiful beings of this earth. In Finding Our Way Home, Myke Johnson reflects on her personal journey into such a partnership and offers a guide for others to begin this path.
Learning from the Indigenous philosophy that everything is related, she found in her plant and animal neighbors generous teachers for a way back to connection: a chamomile flower, a small bird, a copper beech tree, a garden slug, a forest fern. Their lessons are interwoven with insights from environmental science, fractal geometry, childhood Catholic mysticism, the prophet Elijah, fairy tales, and permaculture design. Each chapter includes practices for further reflection and experience.
This eco-spiritual journey also wrestles with the long history of our society’s destruction of the natural world. Johnson investigates its roots in the original theft of the land from Indigenous peoples and in other violent oppressions between human beings. Exploring the spiritual dimensions of our brokenness, she offers tools to create healing. Here is a map into a new relationship with earth, with each other, and with the Spirit within and between all. Lyrically expressed, Finding Our Way Home is a ceremony to remember our essential unity with all of life.
Myke Johnson is a Unitarian Universalist minister and earth activist, serving a congregation in Portland, Maine, while practicing and teaching ecological spirituality. She holds a Master of Divinity from Chicago Theological Seminary and a Doctor of Ministry from Episcopal Divinity School.
Sections of the Blog
I have organized my posts into five categories, and there are two pages with permanent links.
In Redefining Spirituality are posts that redefine and reclaim spirituality for the purpose of finding healing and wholeness in our time. Spirituality is not about a set of beliefs, but is rather the experience we can have of being connected to the larger reality of which we are a part. A spiritual journey is the path we take to wake up our awareness of this connection.
In Wrestling with God, I banish old definitions that might be rigid or oppressive, and explore new understandings. God is not a judge or a king, but a name that points to the larger Mystery, the essential wholeness between all that exists, which cannot be defined or put into a box. But we can explore this Mystery with creativity and metaphor.
In Awake to Earth, I share ideas about how we can cultivate a deep intimacy with the earth, honor our fellow beings here, and learn from the earth how to make changes so that we all can survive and flourish. It means recognizing that we are inseparable from this planet which is our home, and knowing it in our bones.
In Awake to Each Other, I explore our connections to our fellow human beings on this planet. We have been encouraged to think of ourselves as individuals, in competition with each other, rather than to recognize that we are one human family. I look at the underpinnings of this individualism, the roots of injustice, and offer alternatives for going forward—building community, finding belonging in just and mutual partnership, and seeing the beauty and Mystery within our relationships.
In Awake to Mystery, I explore our experience of the whole, and the process of shifting our consciousness, and finding infinity within our own souls. I look at new understandings of prayer, and the help we can find from the larger whole for the struggles of our time.
On the page, Cultural Theft?, I have posted my essay “Wanting to Be Indian: When Spiritual Searching Turns Into Cultural Theft,” originally published in 1995. It explores the problem of the cultural appropriation of Indigenous traditions.
On the page, The Book, is further information about the book and how to order it.
Note: All photos on this blog have been taken by me, unless otherwise identified. Some photos are by my partner Margy Dowzer, and occasionally we can’t remember which one of us took a particular photo. Please do not use without my permission, thanks. All text copyright Myke Johnson.