Gaia’s Earth Jurisprudence team share five practices to help you reconnect with the Earth and your place in the web of life during Earth Jurisprudence week 2021.

Earth Jurisprudence is not just a philosophy exploring our place in the world. It something we can do – a way to restore a respectful human-Earth relationship.

During Earth Jurisprudence week we invite you to participate in a simple practice each day that will help to reawaken and deepen your sense of belonging to a vibrant web of life and an immense and sacred Universe.

From befriending a tree to walking barefoot and observing the celestial bodies, these practices cultivate intimacy, awe and wonder, opening us up to the Universe as a ‘communion of subjects’ rather than a ‘collection of objects’. 

Below is an overview of practices for the week. These practices can be carried over into daily life beyond Earth Jurisprudence Week to deepen your experience of being embedded in a living Universe and to support transformation to Earth-centred consciousness and culture.

Monday – Connecting with Trees

Photo: Jane Huber

Find a tree that you are drawn to. Introduce yourself to this living being in your own way and, if you feel welcomed to do so, sit under or lean against the trunk of the tree. Simply breathe and stay rooted and attentive; extend the crown of your head towards the sky and open all of your senses to the tree’s presence. Spend a while here and see what arises.

Tuesday – Walking Barefoot

Photo: Ruy Reis

Find a patch of grass or earth, remove shoes and socks and place your barefeet on the ground. Be aware of the intimate contact between your sensitive soles and the sensuous soil. Tread lightly or rest awhile, feeling your feet connect you directly to the energetic and material body of Mother Earth. What do you experience as you contemplate your belonging to Gaia? Notice how she holds you to her through her gravity.

Wednesday – Listening to Birdsong

Photo: Tom Bradley

Go outside, come to stillness and listen attentively to the songs and sounds of the birds around you. Open yourself to the distinct and diverse voices of these winged kin: the rhythms, tones and pitch as well as the patterns of call and response. Listen to the language of the birds and their conversations. Repeat at different times of the day and season: dawn and dusk, broody spring and fruiting autumn. 

Thursday – Observing the Sunset

Photo: Alan Jones

This sunset, find a spot facing west to witness the splendorous sun sinking below the horizon. Be present and attentive at this powerful moment of transition from day to night. Open to the awe and wonder invoked by this daily spectacle. Contemplate the rhythms of Gaia, our living Earth, embodied by this celestial cycle, among many others, from the moon’s phases to the turning of the seasons. 

Friday – Stargazing

Photo: Jeremy Thomas

As night falls, find the darkest place in your proximity and direct your gaze upwards towards the expansiveness of the night sky. Seek out the shimmer of the moon, the constellations of the stars, perhaps the Milky Way; if overcast, imagine these celestial bodies behind the veil of clouds, ancient originators of light that travels from deep space and time to meet you in this moment. Consider that you too are made of stardust.

Where can I learn more?

Explore our interactive story, Demystifying Earth Jurisprudence.

Learn more about the African Earth Jurisprudence Collective in our film Gaarú: The Growing African Movement For Earth Jurisprudence.

Sign up for Gaia’s monthly round-up of the latest Earth-centred news and inspiration from across the world.