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Belonging to Earth

December 5-6, 2020 - A 24-Hour Online Global Vigil

Join for as long as you are inspired.

Bear Witness to the Living Earth

We are Earth.
Just like Earth, our bodies are 70% water,
with the same proportion of salt as the oceans.
Our bones are made strong by limestone
that comes from prehistoric shellfish.
Every atom of our body
has been a rock or a butterfly or a daisy or a lion.
What we call mountain, air, and ocean
are the bones, the breath, and the blood
of our most ancient ancestors
and our future descendants.
We belong to Earth.

Come together for the Earth--Our Mother & Home

What is One World Bearing Witness?

Here's a short video about this 24-hour vigil.

You're Invited...

To join thousands of humans across our planet to bear witness in joy and gratitude to our cosmic mother, Earth.

During one full rotation of the Earth, from the 5th to the 6th of December 2020, we will gather together in our homes, houses of worship, community centers, and sacred spaces through the global connective power of the internet to bear witness to Earth, our Mother and Home.

At the end of such a difficult year–with the coronavirus, polarization, raging fires and storms–let’s come together in gratitude for life on our precious planet.  Let’s join in affirming the beauty that this Earth makes possible for each of us every day. Let’s celebrate the beautiful world we are part of.

Bearing Witness is a spiritual practice as well as an act of conscience and heart. When we bear witness, we allow the full truth touch us in the deepest part of our selves. We allow ourselves to open to the complexity and mystery of our relationship to Earth. Bearing Witness is a practice of spiritual warriorship that helps us to develop the depth of joy that is our birthright and that allows us to embrace the deepest grief. It enables us to hold more of the whole of life and to respond from that wholeness. We connect with the truth that we are not separate from life, our Mother, Earth, or from each other.

You are invited to join the vigil for as long as you are inspired–from one hour to the full 24 or to come and go. You will be supported and guided into meditation, contemplation, stillness, and depth by spiritual leaders and sacred activists from across the globe. We will provide you with materials to help you create a sacred space for this meditative journey. Together, we can create a global field of living connection that helps us to realize how deeply we belong to Earth.

We are in a planning phase now–we are contacting amazing human beings who have made a deep commitment to life and to Earth that they will share with us. (See all of the wonderful people below who have guided us in our previous events.) Early in November 2020, we will post a schedule so that you can see who will be guiding the event.

You are welcome to register! Registration is free. If you would like to make a donation, we would appreciate your support. We share donations with organizations that are protecting and supporting Earth through these difficult times for all of her creatures.

Our Past Guides

Spiritual Leaders & Sacred Activists, 2015-2019

Ibrahim Abouleish Egypt, 2015
Mary Adams, Australia, 2015
bayo at mike in color small
Adebayo Akómoláfé Nigeria, 2015, 2017-18
Yene Assegid, Ethiopia, 2015
Swami Atmapriyananda India, 2015
Benedictine Sisters of Dinklage Abtei Germany, 2017
Aunkh H Chabalala So. Africa, 2017-18, 2020
Jorge Crescente Argentina, 2017
Sandra DeLaronde Turtle Island (US), 2015
Arif Dirlik, US, 2015
Rami Avraham Efal Israel, 2018-19, 2020
Charles Eisenstein, US, 2015, 2019
Wael Farouq, Egypt, 2015
Ica Fernandez, Philippines, 2015
Grandmother Flordemayo Nicaragua, 2017-18
Walter Fluker, US, 2015
Peter Florian Frank Germany, 2017
GINHAWA, Philippines, 2017-18
Vicki Grieves, Australia, 2015
Diane Musho Hamilton US, 2015
Rabbi Jill Hammer, US, 2019
Angelo & Aninay Herrera, Philippines, 2017-18
Gail Hochachka Canada, 2015
Thomas Hübl, Austria, 2015
Pir Zia Inayat-Khan Iran/US, 2017-18, 2019
Wanta Jampijmpa Australia, 2015
Dr. Kelly Jennings, US, 2020
Santiago Jimenez Columbia, 2015
Cynthia Jurs, US, 2017-18, 2020
Alnoor Ladha, Canada, 2017
Ruth Langford Tasmania, 2017-19
Annette Kaiser Switzarland, 2015, 2020
Sabine Lichtenfels Germany, 2017
Tulku Lobsang, Tibet, 2017-18
Arjuna Hiffler Mani Switzerland, 2017
Dr. Rama Mani, India, 2017
Nadia Manzoor, UK, 2015
Thomas Mendoza Guatemala, 2017
Vincent Moon, France, 2017
Amir Ahmad Nasr Sudan, 2015
Nayri Niara, Tasmania, 2017-18
David Nicol US, 2017-18, 2020
Metsa Nihue, France, 2019, 2020
Nagahori Noriko Japan, 2017
Serena Olsen, US, 2017-18
Terry Patten, US, 2017, 2020
Marko Pogacnik Slovenia, 2017
Chonon Quena Sweden/Haiti, 2017
Maira Rahme, Brazil, 2015
Raul Rosado-Quinones Puerto Rico, 2015
Rose Sackey-Milligan US, 2017-18
Shelley Sacks, South Africa, 2017
Kalpana Sampath, India, 2015
Lotan Sapir & Miriam Turmalin, Israel, 2017
Yehudit Sasportas Israel, 2015
Monica Sharma, India, 2015
Sach’a Sawila Argentina, 2019
Sushant Shrestha Nepal, 2015
Brother David Steindl-Rast, Austria, 2017-18
Fumi Johns Stewart, US, 2017
Moetu Taiha, New Zealand, 2017
Abhishek Thakore & SAYC, India, 2017
Thanissara, So. Africa, 2019, 2020
Abhishek Thapar, India, 2017
Enghebatu Togochug So. Mongolia, 2015
Yael Treidel, Israel, 2015
Andrew Venezia, US, 2017
Rajan Venkatesh, India, 2015
Pi Villaraza Philippines, 2019
Adrian Wagner Germany, 2015
Paul Wang, China, 2020
Rabbi Sheila Weinberg US, 2017
Master Zhongxian Wu China, 2015

Your hosts

Elizabeth Debold

Elizabeth is founder of One World in Dialogue, and this annual mediation vigil. She is a long-term meditator, and explores the potential of conscious We Spaces as a spiritual practice. She is inspired to experiment with new forms of sacred activism that arise from diversity-in-unity.

Thomas Steininger

Thomas is a philosopher and co-founder of One World in Dialogue. He is also publisher of the German quarterly evolve, and host of Radio evolve, which is in German and English. He is deeply committed to developing new forms of sacredness as a means of changing culture.

Schedule coming soon!

The 24-hour vigil will be divided into different parts, each led by a guide who will focus on a different aspect of our belonging to Earth.

After each guide shares with us, we then sit in silence, to allow ourselves to take in what has been offered through deep meditation and contemplation of bearing witness to Earth.

Frequently Asked questions

Human beings create vigils, often staying up through the night, as a way of showing love and respect for something or someone.

A vigil is a form of ritual, which is a solemn ceremony used to mark or celebrate important events in the life of a human being or people. Vigils activate deep forces and connectivity within us.

One World Bearing Witness is a new kind of ritual that allows us to come together globally to show our love and respect for the Earth and all of Life on our beloved home.

Using the connectivity of the latest web-based videoconferencing, communities across the planet will be able to join together in meditation to express and create a deeper experience of interdependence with Earth.

“Bearing witness” has a deep spiritual, historical, and psychological significance that all relate to the intention behind One World Bearing Witness. Essentially, we bring our presence, care, and awareness to the deepest truth we can touch, in the face of all that divides and acts against Life.
In Christianity and Islam, bearing witness refers to acknowledging and standing for the Light, Goodness, and Truth – no matter what the cost.

After the Holocaust in World War II and in contexts like the South African Truth & Reconciliation Commission, bearing witness means bringing the truth to light so that a nation or people may grapple with their past. The core hope is never again.

In trauma therapy, where listening with empathy to someone’ s story is a first step in healing, bearing witness brings the survivor back into human community through the empathic recognition that he or she has suffered a deep moral wrong.

Roshi Bernie Glassman has revitalized the practice of bearing witness through his bearing witness retreats in Auschwitz, Rwanda, Bosnia, and other places that hold cultural trauma. One World Bearing Witness is held within his tradition.

You can bear witness in silent meditation in our Zoom Room videoconference. Each of the seven 3-hour Meditation Cycles will present a different theme for bearing witness.
We are inspired in our work by Roshi Bernie Glassman, founder of Zen Peacemakers International. His “three tenets” have guided bearing witness retreats in Auschwitz, Rwanda, and on Native American reservations in the US. The tenets are:

NOT-KNOWING – letting go of fixed ideas about yourself, others, and the universe;

BEARING WITNESS – to the joy and suffering of the world, which means holding both in open awareness and full presence; and
TAKING ACTION – that arises from Not-Knowing and Bearing Witness.

Our hope is that this 24-hour vigil will inspire new actions rooted in the joyous depth of nonseparation and a recognition of the pain of division.

Virtual means that the event happens online, through your smartphone, tablet, laptop or computer. The event will be live-streamed using the latest Zoom Videoconferencing and Webinar capacities. While the team producing the event will be in Frankfurt and Berlin, Germany, anyone from anywhere there is 4G or internet service can participate. After you register, you will be sent information and a link to access the event right before December 8.
No, you can take part for as long as you want to or can. We suggest that you might want to take part in one full, three-hour meditation cycles. That way you can have the experience of bearing witness and going through the process of one full cycle. But it’s up to you. Keep in mind, though, that a vigil often involves staying up through the night as a gesture of honor and respect. You may find that this is what you feel pulled to do.

First, thank you very much for donating! The donations help to support the producers of the vigil, emerge bewusstseinskultur e.V., which is a German educational charity, and Zen Peacemakers International, a public charity in the US. emerge-bk is the parent of One World in Dialogue and One World Bearing Witness. A portion of each donation will also be given to organizations fighting for the integrity of the Amazon and its peoples.

Yes! If you sign up for the vigil, we will send you access to each speaker’s recording as soon as possible after the vigil.

You can always contact us through our customer service email: For the event itself, we will send out additional ways for you to get the help you need. We strongly recommend that you test your internet connection and try out Zoom before the event starts. We have a very small volunteer staff and, on the day of the vigil, it can take some time before we can get back to you. We wouldn’t want you to miss the parts that you want to participate in!

Join us! December 5-6, 2020!