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.
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
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 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.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org. 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!