Christmas Break and New Year Events 22/23

We won’t be having a live meeting at St Marks on 29 December but will have a little Zoom Be-in instead at 7pm. This is a chance to have a cup of tea together from the comfort of our own homes and share any poems, readings, anecdotes, songs, tunes, stories or pretty much anything that has touched you this year or that you think might be uplifting/inspiring or encouraging for others. We’ll play it completely by ear and just see what crops up, or doesn’t, and just relax together for a while with whoever comes.

If you aren’t already on our mailing list but would like to take part please fill in the contact form and Pete will add you to the list.

The next in person meeting will be as usual at St Marks on Thursday 5th January at 7:15pm.

Save the date 1: There will be a tree planting ceremony on 22nd January 2023 1:30pm at the Meadows Community Garden. This is to commemorate Thich Nhat Hanh’s first visit to the UK. He lead a walk from the Meadows in 2003.

Save the date 2: A group of monastics from Plum Village will visit Edinburgh on 24th May 2023. There will be a number of events on that day including a dedication of the tree.

More details of both events will be posted here and on our mailing list.

Morning of Mindfulness on Saturday 3 December from 9.30am to 2pm

“Most of us experience a life full of wonderful moments and difficult moments. But for many of us, even when we are most joyful, there is fear behind our joy…. Fearlessness is not only possible, it is the ultimate joy. When you touch nonfear, you are free.”

Thich Nhat Hanh, Fear: Essential Wisdom for Getting Through the Storm

We live in troubled times. Who knows what the future holds? The narrative of despair, fear, lack, antagonism, impending catastrophe grows with every newscast. Yet deep down we know that another future is possible. And the future begins in the present moment. Only by living in trust, faith, beauty, and joy can we create the future we want.

True joy is possible only when we acknowledge and accept the pain of living—grief, fear, rage, sorrow. Sometimes it is easier to do this in the company of compassionate friends. We will spend a day together exploring what gets in the way of joy, and experiencing joy through meditation, walking in nature, singing, and sharing from the heart.

“When you stay fully present with your feelings, your sensations, and the world around you, even when it seems dark and cold, joy will arise. Joy and suffering are two sides of the same coin.”

Cuong Lu, Wait: A Love Letter to Those in Despair

HALF DAY OF MINDFULNESS: Saturday 12th November from 9am – 1.30pm


Dear Friends

A wee reminder about the upcoming morning of mindfulness which will be led by Gill and Jess.

The focus will be on autumn and impermanence.

“The lifespan of a leaf and the powers of a leaf are like those of a Buddha, immeasurable. The same can be said for each one of us”

Thich Nhat Hanh

We will follow Interbeing practice with guided, walking, and silent sitting meditations along with touching the earth and dharma sharing.

Please bring some vegetarian food to share.

Autumn blessings to all from the Wild Geese Sangha.

Breathing for the Earth with Earth Holders Edinburgh

Join us for this month’s Breathing for the Earth, which will be taking place on Saturday 1st October, and will be a special event. We will meet at the earlier time of 12 noon at Coffee Saints for a mindful climate conversation, a space to share our feelings about the ecological crisis.
This will be followed, at about 1pm, by a public meditation and Bell Busking session outside in the square (by the Paolozzi sculptures), where we will play meditation bells (aka singing bowls) made from butane and propane gas cylinders, in a symbolic act of transforming the energy of fossil fuels into the energy of mindfulness. Please come to one or both parts of the event, and bring your friends!

For more detail about what to bring, and to let us know you’re coming, please check Eventbrite!

Breathing for the Earth: Bringing Stillness to Edinburgh City Centre image
Location of our public meditation

Read on for a letter from Robert:

The queue to pay respects to the Queen’s coffin.

Dear friends,

We’ve passed the equinox and the weather has become autumnal, by turns rainy and chilly. The mile-long queues to view the royal coffin have gone, as have the heaps of cut flowers from supermarkets and recycling centres.

I didn’t particularly want to join the queue*, so marked the Queen’s passing with a ceremony of my own: I went to scrump apples in Holyrood Park (which belongs to the Crown, of course). Since I picked them on Friday, the day after she died, but before Charles took the oath of Accession, does that mean they were technically interregnal apples, with no actual owner? Either way, they made a delicious crumble which, as it happened, we shared with friends on the day of the funeral.

What I did wonder, though, as I watched the endless queues and the blanket media coverage of what was, after all, the passing of one particularly well-known and -respected human being, a symbolic grandmother to more than one nation, was this: When will we see the mass outpourings of grief for the suffering and damage done to that great bodhisattva, our cosmic mother, Planet Earth? Are we as a society so disconnected from nature that we are not able to grieve when ancient woodlands are destroyed to make way for roads or high-speed rail lines, when floods and wildfires appear on our screens almost daily, when the mercury hits 40 degrees in England? Do we just numb our feelings with more consumption and carry on rushing faster and faster into an ever more ominous future?

Earth Holders bell made from a gas cylinder.

These questions may seem gloomy or depressing. In this culture, we are not exactly encouraged to explore uncomfortable feelings in public. But as Earth Holders, we believe it’s vital for us to get in touch with our feelings about the ecological crisis: to remain mindful and conscious of them, though not to be overwhelmed by them. For this reason we have decided it’s a good moment to hold a “Mindful Climate Conversation”, where we will be able to share our feelings about the ecological crisis. This will be followed by an outdoor session of meditation and Bell Busking, as described above.

We hope you can make it!

For the earth,

for Earth Holders Edinburgh

* PS: The word QUEUE is very accurate, as it consists of one letter doing something useful and four letters standing in a row behind it doing nothing at all. (Not an original or new observation but I though it was quite relevant.)

About Earth Holders Edinburgh

Earth Holders Edinburgh is a community taking mindful action for Mother Earth. We practice non-violent direct action for the sake of our beloved planet and all life. We see this as an integral part of our spiritual life, balancing the inner path of mindfulness with the outer path of action. We come from different spiritual traditions, and are open to members of all faiths and none. We draw strength and wisdom from our connection with nature and with the Earth. We are an evolving and inclusive group actively seeking new members. You can sign up to our newsletter or see our full purpose statement here.

The Silent Rebellion movement originated in Cambridge, where XR Cambridge has held several peaceful public meditations.

Mindful Peace Walk @ Lauriston Castle, 26 June 2022

Jointly organized by the Edinburgh International Centre for Spirituality and Peace, EICSP, Scottish Charity, SC038996, and the Edinburgh Sangha of the Community of Interbeing.

  • Venue: Lauriston Castle, 2 Cramond Road South, Edinburgh. EH4 6AD.
  • Date: Sunday 26 June 2022.
  • Time: 12 noon. Gather in front of Lauriston Castle for 12 noon.
  • Event Description: This silent walking meditation is an open event. It will be led by the lay members of the Edinburgh Sangha of the Community of Interbeing, who follow the practice and teachings of Zen Buddhist Master, Thich Nhat Hanh. Before the walk begins there will be a brief introduction to mindful walking as a meditation practice. This is not a protest or a campaigning event, so please do not use any banners. Children are welcome when accompanied by adults. Please remember to wrap up warmly.

‘We walk just for walking. We walk with freedom and solidity, no longer in a hurry. Let us enjoy every step we make.’

Thich Nhat Hanh

Retreat with Murray Corke + Dene Donalds Tuesday 13 – Friday 16 Sept 2022 @Wiston Lodge

Nature Connection Retreat in South Scotland: Exploring our Global Footprint: Plum Village Tradition: Touching the Earth in Mindfulness

We shall draw on Thich Nhat Hanh’s Zen and the Art of Saving the Planet and his Love Letter to the Earth.

Based in glorious woodland setting of Wiston Lodge – an hour south of both Edinburgh and Glasgow – this is an opportunity to reflect on our place in the natural world.

All food is vegan and home cooked. Bring real money for a wonderful bookstall, Dana for our programme leaders plus footwear and water-proofs for Mindful Walking in the grounds.

One booking / person – simply book a second place same way. Three days and nights’ accommodation + full board at Wiston: Shared Room £225 / Single Room £255 / Camping £145. For how pay please contact David by email.