A year or so ago I had a dream: I am in what seems to be a church, and the altar—the holy place that radiates spiritual force and blessings to the congregation—is in the center of the room, with space for the congregation all around it. But the “altar” is actually not a human-constructed altar—it is a vast virgin forest. In the mysterious way of dreams, an endless, verdant forest manages to also occupy a delimited area at the center of this church-like physical space. And symbolically it clearly shows that the forest is at the center of the spiritual work that takes place here.
I grew up irregularly attending the United Church of Christ until I was 10 or 11, when I lost interest. One thing I remember is the solemn layout of the church, with the pews fixed rigidly in place, lined up to face the altar and raised pulpit in front, where the minister delivered his weekly sermons. It didn’t feel much different from going to an assembly in the auditorium at school, with the authorities in front, standing above and removed from the “congregation” of us restless kids. [Read more…] about Gaia in the Center