May 29, 2011

Global Action Lived Locally: A Case Study from the United States of America

Linking Spirituality, Care for Earth, Justice, and Mercy

All creation is God’s gift and that we live on our home, Earth, with reverence and responsible care.

Sisters of Mercy of the Americas


Impelled by the urgent crisis of violence to our Earth, the Sisters of Mercy are committed to Awakening the Dreamer, Changing the Dream. Through this initiative the Sisters of Mercy seek to inspire each of us to play a role in creating an environmentally sustainable, spiritually fulfilling, and socially just human presence on this planet.

What is Awakening the Dreamer?

In the mid-1990's, a group of North Americans visited a remote and intact group of indigenous people - the Achuar - located deep in the Amazonian region of Ecuador.

This relationship that was to become The Pachamama Alliance, was actually initiated by the indigenous elders and shamans themselves who, out of their deep concern for the growing threat to their ancient way of life, and their recognition that the roots of this threat lay far beyond their rainforest home, actively sought the partnership of committed individuals living in the modern world.

From the beginning, our indigenous partners have reminded us that one of the most powerful actions that can be taken in support of the rainforest and its inhabitants is to “change the dream of the North,” since it is our dream—our desires and appetites—that is driving the destruction of the rainforests around the world. Ultimately, to assure the long-term survival of our rainforests, and indeed of the natural world and even ourselves, we need to address the core values and ways of seeing the world that are deeply imbedded in our modern worldview.

The Pachamama Alliance’s two-fold mission:

  • To preserve the Earth’s tropical rainforests by empowering the indigenous people who are its natural custodians
  • To contribute to the creation of a new global vision of equity and sustainability for all

The Pachamama Alliance is committed to finding ways to support a growing effort to help us awaken from the seductive trance of unlimited progress, unrestrained private interest and material accumulation. We are clear that there is now an unprecedented opportunity to live from a new vision, one made possible by the merging of two ways of seeing the world that until now have seemed to be totally distinct— a marriage of the technological skill of the modern world, with the earth-honouring wisdom of indigenous cultures.

Awakening the Dreamer, Changing the Dream is a program of The Pachamama Alliance that serves as a galvanizing space for individuals to deeply explore the extraordinary possibilities inherent in a communion of technology with spirit. Through participation in this program, people are offered a new place to stand in looking at their world and their lives, and are empowered to formulate their own personal daily practices that contribute to the creation of a new dream for themselves as well as for our world.

All of the Sisters of Mercy, who have taken the message of Awakening the Dreamer/Changing the Dream as one of their initiatives, are "impelled to commit our lives and resources to act in solidarity with women and children, to act in harmony and interdependence with all creation, and to call ourselves to continual conversion in our lifestyles and ministries”. The Sisters of Mercy USA Northeast Community and Companions, who have been involved in this programme recently adopted a corporate stand on climate change, in which they are pledging to reduce their carbon footprint by 5 to 10 percent starting right now. They also pledge to continue education and advocacy around global climate change.

How can you join in this effort to save our planet?

Go to Awakening the Dreamer, Changing the Dream to learn more about this worldwide initiative and to locate a workshop being offered near you. Hundreds of Sisters of Mercy, associates, companions, staff and students have already participated in this program.

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