Earth’s Joy is…

Earth’s Joy is a panantheistic, experiential spiritual practice with reverence for Nature and Spirit that does not require adherence to any specific mythology, pantheon, or tradition. At Earth’s Joy, our intent is to inspire and guide our personal spiritual journey with primary focus on and reverence for Nature, taking our cues from science, mythology, mysticism, philosophy, psychology, arts, the core spiritual practices of other cultures and beings, and the personal experiences of our students and practitioners. Earth’s Joy is a path of spirituality as well as system of spiritual tools and teachings that assists a person in understanding and empowering his or her own spiritual path with reverence for Nature. It was developed in 1991 by Dragon Li and represents a collection of core spiritual practices its practitioners have gathered over the years through trial and error through many different paths and studies.

At Earth’s Joy, we revere Nature as the material embodiment of Spirit and honor our connection to all its Beings, whether they are human, feathered, furred, scaled, plant, tree, stone, wind, or cloud. We recognize that regardless of where we are, we are one with Nature, even if we have forgotten this connection over time. Through these teachings and tools, we define our own spiritual path and learn to benefit this world and ourselves during this life we have been given. We welcome knowledge of our world to enrich our spiritual practices and constantly seek to understand ourselves and the universe. It’s not enough for us to do things the way they’ve always been done; we ask why, we seek the answers, and we embark upon our practices when we fully understand how it works and how we can make it work for us.

At Earth’s Joy, Nature is our everything. Nature is the creation and embodiment of Spirit as much as it is Spirit. All human beings are part of Nature, though much of our modern society has forgotten our sacred connection to all that is. Earth’s Joy practitioners engage in practices to continually renew that memory and connection. We see Spirit in many forms. We can see it as the essence in all things as well as a Being or Beings we can directly contact whenever we have the need or desire. How an Earth’s Joy practitioner views the universe is as individual as they are. The only requirement is a reverence for Nature and Spirit and dedicating oneself to the work involved in connecting to both.

Because we choose and form our own paths, we do not look down upon others for their chosen paths, regardless of our opinion. We also do not aim to convert others or belittle them or their beliefs. We are far too busy improving our lives and spirits to engage in such actions.

Because Earth’s Joy is a path of Earth, Nature, and Spirit, all cultures, races, sexes, and beings are respected and accepted. However, we are against teachings or actions that go against our Principles. These include hate, bigotry, sacrifice of a living being (instead of one’s own energy or time), and that which is detrimental to the Earth or Her Beings. We hold great respect for all beings, even if we do not agree with them, like them, or are afraid of them. We are all brothers and sisters, even if that brother is a grasshopper and that sister is a stone.

Earth’s Joy practitioners view Spirit as a grand Consciousness whose immensity and greatness goes far beyond that which we could ever fully comprehend as incarnated beings. This Consciousness created matter, essentially incarnating Itself as all in the measurable universe in an effort to begin to understand Itself and Its own complexities. Therefore, everything in existence is Spirit incarnate: every human, plant, bird, tree, rock, star, planet, atom, forms of light and radiation, forces of gravity and electromagnetism, everything. None are in status above or below one another. All is one. However, Spirit needs a little objectivity in understanding Itself, an outside observer so to speak. So we all forget to a certain degree what we really are. And when we remember, we tend to forget again. We are Spirit Incarnate, and we are also Spirit’s objective observers by way of a little divine amnesia.

Because of Spirit’s vastness, we pare down our experience of It by attributing images and archetypes we can readily understand. We do not view Spirit as a humanoid creature hurling thunderbolts, but for some of us, that image helps us connect to, understand, and experience Spirit a little easier. And every aspect of Spirit is as individual as each person, each aspect we connect to and understand, each image. That is why we at Earth’s Joy accept many varying paths of spirituality. We accept and understand this vastness and how understanding that vastness is up to every individual in their own way. At Earth’s Joy, all Gods, Goddesses, Spirit Beings, and all related entities are our own individual understanding of the vast greatness that is Spirit. However, this is not to reduce Gods and Goddesses to mere archetypes and nothing else. Just as we are each an individual expression of Spirit Incarnate, so are the Gods and Goddesses while still being of the whole.

Earth’s Joy has strong focus on the Elemental Beings of Nature. We see Them as the building blocks of life and spirituality. All things that we experience have at least one Element within them. We do not see the Elements as simple energies or beings to be controlled. Each has its own individual Spirit as we do, and only through such respect can we fully understand and be a part of Their gifts and teachings. At Earth’s Joy, we typically recognize five elements: Earth/Stone/Solids, Water/Liquids, Fire/Plasma/Light, Air/Wind/Gases, and Storm/Electricity/Physical Forces.

Earth’s Joy practitioners strive for balance in all things. For us, balance is an avoidance of extremes rather than a midpoint between good and bad. Any extreme can be detrimental no matter what side it falls on. We also know that it is not possible to be in a perfect midpoint of balance at all times. We see perfect balance as being a continuous fluctuation between extremes. We choose not to stray too far to one side, but we also know we must experience at least a part of every side in order to be a whole individual.

Though concepts of afterlife are individual to each person, Earth’s Joy practitioners generally believe in some form of reincarnation. Because we are one with Nature, we recognize that life runs in a circle: starting, ending, and beginning again. Most Earth’s Joy practitioners base their afterlife beliefs on this concept.

At Earth’s Joy, we honor life as much as we honor our spirits. We do not see our bodies and spirits as completely separate. Rather, we see them as expressions of each other. Although our bodies may die while our spirits live on, each body inhabited is a sacred expression of the spirit behind it. We honor all life as we honor our own.

Earth’s Joy is more than just theory and schooling. It is a way of life. Earth’s Joy teaches us to enhance and empower our lives. It also teaches us that most lessons are better learned in living The Way rather than reading about it. Therefore, step outside and seek nature in all its beauty, strength, harshness, chaos, and resurrection. Within every flower, bird, or insect are the teachings of Spirit. The words are merely guides. One must live the Way to understand and be a part of It.

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