This book is offered to all free of charge in PDF format, thanks to the generous
support of many benefactors including the Estates of Hector and Winnifred Tate.



Introduction


The Five-Wings-of-the-Heart
is a mandala teaching, a philosophy of life expressed through visual forms,
about saying YES to life in five ways,
about nurturing life in widening circles,
and under very difficult circumstances.

I share it with you as one possible path
toward living mindfully and compassionately
in a world facing a set of enormous
and overlapping challenges, including:
climate chaos, perpetual war, relentless inequality,
runaway industrial poisoning of the Earth,
and global species extinction.

and thus we have, many of us,
a more keenly felt and unavoidable calling
to transform the world in which we live.

And second, there is a growing mountain of evidence,
from all the Earth sciences and from the study of complex systems,
that everything here on Earth, including us,
is deeply interwoven with everything else.

(Careful study suggests that native peoples have always known this.
Ecology and systems theory are modern rediscoveries of it.)

This theme of deep connectedness is also at the heart, both uplifting
and challenging, of most spiritual traditions across the world.
But in our individualistic, short-sighted, take-all-you-can-get, culture
so many people do not want to recognize that interwovenness,
no matter how many regretful and traumatized soldiers kill themselves,
or how many species of plants and animals disappear from view
as we humans push them over the brink of extinction.

It is not at all clear how we humans will survive
if we do not develop a more interwoven and cooperative vision
of the world and ourselves.  The ecologist and systems theorist
Donella Meadows counsels us, however, that the unfolding
of such a vision will probably meet with great resistance
precisely because it is such a deeply personal, life-changing, process.

More than half a century ago, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.,
contemplating U.S. preparations for a nuclear war that (we now know)
would have killed all of us, warned us in the strongest possible language,
that if we did not learn to live together as brothers [and sisters]
we would surely perish together as fools.
Today, it is clear that learning to live together as sisters and brothers
desperately needs to be reaffirmed in relation to all people on Earth
and extended to reach the entire web of life, on which our lives depend.

Please find your way to live and to help
that deep green awakening of connectedness and compassion.

And may the Five-Wings-of-the-Heart mandalas help you on your way.