Summoned by the Earth. Becoming a Holy Vessel for Healing our World. Author Cynthia Jurs. A book review

A Buddhist teacher, Cynthia Jurs of California and New Mexico, embarked on a worldwide mission to plant small Earth Filled Vessels (EFVs), filled with earth and herbal plants to support healing in the world. Her pilgrimage began with a trek to visit Charol Rinpoche, a Tibetan lama, aged more than 100 years, living in a remote region of Nepal.

Summoned by the Earth offers a 400-page account of her travels.

The author asked herself: “What can I do to bring healing and protect to the Earth?

The lama answered her question. “You need to get some Earth Treasure Vases and put them in the ground. That will do the work.”

She wrote she could not imagine what these vessels were, nor how could they help.” Readers of this review and the reviewer might well have a similar thought as Cynthia. The lama then gave Cynthia Jurs explicit instructions in terms of preparation of the vases with earth, plants and relics.

She learnt much from the lama, Thich Nhat Hahn (the late Vietnamese Dharma teacher) and Joann Macy, the senior Buddhist teacher/activist, based in California.

A vessel containing prayers, offerings and devotion and more may well be the stuff of religious beliefs – fused with the earth element and more from the natural world. Hardcore secularists should take care before jumping to conclusions of people with faith, whether oriental or occidental, of being out of touch with reality through views of objects taken from the earth.

A Recollection

I recalled facilitating a men’s a weekly men’s group in Sharpham House, an hour’s walk from my home in Totnes, England, in the 1980s. I asked the men to bring a gift to give another man in the group. The gift had to be something of value that each man hesitated to let go of. I brought a Buddhist textbook that had been with me since I ordained in Thailand in 1970 to offer one of the men.

At the same time, a women’s group took place weekly. The women agreed to let go of a precious stone or a valuable piece of jewellery they owned. The following week the women made the journey to Dartmoor with its remote landscape and returned some of their precious stones/jewellery by planting them in the earth from where they came.

Humans imbue so-called precious stones with value, financial, personal and social, as well as treating them with much care and respect. Is the relationship to such stones far removed from the relationship of some to sacred vessels? A lama, a Western Buddhist and others also imbue the Earth Treasure Vases with specific values and intentions.

Neither earth, stones or plants have inherent value nor inherent existence. That requires human consciousness to view in that way. This is a key insight of the Buddha.

Cynthia Jurs travelled worldwide with her mission to plant the vessels. The book contains about 75 colour photographs of herself with small groups in her travels to offer her ETV ceremonies. Photos show she travelled to locations in Nepal, India, USA, France, Columbia, South Africa, South Pacific, Papua New Guinea, Congo, Australia, UK, Greece and more.

The book lacks an index to list the names of people she met and places she visited, as well as important spiritual/religious themes.

With her vessel held gently in her hands, Cynthia has brought people together for spiritual wellbeing, which encourages them to pledge their lives in service to the Earth. Her journeys have taken her to remote regions of countries, sometimes requiring long, hard walks needing a determination to overcome numerous challenges.

EFVs can serve as a small reminder to take steps for a change in consciousness from consumerism to compassion. The book has the potential to inspire women, men and others to start an exploration for the welfare of people and planet in their immediate environment or through travel.

Every step counts. Plant seeds for change.

Published by Prospecta Press

ISBN 978-1-63226-132-8

Westport. CT, USA.

407 Pages. $24.99.

1 thought on “Summoned by the Earth. Becoming a Holy Vessel for Healing our World. Author Cynthia Jurs. A book review”

  1. Thank you for sharing this insightful review of “Summoned by the Earth.” Cynthia Jurs’ dedication to planting Earth Treasure Vases worldwide as a means of healing and connecting with the Earth is truly inspiring. Her journey, influenced by teachings from various spiritual leaders, illustrates a profound commitment to environmental and spiritual wellness. The concept of transforming consumerism into compassion through such meaningful actions resonates deeply. This book seems like a powerful call to action for anyone looking to contribute positively to our planet.

    Antique Buddhas

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