“There are no unsacred places; there are only sacred places and desecrated places.”
Wendell Berry

Returning from Exile: Discovering Sacred Ground Within, Between and In the World Around Us

Sacredness is the abiding ground of all things. It is revealed in the recognition of our own mind’s essence, in the intimacy of our relationships with one another, and in our relationship with the Earth.  Desecration is also threefold, and is the process through which we forget our true nature and become alienated from ourselves, from others, and from our environment.  Alienation is wandering in exile; pilgrimage is the practice of coming home.

“The most remarkable feature of this historical moment on earth is not that we are on the way to destroying the world—we’ve actually been on the way for quite awhile. It is that we are beginning to wake up, as from a millennia-long sleep, to a whole new relationship to our world, to ourselves and to each other.” –Johanna Macy

The Practice of Pilgrimage: Natural Meditation and Giving Back to the Earth

The Earth Vase Pilgrimage offers a path to remember and familiarize ourselves with the immediate sacredness inherent in our own mind, our relationships, and in the natural world.  Framed within the view of natural meditation from the Zen and Mahāmudrā traditions, the Earth Vase Pilgrims will practice The Work That Reconnects as well as various practices from the Tibetan tradition that develop the capacity for reciprocity, giving back to the Earth.

2018 Pilgrimage Leader

Justin Wall (Lama Karma)

Justin Wall is a lama in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition with over seven years of retreat experience.  He has been teaching meditation and yoga for 12 years and is the director of Milarepa Retreat center in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee (www.mocd.org) and Lotus Light LLC in Knoxville.  He graduated from Columbia University with degrees in English Literature and Religious Studies in 2002.  In 2015 he completed the Certification in Mindfulness Facilitation through the Mindful Awareness Research Center at UCLA, and is also an accredited facilitator of Open Mindfulness (www.openmindfulness.net).

Work That Reconnects

Retreat Facilitator

Deborah Eden Tull

Eden is the founder of Mindful Living Revolution, teaching the integration of compassionate awareness into every aspect of life. She is a Zen meditation and mindfulness teacher, public speaker, author, activist, and sustainability educator. She trained for seven years as a Buddhist monastic at a silent Zen monastery in Northern California, and she has been traveling to, living in, and teaching about conscious and sustainable communities internationally for the last 25 years. She currently resides in Ojai, California and offers workshops, retreats, and consultations nationally.

Earth Vase Locations

Over 20 Earth Vases have been installed in the Smoky Mountain and Blue Ridge Mountain regions.  These locations have been geotagged as destinations for future pilgrims.

Smoky Mountain Region

From Peace Vase Project: Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche on Peace Vases