We are meditating on the sacredness of creation.

No forest, no moon, no ocean, no field, can be labeled “Buddhist” or “Jewish” or “Muslim” or “Christian.” Nature, Creation, that which is, is far bigger and far more ancient than any of our religious traditions. When our religions rediscover this truth, they will rediscover their own humility and humble place in the unfolding of things.

A time-lapse view of the Milky Way from Cape Hatteras.
Video by Wes Snyder Photography

To know that the universe is 13.8 billion years in the making and that the religions we recognize today are tens of thousands of years old (the indigenous ones) or about five thousand years old (the oldest being Hinduism) is to shudder in the presence of the tenuousness of our tradition.

I speak of “re-discovering” religion’s relationship to nature and Creation because our religions once knew these facts well.

Surely the indigenous faiths are all grounded in Creation and enveloped by its wonder and beauty and grace. As we shall see, all of our faith traditions of even more recent vintage share a belief in the sacredness of the universe and of our role in it.

The Hindu-based, slaughter-free Ahimsa Milk movement promotes humane, no-kill treatment of dairy cows and their calves. Learn more HERE.

But this Creation-centered perspective has often taken a back seat to other agendas, including building empires in the name of religion and using religion to exclude elements of Creation, including women, slaves, homosexuals, forests, waters, the sky.  And putting redemption before creation.

Fr. Bede Griffiths recognizes Hinduism as a “cosmic religion” and he acknowledges how the aboriginal religions were profoundly creation centered because they “had not learned to separate man from nature and nature from God.”

“Connect(ing) Sikh values, beliefs, and institutions to the most important environmental issues facing our world,” EcoSikh celebrates the 550th birthday of the founder of Sikhism by planting 550-tree “sacred forests” in 1820 locations worldwide. Learn more HERE.

How interesting that it takes a certain education or “civilization” to separate nature from God and man from nature! One has to learn to do this kind of unnatural disassociation.

Most of us are born with a sense of awe that is expanded by our experiences in nature—expanded and called forth. So many mystics from so many traditions sing of this intimacy of the human psyche and the universe.

In the Hebrew Bible the oldest creation story is found in Psalm 104, and in that psalm we have a telling of the unfolding of Creation that celebrates the existence of the sky, the waters, the clouds, the wind, fire, the earth, the mountains, the thunder, the valleys, the wild animals, the wild donkeys, the birds, the grasses, the cattle, the plants, wine, oil, bread that come from the soil.

Nigel Savage, founder of the Jewish environmental group Hazon, speaks to young people at a sustainability training camp, teaching “The Jewish tradition comes alive when you engage with the physical world.”

The trees, the stork, the wild goats, the rock-badgers, the moon, the sun, the night, the forest animals, the lions are all claiming their food from God.

Yahweh, what variety you have created,
arranging everything so wisely!
Earth is completely full of things you have made:
among them vast expanse of ocean,
teeming with countless creatures,
creatures large and small,
with the ships going to and fro….

Adapted from Matthew Fox, One River, Many Wells: Wisdom Springing from Global Faiths, pp. 28, 34.

Banner Image: A meeting of the interfaith environmental Alliance of Religions and Conservation in Bristol, England, in September 2015. Founded by HRH Prince Charles in 1995 as a secular body to help the world’s major faiths develop environmental programs based on their own core teachings, beliefs and practices. the ARC closed in 2019.

Queries for Contemplation

Has your experience been that your religious or spiritual tradition begins with the sacredness of creation?  Or has this taken back seat to other agenda items? 

Recommended Reading

One River, Many Wells: Wisdom Springing from Global Faiths

Matthew Fox calls on all the world traditions for their wisdom and their inspiration in a work that is far more than a list of theological position papers but a new way to pray—to meditate in a global spiritual context on the wisdom all our traditions share. Fox chooses 18 themes that are foundational to any spirituality and demonstrates how all the world spiritual traditions offer wisdom about each.“Reading One River, Many Wells is like entering the rich silence of a masterfully directed retreat. As you read this text, you reflect, you pray, you embrace Divinity. Truly no words can fully express my respect and awe for this magnificent contribution to contemporary spirituality.” –Caroline Myss, author of Anatomy of the Spirit

Your Music Your Way Summit

Responses are welcomed. To add your comment, please click HERE or scroll to the bottom of the page.

Share this meditation


Daily Meditations with Matthew Fox is made possible through the generosity of donors. Please consider making a tax-deductible donation

Search Meditations





Receive our daily meditations

6 thoughts on “Returning to the Source part III”

  1. Avatar

    Thank you for these wonderful reminders of the sacredness of all creation and the many groups and individuals who are honoring all.

    1. Gail Sofia Ransom

      Vivian, We are glad you found beautify and meaning in the videos. What a gift filmmaking and videography is! We can be in so many places at the same time seeing things we could never have seen otherwise, appreciating more and more about the nature of creation. May I add my appreciation for this technology to your appreciation for what it revealed?
      Gail Sofia Ransom
      For the Daily Meditation Team

  2. Avatar

    Many years ago I read the Brothers Karamazov but now it makes
    sense as does Psalm 104. As a young boy I would reach out to
    environmental beauty but I couldn’t connect it to the catholicism
    of those days. Thank you, Father Fox and blessings on your work.
    Deacon R C Salinas, Diocese of Brownsville.

    1. Gail Sofia Ransom

      Thank you Deacon Salinas, for responding to today’s meditation and how the revelations of the nature of creation that these meditations have brought to you. So few of us moderns had any sense of the beauty outside our churches had anything to do with what was being talked about inside. Even the Psalms, replete with imagery and Divine activity through nature only seemed to be ink on paper, translated from ancients texts. What a blessing it is that we are now evolving into a consciousness that can perceive, embrace, and protect creation. Your companionship is welcome. May your ministry be blessed.
      Gail Sofia Ransom
      For the Daily Meditation Team

Leave a Comment

To help moderate the volume of responses, the Comment field is limited to 1500 characters (roughly 300 words), with one comment per person per day.

Please keep your comments focused on the topic of the day's Meditation.

As always, we look forward to your comments!!
The Daily Meditation Team

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Join us in meditation that supports your compassionate action

Receive Matthew Fox's Daily Meditation by subscribing below: