We are talking about Deep Ecumenism and especially in the context of the upcoming COP meeting in Scotland next week addressing the following questions:

As COP26 People’s Advocate, Sir David Attenborough will put forward the compelling case to key decision makers and the public for why climate action matters, to evidence progress underway, and to highlight the actions decision makers need to take before and during COP26. Video by COP26.

Can humans get off our path of self-hatred (integral to patriarchal consciousness, as Adrienne Rich insightfully tells us), beyond our journey to Extinction (a journey we are embarked on with millions of other species due mostly to human narcissism)? 

Can we change our ways, transform ourselves deeply, so that Mother Earth can flourish?

Here is where Deep Ecumenism comes in, for it calls on all the world spiritual traditions to step up and offer what they can to inspire people of all cultures, generations, races, ethnic groups, nations, political persuasions and economic systems to join the battle.  All hands on deck! 

Let the competitions between religions cease and co-operation begin anew!  We all have inherited the same beautiful and unique home we call earth.  We all face the same extinction.  Are we up to the task?

A group of Sikh men rescue two hikers using their turbans as a makeshift rope at a waterfall in Maple Ridge, British Columbia, Canada. Video by NBC News

Two days ago a moving article appeared in the news about several young Sikh men who saw two other men in a very precarious situation, clinging to a large rock in BC Canada, about to fall into a deadly rushing river.  Acting quickly, the Sikh men made a rope of their turbans.  With this woven rope, they were able to pull the other two men to safety.* 

What a wonderful parable this is about the Eco Crisis today! Let’s adapt our diverse religious practices—whatever they be–to the pressing need at hand.  Let’s weave together our “turbans” and create a rope that saves our and many species from the brink of extinction.  Let us love Mother Earth and all her creatures eager to join us. First comes the rescue.

*See: “Sikh men created a lifeline using turbans and jackets to rescue hikers at a park,” Tien Le, NPR, 10/25/2021.

See Matthew Fox, The Coming of the Cosmic Christ, pp. 1-34, 228-244.

To read the transcript for Matthew Fox’s video teaching, click HERE.

Banner Image: “CODE RED!” Activists Unfurl Massive Banner at NYC UN HQ to Demand Real Climate Action Ahead of Glasgow Climate Summit. Photo by Rainforest Action Network on Flickr.

Queries for Contemplation

What lessons do you take from this story of the young men stringing their turbans together?  How do you see it relating to the topic of Deep Ecumenism and the Climate Emergency?

Recommended Reading

The Coming of the Cosmic Christ: The Healing of Mother Earth and the Birth of a Global Renaissance

In what may be considered the most comprehensive outline of the Christian paradigm shift of our Age, Matthew Fox eloquently foreshadows the manner in which the spirit of Christ resurrects in terms of the return to an earth-based mysticism, the expression of creativity, mystical sexuality, the respect due the young, the rebirth of effective forms of worship—all of these mirroring the ongoing blessings of Mother Earth and the recovery of Eros, the feminine aspect of the Divine.
“The eighth wonder of the world…convincing proof that our Western religious tradition does indeed have the depth of imagination to reinvent its faith.” — Brian Swimme, author of The Universe Story and Journey of the Universe.

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

7 thoughts on “Deep Ecumenism, Climate Change, COP26”

  1. Avatar

    Absolutely love this real life parable. What I see in this story is the responsive action of that inherent goodness within humanity, and the creative beauty of this. I see selfless giving, a willingness to lay one’s life down for another. What I see is the heart, the mind, the soul, united, working in response to the leadings, the promptings of the Holy Spirit of Divine Love, in a compassionate act of mercy… actively responding to the life threatening and fear-filled need of another, in an imaginative way. What I see is human beings walking the talk of what all religions and spiritual paths teach and preach. What I see is the awareness of right relationship… brothers reaching out to brothers as kin, beyond cultural or religious divides. Thank you so much for sharing this true story, for it has deeply inspired me and given me hope in the potential possibilities of humanity embracing our true divine nature.

  2. Avatar

    I love this too. However, saying probably only men could pull this off — oops! Of course women could too.

    Thank you so much for your daily meditations! They truly help me!

    1. Avatar

      I do too, Rod; and I think Matthew was just being realistic. Sure, some women could pull this off, but as a 5 foot tall woman, weighing 116 pounds, I think it’s fair to say that a lot of women couldn’t; and it is fine with me to praise men for something that in all likelihood only men (in most cases) could do. Testosterone can be a beautiful thing.

  3. Avatar

    There is so much to learn from this real life parable, especially the push back from some who could only see the importance of the outer sign of their religion and who completely missed the grace and compassion shown by these young men to their neighbors. It seems to me that the unraveling of their turbans stood for the unraveling of their adherence to conformity for its own sake in exchange for the freedom of the deep meaning of faith.

    1. Richard Reich-Kuykendall
      Richard Reich-Kuykendall

      Sue, you sure got it right! Some have a complete disconnect from the inner and the outer in spirituality. They feel if you keep the outer rules you are good person, and you are not if you don’t–even if it is for inner-compassionate reasons. But I have to share this one experience of my own. I had a Sikh doctor who also wore a turban, and since he was younger than me, I asked him if he ever questioned his faith. He said (like many of us have done during our college years) that he left his faith for a time, but had, had a reconversion experience, and he appreciates his religion now as an adult–although now, with a sensitivity to the inner, and he is not so legalistic with the outer–I’m sure he would have appreciated what these Sikhs did in order to save a man’s life

  4. Avatar

    Matthew, just before listening to your video today, I was reading the novel “Cutting for Stone,” and had dog-eared Chapter 14, marking it as a treatise on what the Christian life is meant to be. (I don’t usually write comments in novels, but I did today.) I quote the Matron responding to a protestant funder concerned about Ethiopian lack of correct (in his eyes) dogma. It is so very much in concert with your words on the modern-day parable.

    “Stop! Mr. Harris, do stop … Oh, how you vex me.” …
    “When you look around Addis and see children barefoot and shivering in the rain, when you see the lepers begging for their next morsel, does any of that Monophysitic nonsense matter the least bit?”
    “God will judge us, Mr. Harris, by … what we did to relieve the suffering of our fellow human beings. I don’t think God cares what doctrine we embrace.”

    Her words put in perfect perspective all our quibbling about this dogma, that doctrine, this religion and that.
    Thank you for your words this morning.

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: