Authors - John Seed, Joanna Macy, Pat Fleming, Arne Naess.

Illustrations - Dailan Pugh.

Published by - New Society Publishers, Philadelphia, USA. 1988



4 of 5 stars There I was, sitting in a canyon, thinking like a mountain., January 5, 2001

I read this book while sitting under a cottonwood tree at the bottom of the Grand Canyon (a "mountain lying down"). This collection of deep-ecology essays, teachings, meditations, and poems allowed me to experience my surroundings in a new way: "Every atom in this body existed before organic life emerged 4000 million years ago. Remember our childhood as minerals, as lava, as rocks? Rocks have the potentiality to weave themselves into such stuff as this. We are the rocks dancing" (p. 36).

This book's title is taken from the 1949 SAND COUNTY ALMANAC, in which Aldo Leopold warned us that unless we attempt to connect with our ecosystem by thinking like a mountain, disaster is inevitable. Stated differently by Thich Nhat Hanh, we must listen within ourselves to "the sounds of the earth crying" (p. 7). Contributors to this 122-page book include, among others, John Seed, Joanna Macy, Pat Fleming, Arne Naess, Gary Snyder, and Chief Seattle. John Seed recognizes that "nothing short of a total revolution in consciousness will be of lasting use in preserving the life-support systems of our planet" (p. 9). He reminds us that we are "part of the rainforest recently emerged into thinking" (p. 36). Joanna Macy observes that we touch the Earth by touching our face, by touching our brothers and sisters (pp. 60-61).

This thin book contains a mountain of deep thinking, including exercises designed to "help make us more conscious of our embeddedness in the web of life" (p. 80), and meditations to protect the Earth "from the blades of men unhinged by greed, prestige and authority" (p. 91): "Relax and breathe in, breathe in Mountain, I feel my rock-roots go deep deep down to where the Earth herself is very hot" (p. 80). Reading this book could change the way you think about your life. "When you think like a mountain, one also thinks like the black bear, so that honey dribbles down your fur as you catch the bus to work" (p. 39).

G. Merritt


5 of 5 stars Amazing book on the sacredness of all beings, June 24, 2000
Reviewer: Brenda Tataryn from Victoria B.C. Canada

Deep and thought provoking is how I found this book. Quotes and theories and musings upon how we are all connected and the impacts we have on one another on this green earth. Something in this book warmed my heart. Knowing there are others out there with incredible respect for even the most tiniest and seemingly insignificant creatures was very heartening. Other books that may compare are Machelle Wrights "Behaving as if the God in all life mattered" and any book concerning the spiritual community of Findhorn. I highly recommend this book to those of you who like a thoughtful read on Nature and spirit. Thanks Brenda Tataryn.




BOOK REVIEW - Reprinted from Simply Living Magazine Vol.3 No.10


Addressing the enormous scope of ecological, environmental degradationand the various social implications is no easy task. Yet, within this collection of essays, meditations, poems and rainforest drawings, these dedicated authors have not only presented a clear analysis, but also a work manual to a process for the enrichment of ourselves and our home planet.

This book shines with a compassion so rich, a commitment so deep thateven the most cynical would be moved.

This book comes from a sense of 'deep-ecology'. To quote John Seed"unless we can identify with the eco-system and think like a mountain,disaster is inevitable". He speaks of changing our consciousness by"acknowledging that part of us which shies away from the truth, hidesin intoxicating or busyness, from the despair of the human, whoserace is run". Then looking to a final positive outcome when "thatreverence for the natural systems - the oceans, the rainforests, thesoil, the grasslands, and all other living things - will be so strongthat no narrow ideology based upon politics or economics will overcomeit."

This book is a landmark event - inspirational, thought provoking,encouraging and, I believe, should be utilised in all ways possible.The Council of All Beings is, in part, a workshop structure to empowerour compassion for and understanding of the inherent inter-relatednessof all life. It is also an expansive philosophy and groundwork forpersonal and collective action, with the end goal of rebalancing ourprecarious position.


Reviewed by MICHAEL NEY, Virtual Realm exchange,

Originally published in Simply Living Magazine Vol.3 No.10

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Last Updated: July 2006