Embodying Sacred Activism: A Conversation With Cynthia Jurs

Friends, we are thrilled to be able to share our recent interview with the incredible  Cynthia Jurs with you.


Before sharing her official bio, I want to tell you that I find Cynthia to be one of the most moving human beings I’ve met in a very long time. Her humility, her wisdom, her bone-deep dedication to healing the Earth and fostering awakening in herself and others is truly awe-inspiring. I adore her so much it’s almost painful! Carl and I have had the good fortune to learn and practice with her this past year and it’s been such a timely gift.


Cynthia is a Lama in the Vajrayana Buddhist tradition and a Dharmacharya in the Order of Interbeing of Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh. In 1990 she made a life-changing pilgrimage to meet a 106-year-old hermit and meditation master living in a cave in Nepal, from whom she received the practice of the Earth Treasure Vases. She is the guiding teacher of the Gaia Mandala Sangha in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where she teaches a unique blend of engaged buddhism and sacred activism in response to the call of the Earth. Cynthia’s nonprofit, Alliance for the Earth is dedicated to facilitating a global community committed to planetary healing and collective awakening through the Earth Treasure Vase Global Healing Project. She has partnered with indigenous elders and young activists around the world and for ten years has carried out a peace building program in Liberia, West Africa. Cynthia is currently at work on a book and film entitled, Summoned By The Earth.


In this conversation, Cynthia tells the story of meeting and asking a potent question of a 106-year old meditation master in a cave in Nepal and the life-changing consequences she’s still living out today, 30 years later. We explore the topic of sacred activism, subtle activism, and engaged Buddhism, and Cynthia’s incredible project of burying sacred Earth Treasure Vases, little clay vessels filled with prayers for healing the Earth, on every continent around the globe. Cynthia shares about where she’s drawn strength to continue to persevere in her dedication and her practice. We talk about collective awakening and Thich Nhat Hanh’s prediction that the future Buddha will not be a human being, but rather a sangha, a community of beings awakening together. We talk about so many juicy topics, from the practice of listening to the Earth to the distinction between belief and faith; from the potent teachings in the breath to experiencing Gaia in our own bodies and minds. Cynthia shares a passionate invitation to not close our eyes before suffering, but to stay awake and engaged with what is happening in our world. Cynthia also shares briefly about an incredible practice of Tara Gaia. We’ve been lucky enough to be at the first two transmissions of the practice. We close the conversation with a beautiful prayer Cynthia shares about taking refuge in the Earth as the embodiment of teacher, teachings and community. We hope you enjoy this wise and touching conversation as much as we did!!


Some links you’ll likely enjoy exploring:


Cynthia’s website: https://gaiamandala.net


The monthly newsletter: https://gaiamandala.net/contact-us/ which keeps people informed about all offerings including the full moon meditation.


Full Moon Full Moon Earth Treasure Vase Global Healing Meditation:



The link to register for the Tara Gaia Teachings:


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By training and profession, I am a somatic educator. Over the past 25+ years I have trained in and taught modern dance, tai chi, Indian and Tibetan yoga, yoga therapy (specializing in back pain). I completed a 4-year professional Feldenkrais training in 2007 and a 3-year Embodied Life training in 2014. I also study and work with somatic meditation and the profound practice of embodied inner listening known as Focusing.