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Tending Your Wild Heart ~ A Love Note from Your Online Abbess

Dearest monks and artists,

We are delighted to welcome back our dear friend Lindsay Sudeikis who will lead us in a mini-retreat on Animist Christianity: Tending Your Wild Heart with Our Beloved Plant Kin this Friday, April 12th. Read on for Lindsay’s introduction to connecting with our plant kin. 

Our plant kin! My gut, discerned sense is Jesus and Mary of Nazareth communed consciously and relationally with our plant kin. As they were living 2,000 years ago at a time when folks were more relational with the greens they cooked with, herbs they bathed with, and plants they healed themselves and others with. How can we know this? How about we drop in, connect with Jesus and Mary of Nazareth directly, and then ask each of them about their respective experiences with plants, herbs, trees, what do you think, can we give it a go? 

I imagine many of you have already engaged in this sort of practice. For those of you who have, I’m curious, we’re curious, what did you hear? What transmissions did you receive from the Holies? What whispers did you tune into? For those of you who haven’t engaged in this practice with Jesus and Mary directly, then off we go now. Let’s tune in, listen, and glean their wisdom. 

Take a moment here to bring loving awareness to your breath, feet, and the earth beneath your feet—that deep time. Once you can feel your feet, take your time here, there’s no rush, move up your vessel and bring some loving awareness to where your body’s making contact with where you’re seated, noticing your density if you’re able. Or noticing the chair beneath you holding you or the ground where you’re seated holding you. Ours is a faith that is incarnational, fleshy, embodied, and sensual… Jesus himself most likely brought loving awareness to his flesh, his soma, his nervous system, his density.  “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us” (Jn 1:14). Here continue moving up your vessel and bring loving awareness to your breath, counting three of your out breaths if that’s helpful.  Welcome that primordial breath who weaves through all of life, connecting us with our human kin all around the world and with our plant kin all around the world. 

Now from this more embodied, contemplative place welcome Jesus and Mary of Nazareth into your field of awareness and as you do simply listen in, see if there’s anything either of them want to share with you at this time. Notice when there is an opening, when there is, I want you to inquire with Jesus and Mary directly, what is your relationship with plants, herbs, and trees? Did you, do you commune with them, how so? Here just listen in and notice what comes through. Stay with it and follow their lead. When there’s another opening, ask them, what ruptured this conscious, symbiotic relationship with plants? Why has this relationship seemingly been omitted from Christianity? Here, allow yourself to receive direct wisdom from Jesus and Mary on these matters. 

I wonder why it is our plant kin are not also part of the Biblical canon. The very plant kin who the cosmic Christ and Mary the Theotokos literally bathed with, ate with, healed with, and feasted with! These are just some of the transmissions, historical and mystical, I’ve received. How about you?

Join us this Friday, April 12th to explore your relationship with Jesus, Mary, and our plant kin.

With great and growing love,


Christine Valters Paintner, PhD, REACE

Image © Canva paid licensing

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