Day 26: Embodied Intimacy

Why should one seek outwardly for a treasure,
when the field of the body has its own bright jewel?

—Pao-chih

I have come to believe the change necessary to transform cultures and institutions for the good, both on the personal and on the systemic level, requires embodied intimacy.

This is especially true now when human and Earth systems are under catastrophic stress—due partly because the Earth is viewed as inert, as a commodity and an infinite resource, and because only certain “types” of bodies are viewed as valuable and worthy of admiration, respect, and, in fact, of life.

The change that is required of us, as we face into the storm of intersecting and complex problems sweeping across the planet, is that we must become intimate with our lives—that is, with our bodies and with the Earth—in ways that we never have before as a collective human species.

To succeed in providing sanctuary for life and resilient enclaves for our own thriving in the coming decades, we must commit to fully allow and encourage the natural rising of a sense of embodied intimacy.

May we discover/forge together the disciplines and communities of support to make it so.  

Rev. Kurt Kuhwald is the Endorsed Community Minister at the First Unitarian Church of Oakland, CA, and a member of the Steering Committee for the Unitarian Universalist Environmental Justice Collaboratory.


Today’s practice is to get rooted in GROW, the third pillar of Commit2Respond: growing the climate justice movement. Today, share one or more ways you have already worked to grow the movement and create ripple effects of engagement. It could be things you’ve done in the past or ongoing ways you are currently growing the movement. Share on Commit2Respond’s share forum, or share on social media using the hashtag #commit2respond.

Today’s resource for deepening this message is the inspiring story of the Florida Interfaith Climate Conference “Bridging Spirituality, Healing and Action” that took place in Longwood, FL, last weekend, organized by the Florida Council of Churches in conjunction with UU Justice Florida (a Unitarian Universalist state action network). Eighty people crossed divides of faith, age, means, and more and deepened connections, gained grounding, and were inspired and empowered to create change. Find out more and share your story from growing the movement.


Commit2Respond's Climate Justice Month intends to take you through a transformative spiritual process leading to long-term commitments to climate justice. At the end of the month you will be asked to SHIFT to a low carbon future, ADVANCE human rights, and GROW the movement. Learn more and start thinking about how you will #commit2respond to climate change.


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