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Natural Awakenings Lehigh Valley

Creating Heaven on Earth

Dec 11, 2012 02:02PM ● By Pana Columbus


More and more people are seeking to create “Heaven on Earth.” They want to find a way to make a living doing something that benefits humankind and the planet. They want a purpose-filled life.

This trend is evidence that society is evolving. As more people dedicate their lives to helping others become more conscious, healthy or environmentally sustainable, we are closer to birthing a new civilization. Ultimately, this is the path toward manifesting heaven on earth on a global scale.

Perhaps it is hard to imagine how making our dreams come true could really have an impact on the rest of the world. Rest assured, a lot more is at stake than just our personal happiness.

To understand how important our contribution is to the whole planet, we must realize that the big problems of the world—war, poverty and environmental degradation—are not happening “out there” because of “those greedy, powerful people.” It is not the corporations, the military-industrial complex, the media, Wall Street or politicians that are the problem.

There is a Buddhist practice called “Touching the Earth.” It is a meditation that makes statements, such as, “I am the forest of trees that is being cut down, and I am the person cutting down the forest.” The purpose of the meditation is to help us understand how we really are one with the whole world. If we purchase a shirt that was made in a sweatshop, we are participating in the system that violates child labor laws and we’re keeping the sweatshop owner in business. We might protest fracking for gas, wars in the Middle East or drilling in the National Arctic Wildlife Refuge, but we are still paying the oil company to heat our homes and are still pumping gas each week in our cars. We are part of the system that demands sweatshops and child labor for inexpensive clothes, and wars in the Middle East and environmental degradation for our fuel. The good news is that if we want to create heaven on Earth, we don’t have to transform anyone out there—we have to transform ourselves.

Gandhi gave us a true teaching: “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” He taught us the secret to manifesting heaven on Earth is to stop participating in the systems that cause suffering and to direct our energy instead into new systems that create peace. This is why we need to realize our dreams. Our realized dream is a piece in the puzzle of creating the new system. For example, if we want to participate in a system of wearing clothing that contributes to health and peace around the world, then we need more organic farmers, clothing designers, manufacturers and stores that sell organic clothing. A person’s realized dream of being a conscious farmer, clothing designer, manufacturer or storeowner helps make this new system possible.

My invitation to individuals and as a community is to dream big—heaven—and to take action—Earth. The more we evolve internally, the greater our need for institutions, businesses and organizations that reflect that awakened consciousness. Here are two examples of where this heaven on Earth is already being made manifest:

Gaviotas, a community in Colombia, built a facility that is the first in the world on its scale to convert palm oil into fuel. As a result, they are completely independent from fossil fuels. They have also planted 1.6 million trees that have altered the local climate by bringing additional needed rainfall. Though they are surrounded by paramilitaries, guerillas and drug war ravaged countryside, they are completely committed to peace and have no weapons, no police and no jails.

Italy has a thousand-member eco-community called Damanhur. One of Damanhur’s credos is that they never take on a project that they think they can pull off. They only take on “impossible” ones. For they believe there is no glory in accomplishing what they knew they could. Thus, they have created marvels, including an underground cathedral that honors all religions and has been called the Eighth Wonder of the World.

The idea that moves our soul—that makes us catch our breath—is what deserves time and attention. Every step that we take to realize our dreams we do, not just for oneself, but for all of us.

Pana Columbus is a transformation coach, workshop facilitator, speaker and author residing in South Whitehall Township. For more information, call 610-841-9774, email [email protected] or visit

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