Amazonian Rain-forest activist from the
John Birch, has developed an interesting method of raising money for
charity! One morning whilst visiting Westminster Cathedral in UK Central London, John sensed the spirit of Jesus
surrounding the entire building. Later that day, he attended an Eckhart Tolle
seminar and was inspired to become a facilitator of an Eckhart Tolle Local Silent
Group in his area of Blackburn, Lancashire.
With these spiritual promptings, John embarked on a home-made retreat that included renunciation and self-sacrifice for charity. He restricted his environment by reducing general distractions and reducing modern comforts and necessities, such as food, electricity, and contact with friends. With these indulgent pastimes out of the way, John went into solitary confinement in his home. It was to become a means to raise awareness for the plight of the fast diminishing rainforest. It also had the added advantage that John could put the money that he saved towards a cause that helps endangered rainforest and the people that are dependent upon it.
The Amazon Cry Foundation is a registered charity that was founded to prevent illegal logging and mining in the region and to provide for the people of the Amazonian basin with a school, language lessons and a workers’ co-operative. The Amazon is a natural temple and its destruction is a threat to the planet’s future health. Throughout the silent week, feelings of emptiness and a connection with the struggling people of the Amazon surfaced. His solitary confinement became a vision quest. During his deep meditations, he made spiritual contact with a native shaman. John is a visionary and saw the man’s face very clearly, with beads of sweat, tattoos and fish bone piercings. John feels his self-imposed week of hardship gave him an empathy and compassion towards the Rainforest people. He noticed that his sense of time slowed and he adopted a more natural pace of life. He also appreciated the solace and calmness of silence and heard bird-song and other natural sounds with new ears during the week.
John has worked as a
tutor for “An Introduction to
Contemporary Spirituality – The Soul’s Journey” by William Bloom, and William
provided the preface to John’s book of his experience which is called “A Week
of Silence”. John works with William on the Holistic Spiritual Project which
endorses the wonder of life and celebrates diversity, ecology and health.
John’s intention is also to challenge our buying habits and to use purchasing
power. He suggests we reduce the demand of the hardwood trees of the rainforest
by avoiding buying hardwood furniture. We need to be aware that the Rainforest is
being cleared to raise soya crops for animal food. This is an extravagant use
of land for meat eaters and if we reduce our meat consumption, we also reduce
the loss of the rainforest. Forty-seven year old John runs the Spiritual
Path Network in the UK
to help people discover their spiritual path. He is also a clairvoyant and
spiritual healer who has trained mediums and healers. UK
John works as a Production Buyer for a Brewery in the North of England and in his spare time is dedicated to conserving the Amazonian Rain-forest and to protecting the tribal people who are dependent on the forest for their livelihood. John is becoming an ordained multi-faith brother and member of the Tau Community of St Francis, an interfaith fellowship that believes in leading by example and sowing the seeds of peace and kindness. John Birch was interviewed by Wendy Stokes: www.wendystokes.co.uk