The word healer brings up so many connotations, often evoking the image of a doctor or midwife who is ‘doing’ something. The chaplain as healer, however, has everything to do with ‘being.’ A great deal of healing is done through the practice of sheer presence. Like all chaplains, a bulk of an eco-chaplain’s time will most likely be spent attending the many people participating in the Great Turning and offering them empathy, listening, normalizing, and even sacralizing the intentions motivating so many in what author Paul Hawken calls the ‘blessed unrest,’ (Blessed Unrest, 2007) and generally noticing what is being done and offering encouragement again where appropriate. It may sound simplistic but this is where healing is done and the real art of chaplaincy is. Some of the techniques include:
• Being present and offering presence. • Active and reflective listening. • Basic attendance. • Offering empathy.
Paul Hawken, The Blessed Unrest: How the LargestMovement in the World Came Into Being and Why No One Saw it Coming. New York: Viking Press, 2007.