Mindahi Bastida Muñoz: The Meaning of Life and Earth’s Sacred Elements

SONY DSCExcellence Reporter: Mindahi, what is the meaning of life?

Mindahi Bastida Muñoz: Life on Earth is possible due to the presence of the four sacred elements: fire, water, air and earth. All beings are the reflection of those elements; we, as humans, are too the reflection of those elements. The flora and fauna can be present in the world due to the conjunction of the sacred elements. Plants and animals can grow thanks to the their presence and in conjunction with other celestial bodies.

For human beings and other creatures life is also the interrelated energy projected in the material, mental and spiritual dimensions. Matter, thoughts and interconnected energy unite in trilogy.

The purpose and meaning of life is interconnection and transcendence of all beings, including Mother Earth. As human beings, our presence on Earth is for the care of life.

Also we need to take care of the body, thoughts and the spirit in interconnection with other beings. As human beings we need to take care about what we eat, think and act. We need to control our ego and let our good feelings flourish.

To accomplish transcendence we need to be interconnected with the divine creation and also think beautifully, not about Mother Earth but with Mother Earth and all her forms of life.

Caring for life begins with acknowledging and honoring the sacred elements, elements that give life.


~Mindahi Crescencio Bastida Muñoz is the Director of the Original Caretakers Program, Center for Earth Ethics, Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York (2017- ) and General Coordinator of the Otomi-Toltec Regional Council in Mexico, a caretaker of the philosophy and traditions of the Otomi-Toltec peoples, and has been an Otomi-Toltec Ritual Ceremony Officer since 1988. Born in Tultepec, Mexico, he holds a Doctorate of Rural Development from the Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana – Mexico. He has written on the relationship between the State and Indigenous Peoples, intercultural education, collective intellectual property rights and associated traditional knowledge, among other topics.

Bastida Muñoz is also the President of the Mexico Council of Sustainable Development, a member of the Steering Committee of the Indigenous Peoples’ Biocultural Climate Change Assessment Initiative (, and has served as a delegate to several commissions and summits on indigenous rights and the environment including the 7th World Water Forum in Daegu and Gyeongju, Korea, April 12-17, 2015. He was official Delegate of Mexico in the World Summit of Johannesburg (2002) and Delegate of Indigenous Peoples at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro (1992). Mindahi has also worked for the United Nations Environment Program; the SEMARNAT (Ministry of Environment – Mexico), and the Secretary of the Environment of the Government of the State of Mexico. He has also been member of the Joint Public Advisory Committee of the Commission for Environmental Cooperation of North America.

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