Imagine the earth, green, blue, round, and in your hands. Can you hold this planet with the love and tenderness you might hold a newborn baby? Can you love her, our mother, as she has us? She is always there, no matter how we treat her, how we take her for granted. The Great Mother holds us, whether we appreciate her or not, whether we acknowledge her or not, whether we rest into her support or pretend we can manage on our own.
Sometimes, it seems to me, we are like teenagers with our mother. We try to prove ourselves more grown up than we are, and, in so doing, discover we need mom after all.
I have been so deeply touched by my experience of the tsunami in Japan. As I wrote in my last blog entry, I felt its wave move through my own body as I watched it on my computer screen. I knew in that moment that the earth and I were one. I knew that I could be directly touched by an event on the other side of the planet. I realized then that this must work both ways. The planet, too, could be affected by me.
This is not just about recycling plastics so they don’t end up in the ocean. This is not just about hugging a tree or reducing consumption. This is about life, about every moment of life.
Since feeling the wave of the tsunami move through my body, my life and work have become a prayer. With each breath, with each step, with each word, I intend to pray for the earth, and all beings who share her with me.
A Simple Meditation
Recently, I guided my Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy practitioner training in a simple two-minute meditation for the earth. I suggested we imagine holding the planet the way we hold a client’s head. As we settled quietly in our seats and closed our eyes, I had a powerful vision. I saw water. I saw the water of the earth. Sparkling streams tumbling and pouring over rocks. Glistening with health.
Like the earth, we are made up mostly of water. The fluids in our bodies – blood, lymph, cerebrospinal fluid, the cytoplasmic fluid in every cell – all breathe subtle rhythms related to the mysterious forces of life, itself. And the earth, and its fluids, breathe with us.
In Biodynamics we orient to the inherent health always present in our clients. If I hold the earth as a client, I may at first be overwhelmed by the pain she presents. Besides the amassing of plastic in her oceans, her dying forests, graying skies, and rising fever, there is the suffering. Broken hearts, children lost to war, to crime, to sex and technology. Animals crying in the last of the dark crevices. I could go on. But wait! I hold the earth in my hands, and the waters shine.
Last week, as I walked by the Wilamette River in Portland, a humming bird strafed me. Knowing she had caught my eye, she hovered impossibly over a new spring flower, tempting me to join her in another view.
Where is the Health?
As I travel the world far too often these days, I cannot deny the beauty I encounter everywhere. I write this on a huge Boeing 707 from somewhere between Vancouver and London. The skies are dark. We seem to travel through eternal night, yet the beauty is even here.
Across the aisle, a small girl sleeps after playing and laughing for the first three hours of the flight. I played with her, reflecting back the funny faces she would make. Simple acts, like closing and opening her eyes, became a delightful game to share. She is so young, not even talking yet. She has not learned to limit her play. Her eagerness has no bounds. Beauty everywhere. Fluid play.
Next to me sits a man who earlier lost his way to the lavatory. His wife explains he has some memory loss and she cannot take him many places. This instantly dissolves my earlier annoyance for his timing at wanting to get past me to the aisle the moment I have settled in with my meal tray and movie. Now, as he returns confused, I interrupt my dinner and movie one more time to gently guide him to the hidden little room he seeks and show him how to open the door.
This, too, is beautiful. Human beingness. We have hearts. Mine opens. Presence. Prayer to the earth. I sense the glow within. I sense the suffering. What does it mean to grow old? Where is the health here?
What a beautiful thing that I can feel this! I used to watch movies to make me cry. Now, I just live.
We humans are blessed with a social nervous system. It enables us to communicate, to hear, to see, to love and feel loved. Without it, we do poorly. We may even die. With it, we can engage with each other to enhance our survival. We can also listen. We can listen to the each other, but also to the earth. Birds singing. Tummies rumbling. Brooks bubbling…
Listen! There is a resonance between the fluids of the earth. The waters of the sea and the waters of our bodies sing to one another. If we listen, we can understand, perhaps, what our mother has been trying to tell us. If we listen, we might discover how to help. If we listen, we might find our lives become a prayer. Listen! Please!