Touching the Earth

– Posted in: Blog, Practices

May this be for all of us!
Blessed with a life-giving intuitive sense of belonging,
A capacity for radical inclusivity and a cellular knowing of home;
Breathing refuge as living presence,
An immeasurable communing of self and other,
I prostrate in all directions to the magnificence of creation.

At the heart of all spiritual experience, whether it be religious or secular in form, dwells a sense of empowering trust and deep seated confidence that everything, at every level of being, is profoundly inter-linked and inter-dependent. The universe reveals itself as a magnificent confluence of immense diversity and dynamic wholeness. “Touching the Earth” is a contemplative practice that integrates body, speech and mind in a way that can help transform this often transient and somewhat ephemeral intuition into a tangible experience arising in the very midst of the life we are living.

Phrases such as touching the ground or touching the earth are rich and evocative images. Ecologically, socially, economically and biologically; all life is about relationship. This living that we are, emerges from the matrix of living that is the earth, our shared mother – intimately linked with an even larger father/mother, the sun. To truly touch the earth or ground is to know our roots, to feel grounded and well earthed in this communal dancing of relations and relatings. Familiarizing with this way of being in every situation and circumstance of our living transforms everything. Through conceptually, emotionally and physically touching again and again and again, this living loom of creation-unfolding, we gently and thoroughly awaken to the very ground and groundlessness of being and becoming.

In Buddhist scriptures, on the so called ‘night of the awakening’, the Buddha-to-be, in a moment of being plagued with doubts and negativities, reached out and ‘touched the earth’ and in the insightful embrace of that ‘touching’, realised the profound blessing of knowing/trust in the interbeingness of everything and everyone. He was unshakably home.

Click here to read a fully formatted PDF version of Touching the Earth in Six or Twelve Prostrations. This is a revised and augmented edition of earlier drafts.

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