Hello fellow mindfulness practitioners. How did you do last week in becoming aware of hot and cold temperatures? Here in the northeast we are beginning to experience the shift from summer to fall-cool mornings and evenings. It is refreshing and also a bit sad. I think the sadness comes from my inner child. She senses the end of summer which means the end of lazy days and lots of sunshine.
On the other hand, I embrace the fall for its glorious colors, wearing warm sweaters, and the physical and spiritual acts of turning inward. Fall reminds me of a warm, loving embrace.
This Week’s Practice: The Great Earth Beneath You
This week, we are asked to become aware of the great earth, Mother Earth, below our feet. We are reminded to become aware of the earth not only through touch via the bottom of our feet, but also through sight and smell.
In How to Train a Wild Elephant, Dr. Bays shares a wonderful practice that she used at the monastery to honor the earth: Each morning, after you get out of bed, immediately kneel and touch your forehead to the ground.
In this act of kneeling and touching the ground with our forehead, we express our humility and gratitude to Mother Earth.
Think about it. We walk, drive, and run across the surface of the earth without even thinking about the ground beneath us. Yet what if we suddenly lost touch with earth? What if gravity stopped and we were no longer “attached” to the earth?
The earth grounds us, literally. Yet when we live “in our heads” and are distracted, we are easily pushed off balance. Grounding ourselves to the earth can be deeply comforting. It helps to keep us rooted, feel more solid and less swayed by thoughts, emotions, or unexpected events.
This week, become aware of the earth beneath you. Practice grounding yourself to the earth. Extend your attention from the bottoms of your feet down through the earth and to its core.
Reflection: Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find resources of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. -Rachel Carson