It’s critical at this time in our history as human beings for us to feel the Earth, to connect to the Earth. Regardless of what is going on in your life right now, five minutes outside breathing the air (I hesitate to say “fresh”, since many of us live in cities or in areas where the air is polluted) will help you be connected with the Earth.
Try this: go outside, wherever you are. Even if you are very busy, you can do this. If it has to be from a balcony, a loading dock, or on the sidewalk, so be it; but go outside. If you can be barefoot, that’s ideal. We work with ourselves however we are, though, so socks or shoes are fine if that’s what you can do. Don’t let the details keep you from doing this!
Stand up as straight as you can, putting your feet under your hips. Drop your shoulders, and close your eyes. Take a long, slow deep breath in, then out. Allow your consciousness to feel the air on your skin. Note the quality of the air: warm? Cool? Damp? Dry? Whatever you feel, note it.
Open your eyes. Where’s the sun? If it’s nighttime, is the moon out? Can you see stars? What season is it? What time of day is it – not from your watch, but from what you see? Is there wind? What direction is it coming from?
Just keep breathing. Just keep looking. Note the plants, if there are any; what do you see? Are there animals anywhere near you? Even in the depths of Manhattan, there are birds -- and more than one kind. It doesn’t matter if you can name the birds, the animals, or the plants; just note them.
We all know that our Earth is in trouble. And we need to get beyond the pain of environmental degradation to the daily pleasure that is being a part of the whole. A daily practice, a five minute practice, of simply noting where we are, goes a long way towards healing our relationship with the Earth. It keeps us aware of our connection.
We’re as much physical creatures as we are creatures of mind or creatures of Spirit. We are a unique blend. Connecting to the Earth is an essential part of keeping ourselves whole.
NB: It’s not my practice to post Sundays; but there’s an urgency to this today.