This month’s meditation on wholeness ends the year with touching into the fact that every living thing on the planet emits its own unique tone and quality of wholeness and that these individual contributions offer themselves to the brilliant light radiating from the wholeness of our precious earth.
If you’d like to see images with your meditation, the YouTube version is below the audio…
As I begin to put together the year-long offerings of audio meditations on my website, I’ve been thinking about the focus for the coming year. Lately, I’ve had a deepening awareness of the importance of experiencing all the other life on this beautiful planet as “earth-kin”. We are all related, all children of the same mother planet, and many of us humans have been taught that we are somehow superior or “more evolved” than our other earth-kin.
I recently read a book, “Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are?”, by Frans de Waal, that addresses this humancentric bias. De Waal offers many examples of how our research on other earth-kin has tended to orient to human assumptions and human ways of doing things. One of my favorite examples had to do with making a mark on an elephant’s face or head and then having this earth-kin look in a mirror to see if he or she recognized themselves. They didn’t and someone realized that the problem wasn’t that elephants can’t recognize themselves but rather that the mirrors weren’t elephant sized. Once large enough mirrors were provided, the elephants immediately recognized that something was on their face and responded appropriately.
Another example had to do with research on gibbons, where researchers decided that they weren’t as intelligent as other primates because they couldn’t do a particular task that required them to use their hands in a certain way. A young researcher noticed that the task was oriented to human hands and not to the way that gibbons use theirs. When the experiment was retooled to reflect gibbon digits and manipulation, not surprisingly they performed as well as any other primate.
It can be both surprising and startling to know that slime mold does very well solving the challenge of a maze, better and faster than some other kinds of earth-kin. It can also be surprising to know that some species chose to evolve toward more complexity while others chose to evolve into less complexity, each and all having their own style of measurable intelligence. Here’s a link to a quick video about slime mold moving through a maze and also creating a complex network of connections that match the design of the Tokyo rail system. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HyzT5b0tNtkRead More “822nd Week: Honoring Our Earth-Kin”
As I thought about what to share as a practice this week, a recent webinar I offered for professionals came to mind. It focused on the wide variety of reciprocal relationships we have with everything we encounter in the course of our everyday lives. One of the subjects I didn’t spend a lot of time on in the webinar was to focus on the reciprocal relationships we have with our physical bodies.
Over the years, I have had a relationship of gratitude with my body—gratitude for the fact that it allows me to be here, gratitude for all the organs that make it possible for my body to function, gratitude that my body is healthy. For me, love—the frequency and energy of love—is the most powerful healing frequency we can access and I draw on it liberally in my life. One of the practices I’ve engaged over the years has been to send love to my body each day, as part of my gratitude practice.
I may have mentioned before that our bodies are actually comprised of many organisms that are non-human. Here’s a quote from the BBC News: “Human cells make up only 43% of the body’s total cell count. The rest are microscopic colonists.” The American Museum of Natural History says that, “Your body is an ecosystem” and that, “An ecosystem is a community of living things.” Because of these facts, I seek to have a cooperative, collaborative, and loving relationship with the organisms that populate my body and that support my daily functioning. I include these organisms in my gratitude practice and regularly send them love.Read More “853rd Week: The Body as Community”