One of my daily tasks is to post an inspirational quotation and a nature photo to the Devadana Sanctuary page on Facebook each morning. I’ve been doing this for a number of years now and obtain the photographs from bigstockphoto.com, where I have a subscription. What this has created for me is a daily morning meditation looking through photographs of our beautiful planet, seeking the right one to go with that day’s quotation. I have found that this process has deepened my love and awe for this amazing planetary home we inhabit.
Having a daily reminder that I’m a part of nature, not something separate from it, has been a support to my practice of orienting to heart intelligence and perception when I remember to do so. Looking at the stunning creativity and beauty of this planet, of the creative and complex ecology that supports life of such diversity and intelligence, reminds me again and again that we are all in this together. There is no other home, no other place, and everyone and everything we encounter along the way is kin. We are all offspring of planet Earth.
For this week’s practice, I invite you to explore the ways in which you touch into the experience of relatedness to the earth and to all the life with which and with whom you share each day. This might include the people you encounter along the way, the trees and other vegetation you notice around you, the animals, birds, insects, and other life forms that are part of your everyday environment. It might even include all the life forms who share your body with you and support your health and well-being.
Then, notice what it’s like to explore the idea that everything you encounter around you is kin because everything you encounter is of the earth, as are you. If you find yourself thinking or feeling in ways that give you the illusion that you are somehow separate from the environment, separate from all the life around you, notice how that feels in your body, your emotions, your thoughts to be in the experience of separation.
Then, if you find you can touch into the reality that you are part of the same source as everything around you, that it is impossible not to be related to your environment and all the lives unfolding within it, notice how that feels in your body, emotions, and thoughts. Because so many of us have been exposed to the Western tendency to think of humans as separate from the rest of the environment, many of us benefit from consciously cultivating the more accurate awareness that we are inescapably interconnected and interdependent with everything and everyone around us.
As with all these practices, there’s no right way to do this one. Instead, it’s one more invitation to notice how the quality of your perceptions—your thoughts, beliefs, and emotional responses—directly affect the quality and tone of your inner life. Remember to bring along curiosity as your constant companion and to pat gently on the head any judgments that may arise, allowing them to just move on through.