847th Week: Cultivating Love for the Earth
Sitting in Central Park doing a meditative practice that has become very important to me, I find myself accessing ever deeper love for this beautiful planet. The practice is below but, first, I want to say a few things about strengthening our heart-based relationship with our amazing home, our planet and the Nature we are part of that manifests through a powerful and dynamic creativity and intelligence.
When I was in graduate school, many years ago, I wrote papers on what I called, at the time, “psychoecology” because I couldn’t think of any other term that would encompass our psychological experience of, relationship with, and responsibility toward our Earth mother. Way back then, which was in the early-to-mid ‘70’s (I didn’t go to graduate school until I was in my early 30’s), I was looking for a way to put into words, and then to develop practices around, our Western-oriented human family’s disconnect from our larger other-than-human earth family.
Recently, I read a book called “Towards an Ecopsychotherapy”, by Mary-Jayne Rust. It was published in 2020 and includes within its many offerings a focus on helping clients acknowledge and address their anxiety and grief around what’s happening on the planet. This includes climate change, mass extinctions, and the hazards we now face because of our lack of understanding of our place within Nature’s complex and dynamic eco-system.
And so, for this week’s practice, I offer the following meditative process that is specifically geared toward cultivating a deeper connection with our beautiful home planet.
- Begin by settling into your body and onto the surface under you.
- Notice where your body meets and settles a bit more into that surface and how you may settle even a bit more into your internal home base, your internal landing place.
- Take a few moments to hang out with settling and notice how that feels to you.
- You may find that, as you touch into a more settled state you may also become aware of the steadiness that is always there at the core of you. It is an aspect of your being that cannot be disturbed, no matter what might happen.
- If it appeals to you at this moment, also notice the presence of what you experience as your spiritual source of support—of that light or other representation of your spiritual source of nourishment and inspiration. Resonate with that for a moment or two.
- Next, bring your awareness to your lower body. Begin with your pelvic floor, a wonderful place in which to deepen an experience of settling.
- Next, move your awareness down your legs and into your feet.
- Then, keep moving your awareness down and imagine that you are moving into the earth itself.
- Keep going down into the depths of the earth and then spend some time just being there. If it helps to imagine that you have roots coming from your feet, follow that experience, follow the roots move down even deeper into the earth.
- Rather than drawing earth energy up into yourself right now, notice instead what arises spontaneously, be that images, thoughts, or sensations—just receive whatever arises as you spend time connecting to the “deep earth”, to the life of this amazing planet.
- Notice that the same intelligence and creativity that you may touch into when you deepen into the earth lives in every particle of your own body. You are part of this dynamic expression of Nature.
- Spend as much time as you’d like connecting more deeply with the earth, taking in what arises, nourishing yourself in whatever ways are right for you in this moment.
- When you’re ready to come back, bring your awareness to your heart-space and notice what it’s like to experience your body, your spiritual source of nourishment, and your connection to the living earth. Give yourself a few moments to soak in whatever experience you want to absorb.
- Then, when you’re ready to come all the way back, slowly open your eyes, wiggle your fingers and toes, look at the environment around you, and then go on to whatever is next on your agenda. As you do so, take a brief moment to notice the quality and tone of your radiating presence…
I find that, whenever I do this particular practice, I fill up with such respect and regard for our planet’s amazing creativity, regard for the intelligence that lives within every particle of Earth’s expression—every single thing that shares this beautiful planet with our human family. I hope that you will find nourishment, as well, and perhaps touch into the underlying wish to care for the source of your physical life.
As with all these practices, be sure to bring along curiosity as your constant companion and to pat gently on the head any judgments that may arise. Remember that self-talk is self-hypnosis, so please allow any judgments to move on through without your having to do anything with or about them.