“To that which lies above, may it inspire us.
To that which lies below, may it sustain us.
To that which lies behind, may it protect us.
To that which lies before, may it guide us.
To that which lies to our left, may it purify us.
To that which lies to our right, may it strengthen us.
To that which lies within, may it remember us.”
~don Oscar Miro-Quesada
Pachakuti Mesa Tradition
There is a sacred ground that is calling to us to heal now; it is the ground of the feminine that holds and nourishes all life. This feminine ground can be found in the dirt of Mother Earth that holds and nourishes a tiny plant seedling. It can be found within each woman who holds and nourishes a human embryo in her womb. Both plant and human require the sacred ground of the Mother to hold and grow new life.
I read of a young woman being brutally raped and left for dead on a bus in India. I turn the page and read of Mother Earth being raped and polluted in a search for oil in the tar sands of Canada. And I feel the same energy in both acts; a hatred and a dishonoring of the feminine. It is the male warrior energy run rampant, forgetting the sacredness of the feminine body.
The feminine body has been objectified and mistreated for generations. Both the female womb and the dirt of Mother Earth have been dishonored and defiled again and again. Entire cultures and religions curse and blame the feminine for our human fall from grace. Those that don’t understand the gifts of the feminine have tried to stifle her wisdom and annihilate her power.
We fear what we do not understand. But how can we possibly kill what holds and nurtures each life? If we kill the mother, we kill ourselves. And even when we deny the sacredness of the feminine, the mother quietly continues to perform her sacred magic, holding ground for every new life.
Mystery of Mother Earth
Mother is so quiet, dark, mysterious and yet so nurturing; the feminine gifts look and act nothing like the male energies that are prized today. These feminine gifts are so misunderstood, and yet so necessary to heal this world. The power of the feminine lies within an expansive holding, supporting and nurturing energy that is difficult to pin down; visualize the warm safety of mama’s lap; feel into the quiet stability of the earthy ground and you will be on the right track. Knowing the feminine is best done on a visceral and emotional level.
It takes a quieting of the mind and a wondering heart to grasp the gifts of the feminine energies. Watch a mother with her baby; sense her gentle nurturing and quiet loving presence. Or go outside and sit with Mother Nature; just sit and be still. Breathe, watch and listen to Nature.
The divinity of the feminine whispers in the ripples of the water and the gentle opening of a flower. It is there in the growing tree limbs that arch toward the sky and the roots that burrow into mother’s dirt. Our Earth Mama holds a quiet space of wisdom, always there beneath the surface of life. She is a mysterious, flowing and constant presence.
The ground of our Mother whispers that it is time now to heal the feminine. The Mother is quietly, yet insistently calling to us. She is demanding that we remember her gifts and honor her sacredness or perish. It is time to heal our relationship with our Earth Mother.
Originally published by Nancy Lankston in July, 2013
Recently I hiked into a beautiful valley in the foothills west of Boulder, Colorado. It was so gorgeous that I decided to stop and sit on the east ridge for awhile. I found a big rock high on the ridge and sat surrounded by scraggly pine trees clinging to the rocks. And I could feel layer after layer of tension melt away as I sat in the afternoon sun.
As the sun dropped lower, I walked across the valley and sat under a huge old ponderosa pine on the west side of the valley. I closed my eyes and listened to the wind blowing through the grass; I felt so grateful to be in this beautiful place. The wind danced around me. Wind seemed thrilled to have one person listening and a little bit aware, if only a little.
I sat and day-dreamed about everything this valley has witnessed; dinosaurs roamed here billions of years ago when it was a swamp on the edge of an inland sea. Later the Arapaho tribe hunted and camped in the shelter of this valley. And now every weekend, thousands of people roam here in tennis shoes and hiking boots and flip flops. Many of the trails are eroding away from too much foot traffic. We risk destroying the valley we all love.
Personally I don’t believe that Mama Earth is in any real jeopardy, she will be just fine. Even though we pollute, misuse and mistreat Earth, she has proven powerful enough to shift and accommodate every change humans throw at her.
Our Earth will continue to flow and teem with life, despite our inept treatment of her. It is people who risk annihilation; it is people who need to be reminded how to live in nature’s flow. We act as if we believe we can rule over Mama Earth and bend her nature to our will, but history has proven that idea to be folly again and again. We mistreat Earth at our own peril.
We’re not killing our Earth. We’re killing ourselves.
“So, the world is fine. We don’t have to save the world—the world is big enough to look after itself. What we have to be concerned about, is whether or not the world we live in, will be capable of sustaining us in it.”
Your Soul is infinite and formless; unbounded and free. AND for this lifetime, your Soul has chosen to inhabit a physical body here on this physical planet we call Earth. These physical structures define the boundaries of your Soul’s container for this lifetime.
The solid parts of your human body can foster flow or block it completely. Human structure is the container that holds your flow. Without any “solid” physical structure, your life on earth would be a liquid puddle of a life! So it is important to pay attention to not just your Soul, but also the earthy structured part of your human existence; the physical body that your Soul inhabits can make this life constricted and painful, or free and flowing.
Human bodies are walking, talking miracles. Seriously! Do you have ANY idea how astounding it is that you ever developed at all from a single cell into a living, breathing, billion-celled baby? Do you know how many things had to go right for you to end up here on Earth alive in that body of yours? I sometimes wonder why we are not all walking through life in complete and total awe of our miracle bodies.
Every day your body quietly performs miracle upon miracle just to keep you alive; your heart pumps blood to each of your muscles and organs For 24 hours a day, 7 days a week it never stops beating and serving you. You swallow a bite of food and your digestive tract breaks that sandwich down into energy and molecules that your body knows just how to use to repair itself and create new cells – a hundred acts of body maintenance happen without you ever having to consciously get involved. And every single minute you must breathe in air to stay alive. Your amazing lungs lovingly inhale that air, extract the oxygen and then pass it on to your bloodstream so that fresh oxygen gets delivered to each cell in your body.
Can you pause for a moment and focus on the fact you’re your body has been magically created and orchestrated by Spirit? You are a million miracles from head to toe. Take a deep breath in right now and pause long enough to realize how amazing it is that you ever came into form in the first place. A million things had to happen in perfect order for you to ever be conceived and created. And the Universe doesn’t waste that kind of time. You are not a mistake or a surprise or some kind of an oops! You are a miracle.
Your Soul energy chose to come into form on this planet at this time. And everything about you being here now is a miracle. Wrap your arms around yourself and give a little squeeze in honor of the miracle you truly are.
Get to know your outer landscape; Go outside and stand or sit. Look around. Is the terrain smooth sand or jagged rock or wet swamp? Is that rock beneath your feet or sand? Look around – Is the land where you are soggy and wet or dry as a bone? And does this place on Earth speak to you? What does Mama Earth have to share with you?
Connect with the earthy physical side of nature by sitting directly on rocks, dirt or grass. If you cannot get outside, lie on the solid floor in your home. Feel the stability and structure of elemental earth. Notice how calming and grounding earth is for your body. Imagine that you can absorb the calm grounded-ness of earth through every pore of your body. Breathe in and allow your body to become as stable and solid as rock; feel the solidity of your bones supporting your organs and muscles.
Allow the stability of ground to permeate every aspect of you with each breath. Drop your attention to the center of your belly as you breathe. As you connect with earth and find your physical center, radiate that calm stability out to the rest of your body, from head to toe. Flow with the stability of earth.
Go within – get to know your inner landscape, your physical body which is your “home” for this entire lifetime.
Is your body boney or soft?
Light or heavy?
What do you enjoy about your physical body?
What do you dislike?
Is your inner earth fluid and flexible or rigid and immovable?
How does your physical body feel right now; do you have any pain or discomfort?
What does your body want to say to you?
Everything in our known Universe is created from elemental earth, water, air and fire. Everything including you. Try the simple practices listed below to connect with each element and understand yourself and our Earth more deeply.
Earth: go outside and sit or lie on the earth. Feel how stable and solid it is. Soak up that stability. Notice how the dirt and stones of our Earth give your body something structured to lean into for support. Feel into that structure and stability, notice how it holds you. Breathe deeply in and out. Thank the dirt and stones of our earth for providing a stable structured container for your life.
Turn your attention inward. Breathe and focus on the the hard bony parts of your body for a moment or two. Feel into the way your bones provide the internal structure and stability that makes it possible for a watery creature like you to stand up and walk around. Without bones, you would slide across the ground like a slug, bound closely to the earth. Breathe in and thank your bones for providing structure and stability to your body.
Water: take a bath or shower and feel the sensations of the water on your skin. Feel the soft, yielding, fluid qualities of water as it flows over your body. Notice how different water feels from earth. Breathe and imagine those fluid qualities permeating every inch of you, making you soft, yielding, flowing.
Breathe and focus on the pulsating flow of blood within your body. Imagine the ebb and flow of fluids entering and leaving each organ, each tissue. Allow the soft flow of water to permeate every corner of your being. Then imagine that you can radiate these soft, flowing qualities out into the world; radiating flow to those you love and to those you have conflict with. Then radiate those flowing qualities back to the waters of the earth, bringing the gift of elemental water full circle.
Fire: sit in the sun or in front of a burning fire; feel the heat on your skin. Relax and draw the heat of fire into the depths of your body; bask in the glow of fire within. Breathe in the warmth and imagine that you can direct elemental fire to wherever more warmth or spark or action is needed.
Breathe in and draw more fire into your heart, then radiate the warmth of fire and your inner radiance out into your world. Breathe in and out, drawing fire in and then radiating it out again and again and again.
Air: go outside and stand or sit where the wind can find you. Breathe in the winds of nature and focus on elemental air permeating every tissue, bringing oxygen to every cell of your body. Breathe in air and exhale with an ‘ahh’ or ‘ohh’ sound. Allow the wind of your breath to cleanse and clear your mind, blowing through and carrying away negative or worrisome thoughts.
Breathe in and allow the wind of your breath to blow down your spine and out the tips of your fingers and toes. With each exhale, send love and gratitude out into the world for the gifts of elemental air.
A fifth element lies beyond the 4 elements which create the physical foundation for our Universe. This is the mysterious element of Space or Akash. This is where the magical spark of life emanates from in the first place. And this is where the energy of Soul resides. Below is a simple way to connect to Space.
Space: go outside and find a spot with an unobstructed view of sky. Gaze at the sky; breathe in its open clarity and expansiveness. Breathe in open sky and imagine yourself dissolving into sky with every out breath.
Breathe in sky and dissolve into open spaciousness again and again. Imagine you can be nothing but breath and space. Allow tensions to dissolve and flow out of your body with each breath. Allow thoughts and emotions to dissolve into spaciousness. Make more space for positive feelings, thoughts and experiences to flow into you.