As the whiff of autumn coolness awakens us to the knowing that summer is about to depart, this stirring reflection by Thich Nhat Hanh offers a practice for coming closer to Our Mother Earth.
THE POCKET THICH NHAT HANH
TOUCHING THE EARTH
In the Buddhist tradition, I am part of, we do a practice called “Touching
the Earth” every day. It helps in many ways. You too could be helped by
doing this practice. When you feel restless or lack confidence in yourself,
or when you feel angry or unhappy, you can kneel down and touch
the ground deeply with your hand. Touch the Earth as if it were your
favorite thing or your best friend.
The Hill of Tara County Meath Ireland
The Earth has been there for a long time. She is mother to all of us.
She knows everything. The Buddha asked the Earth to be his witness by
touching her with his hand when he had some doubt and fear before his
awakening. The Earth appeared to him as a beautiful mother. In her arms
she carried flowers and fruit, birds and butterflies, and many different
animals, and offered them to the Buddha.
The Buddha’s doubts and fear instantly disappeared. Whenever you feel
unhappy, come to the Earth and ask for her help.
Touch her deeply, the way the Buddha did.
Suddenly, you will see the earth with all her flowers and fruit,
trees and birds, animals and all the living beings that she has produced.
All these things she offers to you.
You have more opportunities to be happy than you ever thought.
The Earth shows her love to you and her patience. The Earth is very
patient. She sees you suffer, she helps you, and she protects you.
When we die, she takes us back into her arms.
With the Earth you are very safe. She is always there, in all her
wonderful expressions like trees, flowers, butterflies, and sunshine.
Whenever you are tired or unhappy, Touching the Earth is a very good
practice to heal you and restore your joy.