Earth Day is Every Day

Unity in the Seven Hills, 22 April 2018

SONG (Bob Sima): (w)hole in the World, from Believe the Bird

Pachamama will survive with or without humans, but we absolutely cannot survive without her.

I do not know that I ever really sat and pondered the depths of that statement until I prepared myself for this talk. Even as I tickled my intellect throughout my environmental engineering studies with a passion to shift the way humans did their business to a more mindful and sustainable approach that honored Mother Earth, that statement just did not sink into the depths of me that it does today. As I have moved from an intellectual environmental passion to a spiritual shamanic practice, the connection that Bob sang about rattles my very soul. Not just the shutters from the realization of the damage that we have mindlessly and mercilessly caused to Pachamama, but also because of the absolute and undeniable beauty and power she holds in every molecule of every being that she is integral in maintaining. She does not judge. She does not favor. She simply feels and knows where to share her energy.

You see, I believe that when humans push ourselves too far into the sleepwalking mode of existence, Mother Earth shakes up our consciousness, screaming to be heard. As humanity has evolved we have learned to use the gifts of the Earth far more than we give to her in return. There is no doubt we have become disconnected from the very energy that provides all of our basic needs. Even with brilliantly intelligent and creative minds in genetic and chemical engineering, I do not believe we – as a species – could walk on the very ground of Mother Earth without some level of exchange to make our survival possible and probable. That makes humanity the underdog. Yet we, as a collective, act as if we are the favorite. A favorite to win some imaginary game we call life.

——— “She’s our home, she’s our mother, and we can’t trade her for another
When she’s got trouble, we got double
She’s a force not a resource, we’re the only recourse
When we take more than our share, far more than expected
Everything’s affected, because everything’s connected
There’s more to the puzzle than our own little needs
We can’t change her plans, or alter her seeds” ———

If we are the underdog, when do we start – as a collective – to learn and fully understand the cause and effect relationship with the very creature that supports and sustains us? Have you ever really tried to follow the layman’s understanding of every scientific process that goes into this life cycle? I am not convinced that the human intellect could even fathom the intricacies of it all, let alone ask the next question: How does she – Mother Earth – do it?

To begin to understand, we first must be able to connect to something outside of ourselves. The symbiotic relationship that is critical in every single scientific process is also critical to our scientific process of living human life. We are our own scientific experiment. Yet we often forget the basic assumptions that create the hypothesis to quest for a theory that will govern equilibrium within the equation of life. Why do we forget? Because assumptions are based on knowing our subject well enough to define all of the variables that are necessary in the process before the experiment begins.

How do we expand from a hole to the whole? How do we stop the damage to inspire recovery? How do we release greed and find respect? How do we stop creating a hole in the world and begin creating the whole of the world? How do we reconnect to every living thing on this planet to create a harmonious and symbiotic presence around the world?

I believe the first step is to use our senses.
Stop the language and verbal communication.
Breathe and smell what is going on around you.
Reach out and touch the beauty surrounding you.
Walk and observe the activity around you.
Sit and taste the nourishment provided to you.
Close your eyes and listen to the messages that appear in your own silence.

I invite you into a meditation. Get in touch with your breath. Feel the life force moving effortlessly through your body. For the next few minutes, retrace the steps you took when you woke up this morning until the start of the present moment’s experience. Retrace your movements with reverence and a heightened consciousness. When you roll out of bed, did you notice the plant on the shelf next to the bedroom window? Instead of stumbling half-asleep to the bathroom to brush your teeth, pause for 10 seconds and look out the window. What morning message is there? Is your shower simply a requirement to leave the house or is it a cleansing ceremony that can be a sacred ritual? When you ate breakfast, did you simply want to avoid embarrassing stomach grumbles or did you thank the nourishment that was put into your body, from its place of origin and all the processes that helped it arrive on your plate? If you drove somewhere, did you notice the new blooms and buds of this time of springtime awakening? Were you graced with the presence of animal medicine along your route? What messages did you receive? What messages did you miss?

SONG (Bob Sima): Trying to Speak to You, from Believe the Bird

On this celebration of Earth Day, I encourage you to choose one natural living thing and connect to it. How you choose to connect – physically or through your mind’s eye – is up to you. If you are comfortable, meditate with the subject. Ask it for a message. Feel the energies that it carries. Extend a personal gesture of gratitude for its presence in your life.

Nature speaks to us all the time. Our natural cycles of life follow the sun, the moon, the planets, the tides, the sunrise, the sunset, the seasons, the weather. Are we sensitive to those energies or do we create a dissonance within our physical body because we overlook the very lessons in the harmonious cycle of living that Nature is showing us every day?

It is not by coincidence or fluke that we live where we live, that certain animals grace us with their presence, that we have an affinity for mountains or for water at different stages of life, that we plant certain flowers, that we have a certain type of tree outside our kitchen window. All of these natural messages are right in front of us. The energy that each carries is significant to itself, to Mother Earth, to our neighborhood of creatures, and to us. Do we take the time to understand why those beings are in our presence? What medicine are they providing to us? What messages are they sharing with us?

——— “There’s a whole of the world, there’s a whole of our hearts,
The connection so clear we wonder where do you end and where do we start
There’s a star in the sky brilliantly shining hope in our eyes
And the reflection of the moon over the sea,
it’s a call to the hearts and the souls of you and me
To take just a moment; take a deep breath as one
Remember some things we do can’t be undone” ———

In my opinion, gratitude and appreciation are the measures of consciousness. We can’t take, take, take mindlessly yet show gratitude at the same time. Gratitude requires active and mindful participation. So I ask: How do you show gratitude for the gifts that you receive from Mother Earth? How do you honor the space that she sustains for your safety and survival? How do you give back to Pachamama through action, through ceremony, through thought, through ritual, through intention? We live in a Grateful World when we take the time to be Grateful Humans. To find a state of gratitude we must put aside our desires for more, more, more. We must consider the lasting effects on personal, local, regional, national, international, and worldwide ecosystems. We must take a stand when enough is enough, when we know there are more symbiotic approaches to living.

I hope you feel a renewed appreciation for that which is in us that is within every living thing on and within this beautiful Earth home. The “All That Is” which allows us to communicate beyond language and gesture. I hope you are quick to recognize the greed and fear that drive the collective into an unbalanced and disrespectful relationship with Mother Earth. I hope you are inspired to become a consciously active and grateful human in this partnership with this planet we call Earth.

Remember: Pachamama will survive with or without humans, but we absolutely cannot survive without her.

Earth Day is Every Day.

SONG (Bob Sima): Grateful World, from It’s Time