Earth Day Meditation
Today, I invite you to join me as I read a 5 minute Earth Day Meditation by Tamiko Beyer.
Tamiko has generously allowed me to read this meditation to you today by donating to Corporate Accountability – an organization that is challenging the transnational corporations that are devastating our democracy, trampling human rights, and destroying our planet.
I ask that you support Corprate Accountability with a gift $10 or more because the protection of our planet needs your help, and by demanding change together we can create a world where each person has access to clean water, healthy food, a safe place to live, and the opportunity to reach their full human potential.
Listen On: Spotify | Google Podcasts | Apple Podcasts | Stitcher Show Notes We’ve dug into why the soil is so vital for our livelihood and how to practice taking care of the soil, but we need to talk about shifting our mindset about the land to really bring it...
Meet Tamiko Beyer
Tamiko Beyer is the author of the new collection of poetry, Last Days (Alice James Books). Ai-jen Poo, Executive Director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance and Director of Caring Across Generations says of these poems:
“At a time when we are moving so fast we forget to breathe, Last Days asks us to stop, to think, to see. These poems examine the joy of struggle and the interconnectedness of all things, dissolving the borders between nature and humanity and past and present.”
Other books by Beyer include We Come Elemental (Alice James Books) and Dovetail (Slapering Hol Press). Her poetry and articles have been published widely, including by Black Warrior Review, Lit Hub, and the Rumpus. She publishes Starlight and Strategy, a monthly newsletter for living life wide awake and shaping change. She is a queer, multiracial (Japanese and white), cisgender woman and femme, living in on Masssachusett, Wampanoag, and Pawtucket land. A social justice communications writer and strategist, she spends her days writing truth to power.
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Breathe into interdependence: an Earth Day Meditation
By Tamiko Beyer
Take a deep breath in. Exhale and let your shoulders relax.
Take another deep inhalation, and a long, slow exhale, softening any part of your body that might be holding tension.
When you take your next inhale, feel the air in your lungs, bringing life-giving oxygen into your bloodstream.
Now exhale, letting go of any part that might still be gripping, including your brain.
If this is an easy process for you, breathe into gratitude, acknowledging that for millions of people right now, this most essential act of life is a struggle. Breathe into this struggle, breathe in solidarity, breathe with love. And if breathing is a struggle for you right now, for whatever reason, feel the love and connection in this moment of all of us breathing with you.
As you inhale, remember that the oxygen entering your lungs comes from plants: the trees, the grass, the flowers around you. The carbon dioxide of your exhale is being absorbed by your houseplants or the grass outside, and your inhale is an absorption of the oxygen released by these very same plants.
Breathe into that interdependence.
A small poem by Tamiko
A seed is a metaphor
until it comes
in a small, white envelope with hundreds of others,
and you press each one carefully into the damp earth.
Whisper grow to the radish seed,
Thrive to the sunflower.
Ready a bed full of dirt and microbes and love.
Soon, stems and leaves as tender as hope will sprout:
tiny prayers in these strange times.
The Buddhist master Thich Nhat Hanh (Tick Not Han) often talks about how we all have many seeds within us. Seeds of love, compassion, gratitude–as well as seeds of negativity, anger, and fear. Part of the practice of living is watering and nourishing the seeds we want to flourish within us and within the world.
So choose a seed inside of you that you want to nourish and grow-love, peace, compassion–whatever is calling to you.
Imagine that seed beginning to sprout, sending the tenderest shoot out.
Now imagine it growing, unfurling, climbing up your spine.
Imagine, too, the roots that this seed sends down. Imagine the roots sinking down, through wood and concrete to burrow into the deep, rich, dark earth.
Now let those roots spread out, drawing nourishment from the earth and deep water sources–and nourishing the earth in return.
Feel how you can be rooted right here where you are, in compassion or love, or whatever aspect you chose, and feel your roots intermingling with the roots of the trees and plants around you. Even if they are the weeds in the cracks of the sidewalk.
Feel how all of us are reaching our roots out to each other, how we each can be blossoms and fruits of love and compassion, understanding and joy, and more.
Feel into what it means to be interconnected, interdependent with every being on this planet. Then let it go, with trust and gratitude.
Take a final deep breath in, and a long slow exhalation.
Slowly open your eyes.
I encourage you to go into the rest of Earth Day with peace, kindness, and love, respecting the earth that you walk on – with a smile!