So we just finished our first class for Spirit of the Land and I have to say, I’m really stoked to be a part of this. While I was, of course, nervous about introducing the digital world in the class, it will certainly be an amazing space to share and grow together. I can’t wait until next week when we’ll invite the digital community to listen in and interact on twitter and in other spaces as they wish!
I had to put out a bit of a hello, even though we didn’t offer a synchronous space tonight:
After dinner we started out the course by discussing 3 questions – first on our own, then with one partner and finally in small groups.
And then watched the Magic Canoe – giving us a few more questions to be asked:
- Who are you?
- Who are you really?
- Why are you here?
- What are you for?
In our meditation following Thich Nhat Hahn’s “Peace is Every Step,” we found a moment to breathe through these questions – focusing on Calmness, Smiling, Presence, and the Wondrousness of Presence.
While this is a pretty utilitarian account of what happened, I’d like to share two moments from our small group discussion. In one moment I had a vision of the Earth as Gaia.
The Earth has breath – a breath that circulates the essential cocktail of gaseous nutrients around the circumference of the planet, nourishing us all with the necessities for existence. The earth has blood that flows up from the core, mingling with the breath, serving the living tissues, and then submerging again. The shifting sinews draw heat from below, while the bone structure holds majesty together.
And Jennifer’s image of cultivation. We sew the seeds of positivity in the soil of our existence. It takes time to nurture those seeds, to weed out the negative influences, protect against frost, water with compassion and forgiveness for self. And then, at last, we harvest. And we must remember to harvest, for if we only sew but never reap, the fruits of the universe lay spoiled, unused, discarded.
Finally, it reminds me of this amazing poem I read once in my friend’s house. I’ll leave you with the words of Derek Walcott.
Love after Love – Derek Walcott
The time will come when, with elation, you will greet yourself arriving at your own door
in your own mirror
and each will smile at the other’s welcome and say, “Sit here. Eat.”
you will love again the stranger who was yourself.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart to itself.
To the stranger who has loved you all your life.
Whom you ignored for another who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf, the photographs, the desperate notes.
Peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit, feast on your life.