Dharma Topic: The Three Touchings of the Earth

Dharma Topic: The Three Touchings of the Earth

Discussion date: Thu, Jun 23, 2005 at our weekly Thursday evening practice

Dear Still Water Friends,

This Thursday Evening, after our meditation period,we will practice the Three Touchings of the Earth, a guided movementmeditation that can help us visualize ourselves as a drop of water in the riverof life. The meditation concludes with these words:

I am one with my ancestors. I am one with my descendants. I am life manifested in numberless different forms. I am one with all people and all species, whether they are peaceful and fearless, or suffering and afraid. At this very moment, I am present everywhere on this planet. I am also present in the past and in the future.

The disintegration of this body does not touch me, just as when the plum blossom falls it does not mean the end of the plum tree. I see myself as a wave on the surface of the ocean. My nature is the ocean water. I see myself in all the other waves and see all the other waves in me. The appearance and disappearance of the form of the wave does not affect the ocean. My Dharma body and wisdom life are not subject to birth and death.

I see the presence of myself before my body manifested and after my body has disintegrated. Even in this moment, I see how I exist elsewhere than in this body. Seventy or eighty years is not my life span. My life span, like the life span of a leaf or of a Buddha, is limitless. I have gone beyond the idea that I am a body that is separated in space and time from all other forms of life.

Many of us raised in American culture have an overabundanceof Yang energy, the energy of goals, intentions, and getting things done. Iappreciate greatly the Three Touchings of the Earth because the Touchings oftenbalance my usual overabundance of Yang with Yin, the energy of acceptance andvisceral connection with a wholeness that contains me.

You are invited to join us this Thursday for our meditationperiod and the Three Touchings of the Earth. Our discussion will focus on theconcrete practices that enable us (or might enable us) each day to recognize andbe animated by the encompassing matrix of life.

The best times to join us are just before the first sittingat 7 pm; at 7:25, at the beginning of walking meditation; or, at 7:35, at thebeginning of the second sitting. (To allow others to maintain concentration andcontinuity, we ask that practitioners not enter during the walking meditation.)

Peace and joy to you,

Mitchell Ratner 
Senior Teacher

Discussion Date: Thu, Jun 23, 2005