Dear Still Water Friends,
April 26, 2007
Thisweek, following our meditation period, we will practice together theFive Touchings of the Earth and share on the theme of letting go.
In the tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh, the practice of Touching the Earth involves some form of prostration. In Stepping into Freedom, Thich Nhat Hanh describes the practice:
Whileyou are touching the Earth, turn the palms of your hands upwards toexpress your openness to the Buddha. Let go of all ideas you have aboutyourself. Remember that your body, health, skills, intelligence, andknowledge have been transmitted to you by your spiritual and bloodancestors, so allow yourself to enter the stream of life and be withall of them. When you do, you will see that you are not a separateself, that your suffering or happiness is not yours alone.
Forme, prostration is special opportunity to let go. When I prostrate, Iam not bowing to the Buddha, the dharma, or the Sangha, or anyone inparticular – I am bowing to everyone and everything. I’m invitingmyself to feel my oneness with the earth and all that is.
This practice helps me to loosen my attachment to my concept of aseparate self and all the ideas that go along with it, like “I must beright” and “I need to be special.” As I prostrate my body, releasing itto the earth, I feel great relief when I let go of my illusion of aseparate and idealized self.
I look forward to sharing this practice with you on Thursday.