Normally we encourage you to get out of your head. We ask that you quieten your mind. We ask that thoughts become like clouds and we ask that you let them float on by. We are likely to ask that like a glass of muddy water, you let the grit and dirt of the mind sink to the bottom, showing and letting the clear water of who you truly are simply refresh you.
But today we are doing something different. There are so many meditation techniques that cast the mind as our enemy; our nemesis. It’s simply not true. It’s actually only a very small part of our mind that can become troublesome. Taming that rowdy bull is useful and at times essential if it has wandered into the delicate mental china shop of our sensitivities and sensibilities. Sometimes that bull has run too hard and for too long and we need time to reassemble all the fragments of, say our delicate china teacup, so that we can function again in the world. First we need a cup, then we fill it and then we give from it. But first, we need a whole and watertight cup. So yes, of course, taming the mind when it becomes overbearing and repetitive is necessary.
And yet we must also look at the wonder of the mind. We must look at how, for the most part, it serves us very well. It takes very good care of us. So in this contemplation meditation we will acknowledge the mind.
We will start with a few simple gratitude statements …
Thank you for your brilliance.
Thank you for your speed.
Thank you for your wit.
Thank you for your initiative.
Thank you for your creative solutions.
Thank you for your wisdom.
Thank you for your memory banks.
Thank you for your recall.
Thank you for all the instruction manuals you have on file for me.
Thank you for your discernment.
Thank you for your clarity.
Thank you for always being there when I need you.
Thank you for absorbing new information.
Thank you for keeping me safe.
Thank you for the millions of archives you store for me.
Thank you for allowing me to express myself in the world.
I celebrate all the wonderful things we do together.
So now dear mind, my alchemist of intuition and divine intelligence, let’s have some fun together. I want you to conjure up images and or words for me when answering the following questions. We can take our time. We can really enjoy this. We can also notice what sensations arise in our body. We can pay attention to our emotional landscape too … observe and record our feelings.
Are we ready? Let’s take a minute or so really picturing ourselves in playful contemplation with the answers to these questions.
- What is our favourite flower and is it in a pot in our home or in a field or park?
- What is our favourite tree? What are we doing under or near that tree?
- What is our favourite animal and why do we like it so?
- What is our favourite body of water; lake, ocean, stream, river or rapids?
- What is our favourite food that we can pick directly from nature’s garden?
- What is our favourite; a clear blue sky, blue skies with sporadic cloud shapes or a tempestuous moody sky?
- What is our favourite bird inhabiting those skies?
- When it’s snowing, do we watch from inside next to a warm and cosy fire or do we rush out and throw snowballs?
- When the lightning and thunder claps only a few short seconds apart, do we hide under the bedclothes or do we stand at the window and howl at the storm?
- When we picture Earth from space, that little luminous spinning marble in the dark, what do we think about?
- When we take our shoes off and feel the earth or sand or grass beneath our feet, what do we feel?
- When we witness or hear of a birth and think about that wide-eyed infant, what arises within us?
- What is our favourite Season, Winter, Spring, Summer or Autumn?
- If we had to choose; sunrise or sunset?
Thank you mind. Thanks for working with me to enable some wonderful insights around both gratitude and awe. Thanks for recording all this for me. Thanks for helping me remember that I exist on and with the Earth. That I am both in and of nature. I am not separate from it and it’s impossible to be far away from it. Every morsel of food and every drop of water comes from nature. Every breath I take is freely given by nature. What could be more natural than me contemplating myself as nature? What could be more useful for you, dear mind, than this wonderful question?
Who am I?
And just before we go deep with that self-enquiry, let’s take a moment to enjoy the fruits of John O’Donohue’s wonderfully poetic, prayerful and sensitive mind.
In Praise of the Earth By John O’Donohue
Let us bless
The imagination of the Earth,
That knew early the patience
To harness the mind of time,
Waited for the seas to warm,
Ready to welcome the emergence
Of things dreaming of voyaging
Among the stillness of land.
And how light knew to nurse
The growth until the face of the Earth
Brightened beneath a vision of color.
When the ages of ice came
And sealed the Earth inside
An endless coma of cold,
The heart of the Earth held hope,
Storing fragments of memory,
Ready for the return of the sun.
Let us thank the Earth
That offers ground for home
And holds our feet firm
To walk in space open
To infinite galaxies.
Let us salute the silence
And certainty of mountains:
Their sublime stillness,
Their dream-filled hearts.
The wonder of a garden
Trusting the first warmth of spring
Until its black infinity of cells
Becomes charged with dream;
Then the silent, slow nurture
Of the seed’s self, coaxing it
To trust the act of death.
The humility of the Earth
That transfigures all
That has fallen
Of outlived growth.
The kindness of the Earth,
Opening to receive
Our worn forms
Into the final stillness.
Let us ask forgiveness of the Earth
For all our sins against her:
For our violence and poisonings
Of her beauty.
Let us remember within us
The ancient clay,
Holding the memory of seasons,
The passion of the wind,
The fluency of water,
The warmth of fire,
The quiver-touch of the sun
And shadowed sureness of the moon.
That we may awaken,
To live to the full
The dream of the Earth
Who chose us to emerge
And incarnate its hidden night
In mind, spirit, and light.
Beloved UPLIFT family,
What are you celebrating about your wonderful mind? Have there been times when you felt a rush of surprise or gratitude at what your mind and creative intelligence and intuition demonstrated to you? Have you indeed surprised yourself in mind, spirit and light?
Our eternal love and blessings upon you
Paul and Team UPLIFT