On the morning of the Buddha’s enlightenment it is said that the great tempter and deceiver Mara after many failed attempts to deceive and distract the Buddha, asked the Buddha, “What gives you the right to be enlightened? Who are you to awaken? Who bears witness to this?” Silently, calmly the Buddha took his right hand and touched the Earth and in that moment the Earth shook, bearing witness to the Buddha’s enlightenment. With this, Mara disappeared.
And so it is with every step we take, our feet touching the ground, that the Earth also bears witness to our right to be here and to awaken.
It is now our turn to bear witness for the Earth in her time of need. The Earth has given us life and sustains us. In fact, science has shown us that we have the Earth’s elements within us. Without these elements, without the delicate balance that is our Earth, life as we know it would not be – we would not be. The only appropriate response for such gratuitous love, is gratitude, a gratitude that manifests in reciprocal love.
Our relationship to the Earth, is just that, a relationship. How do we show our love? How do we show our gratitude? How do we pass this relationship on to our children and grandchildren?
Let us take some time today to touch the Earth. Feel the dirt between our fingers, feel the ground beneath our feet as we step. Are our steps, steps of love? Let us step out into nature and listen, look. Allowing in all the life that is sustained by the Earth, allowing it into our hearts, blessing it and sending it back out with love. Let us make new choices that bear witness to our love for the Earth and all of life.