Zen Evening Gatha
Let me respectfully remind you
Life and death are of supreme importance.
Time swiftly passes by and opportunity is lost.
Each of us should strive to awaken.
This night your days are diminished by one.
Do not squander your life.
today is Teacher Appreciation Day. there are so many teachers I am grateful for, so many who have influenced my life in small and large ways. what a gift!
today, though, I would like to highlight Susan Piver. I trained to be a Meditation Instructor under her guidance and I continue to learn from her practical, grounded practice and teaching. she is real, direct, humorous, and generous.
below is a teaching I keep going back to. so beneficial.
“When I’m at my lowest and have no more ideas about what to do, I think, ‘Offer it,’ and something shifts. Even if only for a moment, I feel lighter. It’s not a simple offloading into the ether; I intend my feelings as a devotional gift, a kind of mind-Prasad. Even though I have no idea how my ‘gift’ could be of any value, I offer it anyway…I know not to what or to whom.” ~Susan Piver
profound. just “offer it.” all of it. the sadness, the anger, the hurt, the confusion, the broken heart. the swirling chaos, and the shaking ground beneath your feet. who you are, where you are at, what you are feeling – offer it. all of it.
“Nature is not a place to visit.
It is home.”
outdoor meditation today.
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.
a thought on my birthday:
“Throughout this life, you can never be certain of living long enough to take another breath.”
and so i shall breathe
in gratitude for this life
precious and fleeting