Friday, April 22, 2011

Earth Day Meditation

Today is Earth Day. The 17th Gyalwang Karmapa gave a teaching this morning from India. At the end of the teaching, he told everyone to go out and sit on the earth and do some meditation, so I went out with my kids and sat in the courtyard of a local Schiedam church on the grass.

Actually, everyday is Earth Day, the Karmapa explained. We are dependent upon the Earth for our very survival. If it weren't for the Earth, and the complex set of interdependent circumstances that allows Earth to sustain life, none of us would be here.

As I was biking home this evening from a rather disappointing meeting, I started to feel a sense of gratitude for being here on this planet. It was a small moment of joy and gratitude. The sun was setting over a river in Rotterdam. It was a huge, firey ball reflecting off of the water. There were Egyptian ducks walking along the river bank, and I biked alongside them, taking in all of this remarkable beauty. It had rained earlier, so the sky was clear blue with a few scattered clouds, and the grass and trees were imbued with fresh green dampness.

The sun shines on everyone without discrimination. We can all enjoy the beauty of the sun, the sweetness of birds singing, and the greenness of trees, grass, and plants. We can all appreciate these things on a very basic level. It's a very simple and joyful thing to do.

Lately I have a heightened sense of birds singing everywhere I go. There are little white balls of plant fuzz floating through the air all over town. The days are beginning to get a little hotter. Disappointment slides away as easily as it comes these days.

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