Bare Bones Biology 154 – Compassionate Earth Walk with Jessica

Tar Sands Aerial copyAstronauts, in space, often report a life-changing impact of recognizing our place in earth – and it’s place in us – as they looked down upon a reality that is inconceivably more every person does have that same deep dependence upon the living earth.

Renowned Canadian scientist Dr. David Suzuki has referred to the Tar Sands development as a great wound upon the face of the Earth.

Shodo Spring, founder of The Compassonate Earth Walk, explained that our “intention,” through walking, is to face that great injury in the earth (the tar sands) as an expression of a brokenness in our collective human spirit – and to heal and transform that brokenness through the power of love and awareness. That is one reason for walking, but the reality is that every person on earth has spiritual and physical reasons to walk the path that leads toward the welfare of planet Earth.

Pipeline-NAJessica is one who is walking with Shodo. Here is a a portion of her reason for walking the route of the Keystone XL Pipeline that begins at the Tar Sands development and splits the heart of North America.

“We are using the Keystone XL Pipeline as a symbol of the pain that we’ve been facing as a society, literally sucking ourselves dry in an effort to fuel our future. In my study of energy as natural medicine, there’s a principle that I return to with almost all of my clients, and that is putting their feet on the earth. The Earth has such a powerful grounding polar charge, and in our bodies and in our lives has so much of this grounding polar charge in our bodies and in our lives, and holds so much of this high-powered rajasic, this outward movement of energy, driving us forward, driving us toward our goals and destinations, and oftentimes we can forget that there is a moment of stillness that we can find within us. A very good way of connecting with that stillness is by just placing our feet on the earth. After I finish a treatment session with any of my clients I’ll normally have them take their shoes off. We’ll walk downstairs and we’ll walk outside and put our feet on the earth, just for a few moments. I’m always so surprised by the response. I’ve had people be very uncomfortable with that. “You expect me to walk without shoes downstairs? You expect me to stand on the dirt?” But then after a moment of feeling that connection to the earth, underneath their feet, there’s always a noticeable difference in the energy of the body. They take a moment; they take a breath; they are able to release the tension and the stress; able to release the pain in their body, or in their heart, or in their spirit. Just finding this connection with the earth is such a powerful healing transformative practice.

Shodo4LSs copy“On the compassionate earth walk I’m hoping to bring that powerful healing and transformative energy. We are going to be building a community consciousness along the way. That’s really what this is about. It’s about connecting with nature through connecting with our community, or connecting to community through connecting with nature.”

In other words, we are it. Even though Jessica’s story sounds so foreign to me that I can barely imagine it – because I was brought up most of my early life running the earth in my bare feet – nevertheless that last sentence speaks for everyone. And so does the Compassionate Earth Walk bare-bones-bio…ate-earth-walk/.

Again, from another source in another culture, here is a story told by Jack Kornfield: “I remember asking BuddhaDassa, a wonderful teacher in the southern forests of Thailand, I said, you have been teaching westerners for 25 years now, and I’m sure you’ve noticed, as I have, how many of us come to meditate with a lot of grief and wounds and trauma and unworthiness. What do you do? What’s the best way to work with that? He said, what I see for those who are wounded, most importantly, is to bring them into the forest. To bring them out into the world of the trees and the rocks, of the clouds and the streams, and let them live in this world of nature until they feel held by it, made of it, until they know themselves to be connected with it.” (DVD, Meditation for Beginners)
The Compassionate Earth Walk is a spiritual pilgrimage toward our true home in the community of life.

This is Bare Bones Biology, a production of and KEOS Radio, 89.1 FM, Bryan, Texas. The podcast of this episode can be downloaded at: