Yesterday I walked along one of my favorite hikes, beside a tributary of alarger river. This river has been home to people for thousands of years. First Nations people lived at different parts of this river as it flowed from the mountains, down through vast silent forests and finally out to the bay. Those who lived along this river harvested reeds, trees, salmon, shellfish and a multitude of different kinds of berries for at least four thousand years. They also hunted animals who came to the river for fresh water: mink, otters, deer, wolves, and birds. Bears also lived in this area, but the people who lived here then, did not hunt them because they believed these creatures were too alike to humans to be killed and eaten.
After first contact with Europeans, this river was dredged to make it easier for ships to come into the bay to take away logs from the surrounding forests. This disturbed the river bed and its flow. Many fish stocks were lost, animals and birds lost their food and water sources. The men who planned and executed this destruction had no idea of the long term effects of their actions, rather like many people today. Or perhaps even if they had known the far reaching consequences of their actions, they would not have changed them. They were possessed by hungry ghosts and addictions which blinded them to the world.
As I walk along this river, I wonder how it manages to keep flowing, to keep alive and offering nourishment to creatures who still live along its banks. Most people here don’t remember, but this estuary and its flood plain was once filled with so many birds that they would darken the sky. Even I, in my life time, can remember this. Now, if I spot flocks of perhaps ten or twelve birds, I am thrilled.
There was a time in my life when human destruction of the earth and her creatures dismayed me so much I sunk into a deep depression. I contemplated suicide. I couldn’t bear to watch the progression we have chosen towards world death. But my love for my son, my family and the commitment I felt towards my spiritual teachers and ancestors kept me alive. Still keeps me alive. I will see this learning through to the end. I will be witness and as much as possible, I will bless and direct the coming times towards the best possible outcomes.
My new teacher has shown me that energy is indestructible and in exhaustible in nature. But from my small place of a woman living in a human body with loving commitments towards others, these turbulent times are difficult. I fight the temptation to sink into hopelessness. To re-bind myself to my commitment to be a spiritual teacher and counsellor, I remind myself every day of my soul’s purpose. I remind myself of why I choose to be born and live in these times, with all the beings and beauty of this wondrous world.
One of my practices to keep my intentions alive and strong is to bless the world when I walk. As I walk, I bless everything I see, hear, small and touch , from me to the horizon. And beyond to clouds, stars, sun and moon. All of it. Just as I must accept the terror of the coming times, so too I accept and bless all that I see in the world, in the moment, from the tiny pebbles that my shoes walk on to the majestic clouds that hover along the horizon. I can’t fully understand all that goes on in my life, but I can hold the intention of witnessing, accepting and blessing the three worlds of our good mother: inanimate, plant and animal. This will not prevent me from acting with discernment once my walking mediation is over, it will not sugar coat the darkness in my life. On the contrary, blessing the world as I walk helps me come back to the battle renewed with vigor and most important, with compassion and a greater vision of the whole.
1. Take a walk through your world, out in nature is best but if you live in an urban area or even within your home, take a walk through that world. Clear your mind. Just notice with all of your senses.
2. Now notice something close to you. I notice my computer in my office.
3. Bless that-whether it is inanimate, plant or animal, it still has sentience and is participating in your life in an active and conscious way. Blessings to my computer.
4. Now bring to mind, all those things, actions, people, meanings that are connected with what you noticed. Bless all that also. Blessings to all those who made my computer and the technology that supports it. Blessings to all the animals and plants who feed the people who worked on the computer. Blessings to all the inanimate sentience of the materials that are in my computer, the oil, copper, the refineries where the materials were made…Keep going, there’s lots of interconnections you can bless.
5. Now raise your eyes and see as far as you can, to the horizon. Imagine a line from where you are standing to the horizon. Try to notice as much as you can about what is happening between you and the horizon. Bless everything in that eye line. E.g. From where I stand in my office, I can see to the mountains across the bay. Between me and them, there are houses, people living their lives, animals in the forest below and on the other side of the bay, all the creatures who live in the sea, along the shore line, the plants in the sea and along the shore, birds who fly through the air, a multitude of insects visible and within the soil. I bless all I can see from here to the horizon.
6. This practice will aide in the development of understanding the interconnection of all being. This awareness alone and by itself would save humanity from the impending crises which are approaching.