Following the recent death of Vietnamese Zen Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh, we honour his memory with the publication today of the fourth in our series of his Ten Love Letters to Earth, with another next Sunday...
These meditations are an invitation to engage in intimate conversation, a living dialogue, with our Earth.
Love Letter IV: Your Stability, Patience, and Inclusiveness
Dear Mother Earth,
You are this infinitely beautiful blue planet, fragrant, cool, and kind. Your immeasurable patience and endurance makes you a great bodhisattva. Even though we’ve made many mistakes, you always forgive us. Every time we return to you, you are ready to open your arms and embrace us.
Whenever I am unstable, every time I lose touch with myself, or am lost in forgetfulness, sadness, hatred, or despair, I know I can come back to you. Touching you, I can find a refuge; I can reestablish my peace and regain my joy and self-confidence. You love, protect, and nurture all of us without discrimination.
You have an immense capacity to embrace, handle, and transform everything that is cast at you, whether it be great asteroids, refuse and filth, poisonous fumes, or radioactive waste. Time helps you to do this, and your history has shown that you always succeed, even if it takes millions of years. You were able to reestablish equilibrium after the devastating collision that created the moon and have endured at least five mass extinctions, reviving yourself every time. You have an extraordinary capacity to renew, transform, and heal yourself—and also us, your children.
I have faith in your great power of healing. My faith comes from my own observation and experience, not from something others have told me to believe. That’s why I know I can take refuge in you. As I walk, sit, and breathe, I can surrender myself to you, trust wholly in you, and allow you to heal me. I know I don’t have to do anything at all. I can simply relax, release all the tension in my body, and all the fears and worries in my mind. Whether I’m sitting or walking, lying down or standing, I allow myself to take refuge in you, and allow myself to be held and healed by you. I entrust myself to you, Mother Earth. Each one of us needs a place of refuge, but we may not know how to find it or how to get there. Looking deeply today, I can see that my true home, my true place of refuge is you, my beloved planet. I take refuge in you, Mother Earth. I do not have to go anywhere to find you; you are already in me and I am already in you.
Dear Mother, each time I sit in stillness on your Earth, I will be aware that because you are in me, I can embody your wonderful qualities: of solidity, perseverance, patience, and forbearance; of depth, endurance, and stability; of great courage, non-fear, and inexhaustible creativity. I vow to practice wholeheartedly to realize these qualities, knowing that you have already sown these potentials as seeds in the soil of my heart and mind.
Another one? Links to Love Letters I, II and III are at base of page.
Today's OGN Sunday Magazine articles