The stars fell through my window tonight
I got up
They were everywhere
Shiny bright and brilliant
Peeping through the pines
Playing peek-a-boo with the clouds
Scattering diamonds everywhere
How could I be so lucky
To be so loved by this good earth
By Lauretta Santarossa
I’m writing from Samye Ling this week where I’m leading a weekend on Mindfulness and Nature, and it’s easy here to feel deeply connected to the natural world, full of appreciation and gratitude. Lauretta Santarossa writes about her experience of intimate closeness with the stars, if I was a poet I might write about an encounter I had with a hare, or with an ancient tree, or with the sun ‘playing peek-a-boo with the clouds’ and appearing just when the outdoor practice I guided I got to the part about connection with the fire element*. ‘How could I be so lucky to be so loved by this good earth’…
So I’m feeling profoundly lucky, I could even say blessed. To be here in this magnificent place (if you haven’t been to Samye Ling where many of our courses take place, you may want to venture out, for example to our conference this summer…), to work with wonderful colleagues, to meet beautiful people who entrust me with their experience on this journey of exploring our inner and outer environment. Profoundly grateful also to my teachers, my loved ones… the list could and does go on – but I’ll save it for my journal rather than right here. But I highly recommend to take time out, regularly, to reflect on who and what you’re grateful for, till your cup runneth over and you’re brimming with that question: ‘how could I be so lucky’…?!
One more thing, before I go to sit by the river that Jacky videoed for her Mindful Moment of the week. There’s been a lot of media coverage of the climate breakdown this week through the actions of Extinction Rebellion, the school strikes and the visit of Greta Thunberg which got all political parties to sit down and talk together about the climate crisis, and David Attenborough’s wake up call to what’s going on. If you’re feeling overwhelmed or struggling with concern for the world, you may want to look into the book ‘Active Hope, How to Face the Mess We’re in without Going Crazy’ by Joanna Macy and Chris Johnstone. Fay and I use it in the Engaged Mindfulness weekend which is coming up in November, where we directly turn towards our pain but also our love for the world – and widen our capacity to respond to what’s going on by engaging in different practices that help us find new and empowering perspectives. For yes, I do feel ‘so loved by this good earth’ but I also love deeply in return, and I want to put that love into action, together with others, more and more.
*If you’re interested in this practice of connecting with the four elements both in the world around us as well as inside our own body, you may want to try this recording by my colleague Graeme Armstrong, inspired by the book Awake in the Wild by Mark Coleman. Curious to hear what you make of it!