Finding Ground October 31st, 2016
What is it to feel grounded? It seems obvious. We are on the earth, and we live our lives on the surface of it. Very simply how we live on the ground is what helps us to feel more grounded or not.
We humans are ground animals at our very core. We do not know how to fly without the use of harnessed energies. In fact the experience of being in cars or airplanes is so far out of our genetic reality that it can very easily create feelings of unreality, disconnection, anxiousness, and even terror. The painful irony is that our society is currently dependent on inherently ungrounded experiences. And to make it worse this way of being is imperiling the biosphere and may lead to our collective extinction. Okay, Big breath here. Feel your feet. Let’s proceed.
At the most basic level being grounded might mean for some of us that we feel calmer, more connected to ourselves and others and to what is really happening around us. That sounds good doesn’t it?
Feeling grounded is to literally feel connected to the ground. We can achieve this connection by noticing where we are and to take in some aspect of the natural world. Even looking up at the sky, helps us to situate ourselves on the earth. From this awareness we can feel more calm and connected to the world around us. Sensing our whole body on the earth is a healing experience.
We often do not even know that we have become ungrounded. Traumatic experiences even on the most subtle level unground us. It is hard for us to know that we are safe to live on the earth after trauma. Our daily lives reiterate this by offering little time for deep reflection, rest and emotional support from others. We end up living in a reality bubble that is energetically pulling us up and away from the ground.
As an experiment take a moment to notice how it feels to be in your body when you say to yourself “I am safe”. The idea of being safe is inherently grounding. It implies that where you are physically is a safe place. This is an ancient need, and our ancestors and we ourselves need safety to relax. I truly hope that you are in a safe place as you read this, but if you are not, even then, you have the power to influence your mind and body by repeating these words and noticing that right beneath you no matter where you are on earth there is ground. Knowing that we have the earth beneath us is something for which we can all be deeply grateful and it opens up a profound awareness that this does not change. No matter what happens to us in our lives, we are still connected to all that is through our intimate relationship with the earth and the universe. We can rest in this awareness.
The great 20th-century Vedantin sage, Ramana Maharshi said that the Earth is in a constant state of dhyana (meditative absorption). The Buddha's earth-witness mudra (hand position) is a beautiful example of "embodied cognition" His posture and gesture embody unshakeable self-realization. He does not ask heavenly beings for assistance. Instead, without using any words, the Buddha calls on the Earth to bear witness. "John Stanley & David Loy" Eco-Dharma.com
When we take time to acknowledge the earth beneath us, we are grounding ourselves and touching into the oneness that exists for all beings. The earth will bear witness to the miracle of you in your perfect connection to everything in the universe..