Dear Still Water Friends,
This Thursday evening, January 27, after our sitting and walking meditation, we will practice the Touchings of the Earth, a guided movement meditation. Many of us are familiar with the Three Touchings and the Five Touchings of the Earth which we have done many times at Still Water. This week we will utilize a new form adapted from Thich Nhat Hanh's recent book, Touching the Earth. This new form has three sections:
Everything Is Manifestation
Living in the Present
Nourishing Love and Understanding
The reading for the first Touching, Everything is Manifestation, is provided below. The full form will be on our Website under Resources / Still Water MPC Ceremonies / Touching the Earth - Manifestation, Present Moment, and Love.
Dear Buddha, you have taught that people in the world are generally caught in ideas of being and nonbeing, permanence and annihilation. I know that the idea of an undying self is a wrong view, and I am practicing to look deeply to see that annihilation is also a wrong view. Permanence and annihilation are both extremes. You have taught me that if I am caught in either of these two extremes, I suffer. As part of my daily practice, I shall make an effort to see clearly that my own five skandhas and everything around me is impermanent, but at the same time not subject to annihilation. With the clear understanding of impermanence, I see that nothing can be said to be a separate self-entity. Everything is a wonderful manifestation which does not have its own separate reality or its own separate nature. This manifests because that manifests, and that manifests because this manifests. This is present in that and that is present in this.
Dear Buddha, I shall listen to your advice and look deeply into impermanence, interdependence, emptiness, and interbeing, in order to arrive at the deep realization that all that exists has the nature of no birth and no death, no coming and no going, no being and no nonbeing, no permanence and no annihilation. Dear Buddha, you have opened the door of no birth for us. I only need to follow you and enter that door. I know that the highest aim of a practitioner is to realize the nature of no birth and no death and thus to go beyond the cycle of samsara and attain the greatest freedom. You have been so compassionate to teach us this. Yet, I have wasted much precious time following a worldly career, looking for words of praise, profit, and position. I know I can do better.