Today is Earth Day (April 22nd). I was thinking on what to write that reflects my reverence and gratefulness to our beloved Mother Earth. Growing up in the Eastern culture in India, very early on, I was absorbed in the tradition of embracing our Earth as the mother (feminine) aspect of Creation.
It makes lot of sense as to why we call the Earth our “mother”, as it is this earth that has given life and keeps giving life to trillions and trillions of organisms on this planet. Earth represents all the qualities we embody in our mothers – unconditional love, care, affection, forgiving, patience, accepting and it goes on. And guess what; we have treated her, exactly how we treat our mothers and we all know what I’m saying – ‘taken for granted’.
Mudra: The Science of Postures
This morning, I ventured to bring my thoughts to life with the above photograph, trying to depict the reverence I have for Mother Earth. After many hours of trial and error felt satisfied with this photo that is showcasing the powerful Prithvi mudra embraced around a chanting mala with a backdrop of Earth picture. Why the fork? Well, that story unfolds a little later.
Mudras (a.k.a. Science of Postures) holds a special place in the field of Ayurveda. Dive deep into the wisdom of Ayurveda and its rich language of Sanskrit. You will then know that when these mudras are practiced correctly, they become “closed electric circuits” for the subtle energy channels within the body!
The meaning of Prithvi is Earth. There are numerous benefits in practicing this powerful mudra – the most important being that it increases the Earth (one of the five elements) element, within our bodies by decreasing the Fire element. It helps in digestive problems, gives one the grounding and the self-confidence, and overall turns a person into a sattvic (spiritual and mindful) personality.
In my quest to lead a sattvic lifestyle this dawned on me one day – mindful eating begins with mindful cooking that leads to mindful living! So, I think the first step we all can take to honor and thank our Mother Earth is to start eating mindfully! And this is the reason why I chose to use fork to portray mindful eating .
The Mantra of Mindful eating:
Mindful eating has become my mantra and I have begun to love and respect my body to give the best I can to keep it healthy, vibrant, and compassionate. Ayurveda emphasizes a lot on cooking and eating with your senses by enjoying the taste, smell, texture, look and feel of each bite and every meal you prepare.
Getting into the ritual of eating with an intention to take care of my body – the only house I reside in, made me learn to enjoy cooking healthy and wholesome meals good for my dosha (body constitution).
I started diligently eating fresh home-made meals made with locally grown and organic produce. Buying locally grown and interacting with farmers, brought me closer to the community I live in and a new-found reverence to the fertile farmlands of Arizona.
According to Ayurveda, once you start eating to your dosha you start becoming aware and balanced, leading to an alignment with nature and surroundings around you. The awareness has made me look into other facets of my life. This practice has allowed me to make natural lifestyle changes in my home and in my surroundings. Right eating patterns have gravitated me towards mindful thinking and meditation, which in turn has given me the gifts of understanding, compassion, and empathy towards others.
Today my life is a work in progress towards a sattvic lifestyle. Yes, it’s important to think about global warming, carbon footprint, pollution, etc. and you will find many posts written in regards to this for Earth Day. I think it’s more important first to take an honest look at ourselves and learn to understand and know who we are and balance our minds and bodies first, before we start to bring changes in the societies we live in.
Let me finish this post with Eckhart Tolle’s quote – “You are responsible for your inner space; nobody else is, just as you are responsible for the planet. As within, so without: If humans clear inner pollution, then they will also cease to create outer pollution.”
So on this blessed Earth Day I genuflect at the feet of my Mother Earth for all the blessings she has showered upon me. Happy Earth Day!