Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Stay Grounded

-in my meditation garden-

During my Yoga class yesterday, our instructor kept reminding us to "stay grounded." Actually this is a mantra he pretty much recites every week as we get into a different pose, and I always thought that he said this to remind us to pay attention to the pose - make sure you are doing it right. 

But yesterday, he added a few words of explanation about what he means when he tells us to "stay grounded," and his explanation opened a whole new understanding for me that went way beyond how to focus on a yoga pose. 

An electrical current needs to have "ground" wire or it will run rampant and cause damage. The ground wire channels the energy and focuses it.  So it is for us when we "stay grounded." We are putting down a ground wire, physically and literally grounding and focusing our energy lest the energy run rampant and create chaos.

He went on to say that in order to "stay grounded,"  we need to plant our bodies firmly - secure them to whatever place we may be standing or siting, then letting our energy flow into the ground upon which we stand, becoming like a tree with roots extending into the earth. 

I can't stop thinking about "staying grounded" as I sit planted in my own meditation garden this morning.

I sit on the soil in my garden and think about my body sending out energy - roots deep down into the earth, intertwining with the roots of everything and everyone planted all over the face of this earth. 

It is such a powerful image to me. 

When the word "spirituality" is used, it often has a very "other worldly"connotation to it. In order to be spiritual, people imagine they must escape from the world and rise up into another ethereal dimension. My experience of "staying grounded" teaches me that "spirituality" is very much about living here and now -in this actual physical world.  

As I sit "planted" in my garden, I also reflect on how important it is for me to "stay grounded" after I leave the garden and go about the everyday business of my ordinary chaotic life where I am constantly pulled every which way as I talk on the phone, make breakfast, send an email and figure out what project I need to work on next - all at the same time.  

I am reminded of one of my very favorite quotes from the priest and author, Barbara Brown Taylor:

Most of us spend so much time thinking about where we have been or where we are supposed to be going that we have a hard time recognizing where we actually are. When someone asks us where we want to be in our lives, the last thing that occurs to us is to look down at our feet and say, 'Here, I guess, since this is where I am.' 

Everywhere I go today I'll be staring at my feet and thinking, "This is where I want to be, because this is where I am. Here is where my feet are planted."

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