One way of learning balance is to simply look down underneath our feet. The planet that we walk on holds us with stability and strength. The Earth keeps us close and protects us with gravity, otherwise we would fly away towards certain danger. Important limits and boundaries must be respected. There is something very intimate in being held and cared for in this way. Gravity tells us that this planet is where we must learn to live, and teaches us that we are all equal no matter the diversity of humans, plants and animals.
The Earth also knows how to give every living being the minerals necessary for its life. It knows how to receive, hold and nourish a seed. The emergence of a sprout happens in the darkness just below the surface, and when it is ready, there is a push and the shoot becomes evident. It is then received, and held again in a new way. The earth knows how to give just the right amount of water, heat, and air to every living being, guiding it into a bright world where things get hot and cold. Unless balance on the earth is disrupted, all life forms grow, mature, flower and give fruit. If this balance is disrupted, it becomes stubble, and can only be ploughed under. Human history has shown that countries, empires and civilizations have been ploughed under.
Where else can we learn balance?
Plants and animals live in this flow quite well until ecosystems are damaged or destroyed. They hold themselves in life in different ways with a giving and receiving that is so evident in their gentleness and power. They only do what is essential for living without a frantic do-do-do and go-go-go. They provide us with essential nutrition and incredible pleasures of taste. They make our human life possible. Our physical bodies continually receive what plants, animals, and the minerals of the earth give. Calcium and phosphorus hold to form our bones. We breathe atoms of oxygen that enrich our blood. Molecules of water flow through us. We are born into and continually surrounded by these teachers.
Every one of the seven billion humans is born of a woman. So one thing we have in common is knowing the fullness of being in a mother’s womb, the tenderness of her body after we are born, and her strength when she held us. Balance is learning that every action we take is a holding, giving and receiving. Look at the tenderness of a baby’s giving, the openness of a baby’s receiving, and the trust in their being held. When they grow they learn to play with agility, strength, and endurance. They spontaneously hold hands when they want to be accompanied. They naturally give an embrace when they want to share affection. They hold us intently with their eyes when they want to share that which is most profound in being.
We do not have to invent anything to learn balance. However we must be open to rediscovering what was given to us as infants, and be willing to let it mature in time as an adult practice.
Our humanness can also be characterized by the ability to determine. We have the capacity to determine that which is not going to take place naturally, predictably, or cyclically. We design, invent, shape, influence, give direction, produce and generate. Industry and technology are proof of this. When we do this independent of holding the earth in our care, or without attention to the giving and receiving of life on earth, the result is pollution, destruction and extinction. Striving towards global transformation is a human process of determining. It is not going to happen if we are out of balance in our holding, giving, and receiving.Download Article 1K Club