“One of my favorite subjects of contemplation is this question: Since death is certain, but the time of death is uncertain, what is the most important thing? You know you will die, but you really don’t know how long you have to wake up from the cocoon of your habitual patterns. You don’t know how much time you have left to fulfill the potential of your precious human birth. Given this, what is the most important thing?” ~ Pema Chödrön
I was given a precious human birth.
What am I doing with it? What is the most important thing? To do? To be?
We all know it’s not a material item, not a possession, not even this physical body.
Or, is it this body?
Without this body—this particular one with its brain and heart, blood and guts, creaky knees and flexible spine, and fascia and flesh—I have nothing.
Say, health is the most important thing.
Health as in balance, vitality, proper use of energy. Right action. Wisdom.
Our health, in the larger sense of where we are, is in our families and homes—in the water and the soil.
The most important thing is to stop polluting the planet. To cease contamination, to halt habits that are destroying not only our precious, sacred Lake Atitlán, but all bodies of water—including our own human bodies, which are 78 percent water or something.
The most important thing is the health of both individual and community. Both family and globe. However, global thinking is a bit like magical thinking—too conceptual, unfathomable, oversimplified. Local, present-moment, current, heart-centered thinking is what’s needed.
We are all (to some extent) guilty of being ostriches, and we need to pull our heads out of the sand. Pachamama, Mother Earth, is crying softly—but, before long, she’s going to start screaming. Sometimes she shrieks in silence, and only some of us are awake enough to hear—alert enough to listen.
We must speak for the lake, for the forest, and all the species. Write, and talk, and make documentaries, and raise awareness, and inspire action in ourselves and others.
Instead, most of us, myself included, are increasingly distracted by busyness and by using technology as a toy, rather than a tool too much of the time.
What is the most important thing? Balance. The search for truth. Giving up the search. Loving and letting go.
What is the most important thing? Earth. Breath. Air. Oxygen. The lake is suffocating. We need to give her her lungs back, to let her breathe, let her keep inspiring and feeding everyone who comes into her aura, her basin.
Earth is the most important thing. This grain of sand, this blade of grass, this flower petal, this cloud formation, this ocean wave, this full moon, this universe.
If planet Earth goes, we all go. Pay attention to the cries of Mother Earth, of “Grandmother Atitlan.” Pay attention to what you are putting into your body, mind, and heart. Pay attention to how you sit and stand, move and behave in the world, in our home.
The time is now.