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March 29, 2018

How we can Save the Planet with Loving-Kindness: an Earth Day Meditation.


Spending time in nature always leaves me feeling amazed, inspired, and deeply grateful.

However, it also breaks my heart a little, because I see the trash on the side of the road, the black exhaust wafting into the atmosphere, and the cleared lots where trees used to be—and I can’t help but wonder: what for? Another shopping center?

When I see this, I want to scream, hoping the wind will carry my voice to anyone who will listen: “Stop it. Just stop it!” All the things I’ve been wanting to say—bottled up while watching the news or driving by that new construction site—rush through my mind all at once.

It comes down to this: we need those trees. And those birds. And the leaves, and bees, and ice caps, and forests, and butterflies, and tigers, and turtles.

My heart breaks—but I get angry too. And then, I feel empty and lost.

When I get like this, I can feel the negativity radiating off of me; and it’s not that the terrible things happening in the world aren’t worth getting angry about—but adding more anger to the planet isn’t what I want. What I want is healing…for us and Mother Earth.

I want to act from that place in which I felt so grounded and grateful. I want to change what I’m putting out there—from my ecological footprint, to my aura, and everything in between. I want to pay back the planet for her love, with love.

Anger has never been my strength anyway. I get flooded with emotion and cry—and then forget everything I wanted to say, until days later when I can’t get it out of my head.

It was in one of those moments of heartbreaking anger that I thought of the Tibetan Buddhists hanging their prayer flags over the fields and mountaintops to send their prayers of compassion, peace, and vitality to all beings through the wind.

Yes, this is what we need more of right now: good will.

We need more peace—and the compassionate strength that brings healing to the planet and all who live here. And, I may be just one person, but I have a whole lot of heart—and I’ve decided to share that heart with the planet…and you!

If you’re hurting over the state of the planet and don’t know where to begin, you can always begin with loving-kindness—and this Earth Day-inspired meditation. All you need is a few minutes—and perhaps a pen and paper, if you’d like to process the experience when you’re done.

To begin, find a place that allows you to be fully present. To deepen your connection to the earth during the meditation, go outside or play ambient nature sounds in the background—think babbling brooks, ocean waves, or rainfall.

Sit wherever you’re comfortable, placing your hands over your heart or palms up on your knees. Close your eyes, or find a quiet place to rest your gaze.

As you breathe, feel the air as it enters and leaves your lungs. Thank it for the good will it carries from all others practicing loving-kindness and from Mother Earth herself.

Call to mind the image of your home or neighborhood, and say to yourself:

>> Breathing in, I receive good will from my home and all who reside here.

>> Breathing out, I send my wishes for the health, safety, and well-being for my home and all who reside here.

>> May my home be healthy, clean, and safe.

>> May all who reside here be healthy, safe, and loved.

You can use these exact phrases or incorporate your own wishes for your home. Repeat this as many times as you like before moving on.

When you’re ready, extend your awareness to your hometown, city, or state—and say to yourself:

>> Breathing in, I receive good will from my hometown and all who reside here.

>> Breathing out, I send my wishes for the health, safety, and well-being for my hometown and all who reside here.

>> May my hometown be healthy, clean, and safe.

>> May all who reside here be healthy, safe, and loved.

Repeat these phrases as often as you like, before extending your awareness to your country or continent:

>> Breathing in, I receive good will from my country and all who reside here.

>> Breathing out, I send my wishes for the health, safety, and well-being to my country and all who reside here.

>> May my country be healthy, clean, and safe.

>> May all who reside here be healthy, safe, and loved.

Repeat this until you’re ready to extend your awareness to the most remote land you can call to mind. Even if you’ve never been there, picture it in as vivid detail as you can:

>> Breathing in, I receive good will from the most remote areas of the world and all who reside there.

>> Breathing out, I send my wishes for the health, safety, and well-being for the most remote areas of the world and all who reside there.

>> May even the farthest corners of the world be healthy, clean, and safe.

>> May all who reside there be healthy, safe, and loved.

Finally, extend your wishes for health, safety, and love to the whole planet and all beings:

>> Breathing in, I receive good will from the earth and all beings who reside here.

>> Breathing out, I send my wishes for the health, safety, and well-being for the earth and all who reside here.

>> May the planet be healthy, clean, and safe.

>> May all beings be healthy, safe, and loved.

Send as many personal prayers or wishes for healing, health, and safety of the planet (and her inhabitants) as you like.

For example:

>> May the earth heal.

>> May the trees grow strong and tall.

>> May the rivers flow with clean, life-giving water.

>> May all creatures have a safe habitat.

Stay in this place of loving-kindness for as long as you like, and notice what feels different. When you open your eyes, notice how things look from this new place of healing intention.

If you have a pen and paper handy, process this experience and write down one concrete thing you can do for the planet.

If you feel called to donate or volunteer with a charitable cause related to environmental and wildlife protection, here are a few ideas to get you started:

>> Earth Day Network

>> Charity: Water

>> Ocean Conservancy

>> Coalition for Clean Air

>> Nature Conservancy

>> World Wildlife Fund

>> Rainforest Alliance

~

Relephant:

4 Things I Learned from a Tree. {Earth Day Offering}

~

Author: Leslie Ralph
Image: Unsplash/BRUNO CERVERA

Editor: Yoli Ramazzina
Copy editor: Travis May

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Leslie Ralph

Leslie Ralph is a psychologist, writer, and artist who hopes to leave the world a little brighter than she found it. Her people are creative spirits, soul searchers, and big-hearted dreamers that crave love and peace, inside and out. Download her free ritual for receiving for inviting in more love, peace, and healing, so you can remember your true gifts and do real, good work for this world. Visit Leslie’s website.