On Friday of this week, some profound cleaning may begin at Fukishima, when workers start the removal of spent and dangerous fuel rods from their holding pools. Here’s a meaningful way to be connected – a process passed along by the Andean Shaman Americo Yabar, over 20 years ago. This was part of Circling the Bay day on San Bruno last weekend, walking next to a frog restoration site – a great place to be, as we spoke of the important work at Fukishima this week. It’s one Circling the Bay has done at Ring Mountain, standing looking out at San Quentin.
This may remind you of a practice you already have in your “tool kit” – or may inspire you to create another way of relating to the intensity of planetary changes. If so, please share what comes to you.
Water Meditation – Honoring the Waters of Fukushima
We are all connected, and the tides twice daily remind us of that. As Fukushima clean-up intensifies in dealing with spent fuel rods, here’s a walking meditation, a personal cleansing and healing that can connect you with the actions of transformation. It’s a useful way to participate meaningfully in this time of profound planetary change.
The people of the Andes call this time on the planet Pachacuti – the time of great change. This meditation, called Eating Hucha, can surprise you in its potential to transform anxieties and fears about the situation.Hucha is heavy or dense energy – our anxieties, fears, anger, depression – you know the kind.
You can do this anywhere, alone or with friends, any time at all. For the purpose of connecting with Fukushima, as workers remove spent fuel rods, you might choose a spot at the edge of the Bay, a river, or flowing stream. I’ll be doing the meditation on November 8 at the edge of San Francisco Bay, when the tide is going out. (Bayfront Park, in Menlo Park near my home, has hosted numerous Earth Day Sunrise Ceremonies; there, the outgoing tide that day is between about 3:45 and 10:45 PM., and I’m looking forward to the inspiration of the water’s movement.)
Here’s how to “eat hucha” – or “eat the shadow”:
Wherever you’ve chosen to be, stand still for a few moments, and look around you, taking in the beauty that surrounds you –being aware of the lay of the land, of the wind blowing through the leaves of trees, plants dotting the landscape, clouds scudding across the sky. Spread your arms wide as you inhale, opening them to receive a huge gift inhale (as you ARE – the breath of life!!). Tip your head back, so that you’re opening your heart cavity from the sides and from above. As you exhale, bring your hands to your heart and take in the beauty around you. Fill your heart, your whole being, with peacefulness, with the pleasures of sound, fragrance, and sight that encompass you here. Do that several times, until you feel fully aware of, and quite filled with, nature’s beauty.
Sit comfortably, or if you prefer, begin to walk slowly. Imagine a mouth in your belly – see the lips, the teeth, the tongue. Notice whether the lips are full or narrow, whether the teeth are perfect or a little askew.
Focus on any feeling of anxiety in your personal life. Let those feelings surface that keep you from being as peaceful as you’d like to be. Don’t identify with the feelings – just name them, let them come to the surface.
Now focus on the mouth in your belly, and imagine eating those feelings – watch the lips close around them, the teeth chew them up, and the tongue and throat carry them down a pipeline like your twisting and turning intestines, directly into the earth.
Our feelings, like everything else, are a form of energy. Mother Earth has a composting habit that feeds on what we provide, and is quite able to accept as food the heavy energy of your thoughts and feelings. These feelings represent food to be recycled. These feelings become offerings of compost; leave that anxiety to become compost for the living plants around you. Chew up your sadness and pain, your anxiety, your frustration, without identifying with those feelings. Take those feelings down imaginary strands that reach from that mouth, through the muscles of your body, and into the earth.
Use your breath to help this process – inhale as you take in the heavy feelings, exhale as you send them on their way. When you feel complete, take a few more deep breaths, filling yourself with the life force around you – the living, breathing expressions of the life force pulsing in all its forms.
Then allow yourself to tune into your feelings about Fukushima – the anxiety that’s hard to focus on, the sadness about the damage to the Earth, the fear and displacement of so many people, the apprehension about far-reaching impacts of contamination. Images from the news and words you’ve read, dialogues with friends, may have fed these heavy thoughts. Left in our hearts and minds, they keep us from being able to align with peace, with beauty; but we become part of the process of creating peace as we make way to allow other perceptions, other visions, other possibilities to replace that heaviness.
Circling back to the beginning, take in the beauty that surrounds you. Letting go of the heaviness that occupied you, you now have space that can be filled with light, with beauty – with feelings of compassion and participation in a vast community of living beings, some human, some not. You may find yourself able to receive with more depth, and a greater sense of peace.
If you’re near water, be particularly mindful of its beauty, its part in the well-being of our bodies, of all things alive and growing, of its capacity to connect us with the waters of the world.
Notice and enjoy your connection to the Earth, and to the waters. Send your highest anticipation for the success of the steps being taken at Fukushima.
We are connected. We can care for our waters with appreciation, and with the actions of our lives.
In gratitude for our opportunity to walk in beauty,