Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Spring balance

A reflection I shared at this morning's service in the chapel...

A few days ago was the Spring Equinox, when day and night are of equal length; darkness and light balance each other out. At this time, the natural world is beginning to come to a point of balance: the earth becomes warmer, flowers push through and leaves and buds begin to show. The starkness and harshness of winter is gone, revealing a landscape that seems more in harmony with itself, a world which is more in balance.

To be out of balance is to be unstable, leaning too far to one extreme or another and, therefore, prone to collapse or to acting out of desperation rather than out of wisdom and reflection. The season of Lent, in which the Equinox comes, may be a time to seek a point of balance, and ways of becoming more in harmony with ourselves and with God.

For inspiration we may look to nature, observing its rhythms and its pattern of coming back into balance so that growth may take place. The combination of warming earth and plentiful rain enables the burst of life which is needed to bring fruitfulness back to the earth. Likewise, for you and me, a balance of work and rest, learning and prayer, company and solitude, can bring about new life within each of us.

Thursday, 6 March 2014

You, me, a tree

I received a short email post from The Girl God blog this morning, which drew a link between the nature of trees and that of human beings:

A tree that is beginning to grow sends roots down into Mother Earth even as it reaches and opens to the sky above, seeking nourishment from the sun and the moisture in the air and in the rain that falls. In the same way, we can envision ourselves as tree-like beings, imagining that we have roots reaching down into the earth, energetic strands that keep us connected... 

Part of what I have been learning over the last couple of years, both in my yoga practice and in my participation in Forest Church, is that I am connected to, and part of, the energy of the Earth. I had never thought of this before, and had assumed that I merely lived on the Earth, and not as part of it. 

The email post went on to say:

Contemplating the ways in which trees and people mirror one another brings us into alignment with the reality that we are part of Mother Nature.

One of my favourite yoga poses is Tree pose (Vrsksasana). I certainly don't find it easy: there's the balancing, to begin with, and then the combined process of both rooting down into the earth and also reaching skywards. I enjoy this pose, but I have a long way to go yet.

For me, Tree pose allows me to take the tree as my teacher, to connect myself to the Earth's energy and to bring my awareness back to my body. Occasionally, I am also able to become still enough to realise that I, too, am part of Mother Nature. 

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