Koan: When Skakyamuni meditated beneath the Bodhi Tree, Mara pointed to the place where he sat and demanded, ‘ Who witnesses and confirms your right to the seat of enlightenment?’

Skakyamuni reached down and touched the ground with his fingertip. ‘I call the earth as my witness,’ he replied.

I feel the earth responding to Shakyamuni in this koan. In the story flowers fall and all manner of signs appear to signal the earth’s affirmation. When the going gets rough, and I feel particularly alone, the earth has my back! But no, it is closer in than that, the earth is my back.

I am made of this planet and some star stuff. We are wired for the same possibilities, the same light, the same orbit. The earth and her innovation, perseverance and beauty brings me around time and again. But how is something ‘as plain as the nose on my face’, the very earth under and in my feet, forgotten ad dulled? When I examine my ‘fear chest’,  foremost is not death, but not showing up for my life. And yet…

The earth is what stirs me to leave the grey cubicle I put around myself sometimes. With all that shimmer always available, why does it take my personal Mara to shatter me into remembering I can touch down? When I ask this, and place a finger on the ground, I feel that lightning bolt of connection, the earth touching me back.


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