It’s amazing what one seed can grow. Sown in the ground, planted in the heart, each day it grows a little more true.” ~ Marc Ian Barasch
Most mornings I sit gazing at my garden with the rising sun. Three weeks ago, expressing my thanks to the Universe for the little rain that blessed my vegetable and flower garden my mantra became “don’t let the garden burn up while I’m away for a week-long retreat.”
I learned to meditate from Elzabeth Kubler Ross at one of her first week-long retreats about “death and dying.” She taught us to relax into our bodies to help quiet our minds. I did not take part in TM* but it infused my culture so I learned to use a “word” or mantra to help move into a meditative place. As a very young mother of 4 little children, attending college, marinated in the anti-war and feminist soup, “peace” became my mantra. Peace peace peace, breathe in, breathe out, peace peace peace. Energetically now, peacepeacepeacepeace.
Fast forward to the 80s and 90s immersed in a contemplative spirituality my mantra remained “peace.” In late 1990 I moved to Saipan in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. It is a Catholic place of spectacular beauty and hellish WWII history. Most mornings a neighbor and I walked to the top of the mountain our condos perched on. After walking we’d linger in the courtyard of our building and state our intention for the day – not a goal but an inner heart’s direction.
This morning as I sit – the garden did not burn up – looking at the fiery nasturtiums spreading everywhere – I ‘m thinking about that 6-day contemplative retreat. The Wisdom School led by theologian Cynthia Bourgeault focused on the transformational ideas of Pierre Teilhard de Chardan. Teilhard, a paleontologist and Jesuit priest who was silenced by his community and banned to the deserts of China never gave up fidelity to his priestly vows and his belief in science and his intention for humanity. Since a fiftieth anniversary of his death his ideas are germinating exponentially.*
Someday, after mastering the winds, the waves, the tides, and gravity, we shall harness for God the energies of love, and then for the second time in history of the world, humanity will have discovered fire.”
During the many hours of silence at that retreat my mantra changed to “seed” or sometimes “to seed.” From the Qur’an’s Sura of the Cow: They shalt ask thee concerning what thou shall expend: say, The abundance. I see a growing zeitgeist of cosmic hope under the worldwide turmoil we read about every day. This morning I found an essay from Mindful.org, which ends…
“Start With a Seed: I think a lot about seeds. How does a tiny dot of seemingly inert matter buried in dirt produce such beauty and utility? A seed is less a physical object than it is the germ of an idea. It’s the information it contains that mobilizes elements in the soil to join the dance that creates magnificent living structures. There’s something within each of us, within each situation, that already knows how to grow, that just needs light and nourishment to potentiate truly magical creative forces. If you start small, dream big, plant a seed of intention, and care for it, it’s not unrealistic to expect something marvelous to come up.
“I made up a slogan, a mantra I apply to both daily increments and grand gestures: It’s amazing what one seed can grow. Sown in the ground, planted in the heart, each day it grows a little more true.” ~ Marc Ian Barasch, http://www.mindful.org/sprouting-seeds-of-compassion/.
*Transcendental Meditation (TM.0rg)