Scripture ~ “But the seed in the good earth—these are the good-hearts who seize the Word and hold on, no matter what, sticking with it until there’s a harvest.” Luke 8:15
Spiritual Focus ~ “If we can have a holistic view of soil, soul, and society, if we can understand the interdependence of all living beings and understand that all living creatures—from trees to worms to humans—depend on each other, then we can live in harmony with ourselves, with other people, and with nature.” Satish Kumar, Indian British ecologist, activist, and humanitarian
Breath Prayer ~ Inhale ~ Good soil, Exhale ~ Nurtures the soul
Devotion ~ In the book of Genesis, God’s attention and creative energy are directed toward creating order among the elements of nature. Once this natural order is established, God plants the garden of Eden for humans to enjoy. As the story goes, when the humans are invited to leave the garden, the search for good, fertile soil begins. The New Testament scripture for today concludes Jesus’ parable of the sower and the four kinds of soil. It is a metaphor that focuses on the awareness and importance of good, foundational soil and wisely choosing where we hope to grow to receive God’s love and promises. As we practice, we hold an intention to see our whole being as the good earth that seeks to live in harmony with all living things.
Emphasizing the interdependence of all living things, ecologist Satish Kumar describes the link between soil, soul, and society as a kind of new trinity for a sustainable, fruitful life—the kind of life Jesus offers. Kumar maintains that as we care for the soil that sustains life, so must we care for the soul, find quiet, and do “inner landscaping” to receive words of life. Many wisdom traditions encourage this sort of spiritual cultivation in community, through caring human-to-human relationships that nurture society overall.
In The Pause, Yogadevotion’s Wednesday night donation class, teachers often invite participants to arrive by looking around. This practice of orienting and grounding encourages us to notice the space we inhabit with all our senses and to choose the best place and position—the best soil—in which to plant ourselves. After arriving at the sacred space with our whole selves, we close our eyes or lower our gaze. Then, with our breath, we move to the inner sanctuary and begin the soul landscaping that prepares our hearts to receive the healing words of Jesus, the Divine Gardener.