TOUCHING THE EARTH - 46 Guided Meditations for Mindfulness

These meditations are to be read as you stand or sit comfortably with palms joined.
If you prefer, you can lie down on the earth during the reading instead.
After each meditation, you can invite the bell and then bow down to touch the earth.
Each meditation can be done on its own or as part of the Touching the Earth ceremonies for Beginning Anew.

1. Visualizing the Buddha

Lord Buddha, I practice to be in touch with you as I touch the earth. I visualize you  as a young man in Kapilavastu.. I see you as an ascetic meditating in the wild mountains.
I see you as a monk practicing samadhi solidly at the the foot of the Bodhi tree.
I visualize you as a noble teacher instructing disciples on the Vulture Peak and in the Jeta Grove.
I see you as a wandering monk whose mindful steps left their mark in the small kingdoms that lay in the valley of the Ganges River.
Lord Buddha, you were healthy and strong in body and mind, living a long life without the help of modern medicines. I see you, my teacher, at eighty years old lying in the lion pose between the two sala trees before passing into nirvana. I touch the earth before King Suddhodana and Queen Maya, the two people who gave birth to Shakyamuni, offering this wonderful teacher to the world.

Touching the Earth
Buddha Shakyamuni, with  body, speech, and mind united, I touch the earth in sincere gratitude to you, my root teacher, who manifested on this earth. [Bell]

Lord Buddha, I touch the earth in gratitude to your father, the King Suddhodana and your mother,
the Queen Maya. [Bell]


2.  The Buddha and the Original Sangha

Lord Buddha, I see you sitting with your Sangha of monks, nuns, laymen, and laywomen. I am like King Prasenajit who, whenever he saw the Sangha body of monks and nuns, felt how great you were and was filled with faith, respect, and admiration.  I see your presence in the Sangha.
You transmitted your wisdom and compassion to countless people. Lord Buddha, all of your 
disciples, whether monks, nuns, or lay practitioners, are in one way or another your continuation; they are the Buddha.  I see you in the methods of practice you taught which, when used intelligently, always lead to transformation and healing.  Lord Buddha, I recognize you in the enrgy of understanding and compassion embodied in people, in writings, poetry, artchitecture, music, and other works of art and forms of culture.  I recognize you, the Buddha, in myself, in the seeds of awakening and love in me that make it possible for me to practice understanding and compassion.

Touching the Earth
Lord Buddha, with body, speech, and mind united, I touch the earth to be in touch with the Awakened One in myself, in the Snagha, in the teachings and practices of the Dharma, and in the wonderful opportunities that you have created for my spiritual life. [Bell]

With body, speech, ad mind united in gratitude, I touch the earth before Buddha Dipankara, who predicted full enlightenment for my own root teacher, the Buddha. [Bell]

3.  Outer Forms

Lord Buddha, I feel ashamed, because I have often practiced only the outer form, without any substance. While lighting incense, touching the earth, practicing sitting and walking meditation, or reading a sutra, I have allowed my mind to wander into the past and into the future, and I have caught myself in meaningless thinking about the present.  I have lost many precious opportunities by not practicing deeply. While taking a mindful step or breathing mindfully, I have an opportunity to give rise to the energies of mindfulness and right concentration, the energies of awakening and understanding are always there.
I have been lucky enough to have been instructed int he practice. Yet, so often I am just like someone who knows nothing. I walk, stand, speak, and smile in forgetfulness. I promise, Lord Buddha, to do better so that in every moment of my daily life I give rise to more mindfulness and right concentration. Giving rise to mindfulness and concentration will not only help me to heal and transform body and mind, but will be a support to many other members of my Sangha body and will raise the quality of practice in the whole Sangha.

Touching the Earth
Lord Buddha, with body, speech, and mind in oneness, I touch the earth in gratitude to you, the one who has crossed wonderfully to the other shore and can show e the way, in order to remember the promise I have made. [Bell]

With body, speech, and mind in perfect oneness, I touch the earth in gratitude to Buddha Vipashyin. [Bell]