As I mentioned previously, part of my journey, a couple of summers ago, I visited the Hopi nation and Lakota lands and sacred spots because I really wanted to connect to some of the First Nation wisdom holders of this land that I live on on a bigger scale. It was incredibly powerful.
In Tibet there is a teaching on this, the five patron gods, but it’s really the five patron dralas. The eula, which is the local drala, is invited to land on the top of your head. In a sense that is the highest point in your body and that’s an honorific thing. The local drala, the eula, there are many local deities, local beings, or local drala, local energies. You don’t have to anthropomorphize them. The question is how do you make a connection with them?
A lot of my life I was very aware of the energies in my environment and I was so happy to encounter a tradition like Shambhala and the Tibetan indigenous traditions. I thought, “People are into this! They know about this!” I felt really weird about it, “Don’t talk about it. People will think you’re weird! You’re into energies. Just keep it to yourself.” But it was such a vivid part of my cultural personal experience of navigating the world, the sense that this feels a certain way and that feels another way. Going, for example, and making a friend in the Hopi nation and talking about their relationship, I feel so comfortable with that culture, I felt like I’d come home.
Of course in modern materialistic cultures that has been discredited as superstitious and may even be socially shamed sometimes. But I do feel there is a way for us to navigate this as modern people that have this openness. The power of connecting with the energies of our perceptions is a real phenomena. It cannot be intellectualized away by any schema. It’s an experience. We don’t have to categorize it as “There are really spirits” or “There are not”. Can’t we live in the uncertainty? We’re pretty good at that as meditators. Whatever it is, it affects me and I feel it and I’m going to honor it.
So having a personal culture, and perhaps a collective culture, but a personal culture for sure, is part of our practice. That personal culture can include finding the local dralas, finding the eula, and knowing how to contact that and trust ourselves in that process. As much as I love encountering all of the amazing dralas of the Tibetan and other traditions and how cool that is, it’s amazing, there is a real need for that here, amongst us. I think it is crucial for our health, and the health of our world. In fact, the practices that I’ll share in an upcoming blog post, are practices that help us connect with the energies around us in nature.
One other thing I wanted to comment on, just this idea of paying to have access to nature, that is so heartbreaking, and also the sense of being made to feel like we’re the virus. I’d like to say, just to be very clear, viruses are natural! Unfortunately, Teslas are natural, because they come out of the natural arising of reality. Everything is natural. Not everything is in harmony with its nature. Aha!
Coyotes live around many urban areas and people worry about it. I talked to some people, because we have coyotes behind my house, and I go out in the woods all the time, so I talked to some of the people who study them. Their response was “Oh gosh, don’t worry about them. They know how to handle you. They know you’re there before you do. Don’t worry about them.”
So that’s it, trusting the intelligence of that, but that whole argument that humans are a virus on the planet, well, viruses are also natural and if we bring maitri to a system that has feedbacks and has a possible rebalancing built into its nature, then we are nature and we can actually be as nature again. It comes down to this key point of nurturing.
I think some people think the planet would be better off without people. Says who? A person? How do you work with your own mind? How are you sustainable?
It feels important to name these things that sometimes go on around us, and how, if we feel impotent enough we might say “Oh well, what can you do?” and just ignore it. But it lives as a malaise in our systems and in the world around us and we feel depression from that and it lowers our life force. So part of this practices I’ll be sharing in a future blog post is to look at it very directly and make it part of our practice, to nurture our connection and nurture our personal culture of being nature.
This blog post is part of an ongoing series:
Ecology of the Heart Part 1
Ecology of the Heart Part 2
Ecology of the Heart Part 3
Ecology of the Heart Part 4
Ecology of the Heart Part 5
Ecology of the Heart Part 6
Ecology of the Heart Part 7
Ecology of the Heart Part 8
Ecology of the Heart Part 9
Ecology of the Heart Part 10