Dear Earth, thanks for laps.On 8th September 2019 by Satya
Before my first cup of tea, I sat in the temple garden and looked out across the mist-pooled valley. The sun was bright and there was an autumnal freshness in the air. As often happens, our little dog Aiko climbed onto my lap and observed the morning with me.
Laps are good places to be. They are warm and soft. We can rest awhile in them, allowing our hard-working muscles and oughts to relax. We can begin to feel safe.
As I sat with my furry colleague, I chanted a mala of nembutsu. This is my spiritual practice, and it helps me to remember something important which I forget again and again. There is always a lap available to me if I need to crawl into it.
For me, it is the Buddha’s lap. She has a lovely lap – huge and golden and squishy like eiderdown quilts. Others find different laps – the precious friend we lean into, 12 step groups, silence. There was a time when I didn’t believe in laps. I felt I should look after myself like a good grown-up. I’m glad I became desperate enough to let go of my own bootstraps and fall. That’s when I had my first glimpse of something bigger than me – something that had been holding me up all along.
Dear Earth, you have a beautiful lap. It is forested and mountained and scattered with sparkling lakes. It is the balding grass underneath the trees I gaze up through. It is the home of crocodiles and pyramids and diamonds.
I am suddenly moved to tears as I write, as I realise that I can’t get away from your lap. It is always underneath me. This battered second hand sofa, the cracked pavements of cities, the tenth store of claustrophobic office blocks. You never leave us. You are always underneath us, holding us up. You are all lap.
It’s wonderful to provide laps for others, especially when they have silky-soft fur and extraordinary eyelashes. And if I want to carry on doing that, I must remember to take refuge in your lap, Mother Earth. When we lean in, I trust that it makes you happy too.
Love, Satya <3