Search
Loading
Reconnect to yourself through nature
00:00 / 00:00
Celebrate Earth
Thomas McConkie
Watching Now
Celebrate Earth
Celebrate Earth
Thomas McConkie • 21:09

The relationship between mindfulness, embodiment, and our connection to the Earth is significant and crucial to both our general well-being and the sustainability of the planet. Through the practice of mindfulness, which involves bringing non-judgmental awareness to the present moment, we can develop a strong sense of presence and connection with both ourselves and the people and things around us. We develop a stronger feeling of embodiment when we practice mindfulness because we become more aware of our bodily sensations, emotions, and thoughts.

In this meaning, the word "embodiment" refers to the sensation of fully inhabiting our bodies and realizing our connection to the Earth. When we establish our connection to our physical experience, we become aware that our bodies are made of the same elements that are present in nature. We all breathe the same air, drink the same water, and are sustained by the Earth's resources. When we understand that preserving the environment also safeguards us, our relationship with the world naturally shifts.

Through mindfulness and embodiment, we develop a profound understanding of the interconnectedness of all life and a strong sense of responsibility as stewards of the Earth. We begin to comprehend the impact of our actions on the environment and the tight relationship between the health and vitality of the natural world and our own well-being. Our understanding of the world's abundance inspires us to live sustainably, make ethical judgments, and cultivate wonder and gratitude for its bounty. In the end, it is because of the interplay between mindfulness, embodiment, and our relationship with the Earth that we are able to live more purposefully, in accordance with our core values, and as compassionate stewards of the environment we call home.


View Transcript
[Thomas McConkie, Mindfulness Teacher] - Hello and welcome to another episode of Mindfulness+. I'm your host, Thomas McConkie. Thank you so much for listening. Earth Day is coming up. Earth Day is upon us, and I wanted to take some time in this episode to kind of explore our relationship with the Earth. Sound like kind of a not so related topic to you? I hope by the end of the episode, you think differently. There's a lot of complexity I could get into from a psychological perspective on the phenomenon of disembodiment, but I want to just keep it simple and practice-oriented today. And on the simple side of the street where I like to stroll these days, I would say that disembodiment is just part of our nature as human beings. We have these big juicy brains that are metabolic hogs. They take a lot of energy to run. They're these predictive machines. They tell us about what's going on in the moment, what might happen next. We're constantly mapping the world, trying to find patterns that hopefully help us meet the next moment a little bit better than we met the last moment. How's that for simple? So we human beings, we're endowed with this capacity to think abstractly and by, abstract means, you know, in the original Latin, to draw away from. We're drawing awareness away from physical embodied reality into a world of symbols. So we human beings, whether we know it or not, we hang out in a symbolic world, what some philosophers have called the world of mind, which is distinct in a sense from the world, from the Earth. And this is where I want to go today. Strictly speaking, we're never disembodied, right? Like as long as we're living, breathing, even if we've been lost in reverie in our thoughts for a thousand years, we're still in a body. The body's right here. And yet we don't always experience being in a body. Because of our power to abstract, because of our option of staying glued to a digital device and checking out my social media and so forth, reality, embodied life can start to feel very thin, insubstantial, insubstantial in let's say a not so healthy way. We lose touch with our breath. We forget where our feet are. Literally, we just lose awareness of the body. And the body falls ill. Talking, let me link this back to Earth Day. Here's what I want to say. The body is the Earth. We talk about feeling disembodied. We talk about being distant from nature. We talk about, "Man, I feel so pent up in this apartment and just working all day every day. Let's go camping for the weekend. Let's get back in nature," right? In point of fact, we can't actually leave nature, because we are nature. We can't ever be disembodied, because we are a body foundationally first and foremost. But we often have the experience of being out of the body, leaving the body. And this is what I want to work with in our mindfulness practice today. We can't ever be separate from nature. How could we be? We are nature. We can't ever be separate from the body. We are the body. But certainly, we can feel disembodied. Certainly we can feel alienated and distant from nature. And that's hard on us. So what can we do with our mindfulness practice to feel like we're actually coming back to ourselves? Coming back to nature, so to speak. What I would suggest, here's kind of the kicker for the episode. When we embody our physicality more deeply, more fully, we automatically simultaneously draw closer to nature. Draw closer is a metaphor we, like I said, we can't actually be distant from nature, but as we feel more into the aliveness, the experience of the body, we realize that there is no distance between whoever we think we are in the body. There's no distance between us and nature. There's no distance between us and the Earth. We are the Earth. Quite literally speaking, we're made of the very same substance of the Earth, but we forget this. I think now more than ever, we forget this in the modern world. The modern world is complex. The modern world in this digital age of information, the modern world abstracts us from our physically embodied home. So let's do something about that. What I've found, when we actually spend time cultivating a sense of physical embodiment, we spontaneously take better care of our body. We take better care of the collective body. We naturally connect to a sense of Earth stewardship. And I thought this would be a timely practice as Earth Day is right around the corner. Let's practice. Take a moment to gather awareness in the field of physical sensation. Letting thoughts be in the background, letting movement, sight sounds in the environment be in the background of awareness. Turning up the volume on sensation, brightening sensation by bringing awareness to sensation. Just feel this for a moment. What is the reality of the activity of sensation of the physical body in this moment? What's happening? Don't answer that in your mind. That's just more thought. That's just more abstraction. Stay in the sensation. Stay open and curious through the sensation. Let the movement of sensation be the response. Feel the ground beneath you. Feel the Earth beneath you. The food, the nutrition, the water, everything that sustains your life comes right from the Earth, right from the ground beneath you. It's your root bed. Just take a moment to open up awareness wide open to this connection, this communion. What we call gravity, another abstraction, as it's felt and sensation is like an embrace. The Earth holding us closely to her in her arms and her care. Notice the breath now. Like a swinging door, we draw the breath in from the environment, enters our lungs, oxygenates ourselves. We breathe out. The breath returns to where it came from, expelling what is waste to us, but what is food and nutrition for plant life. And feel clearly, literally there is no boundary between in and out with the breath. Breathing in, breathing out, breathing in, breathing out. No boundary, no barrier. The inside is the outside. Stay with this rhythm for a moment. Feel the life force, feel the vitality. Sustaining you, animating you moment to moment. By some mystery, this planet that we're hurdling through space on, at one moment in remote history came to life. A film of organic material started to grow and proliferate on the rocks. And this same vitality now quickens and animates you. You are one. You are continuous, seamless with this vitality. The life in you is no different than the life in an animal, a plant, another human being. We are all expressions of life. Nourished, sustained by the Earth. Feel the wetness of the mouth, the moistness of the nasal tissues, all making available to us the experience of water, the water in the body, the hydrogen, the oxygen of which we are made. It's the same water that covers the entire planet with ocean. You are continuous with the rains, the rivers, the oceans. The phases of the moon pull on the tides as they pull on you. One in the same movement. There's no distance between you and anything. You are nature. Feel free to engage your visualizing capacities here. The very same nitrogen in the soils of the Earth that bring forth all manner of plant life, food. It's the same nitrogen in your body that creates muscles, tissues. Same iron that runs through the Earth like ribbon. The same ore of the Earth is the same iron that runs through your blood. The carbon in every cell that supports organic life, that supports this life force as a vessel. It's the same carbon that was cooked in the cauldron of the stars billions of years ago as near as we can tell. All to say that there's just no distance between you and the body, and no distance between the body and nature, the body and the Earth. You are the body. The body is nature, the body is the Earth. Rest here. Rest in this boundless sea of vitality, of life, of matter. Let a sense of reverence rise in your heart. By what mystery are we alive, by what mystery are we sustained? And as we bring this meditation to a close, I want you to hold a question in your heart, in your body. What does this precious gift of life, what does this reverence for life call me to do? Open-ended question. How can you express a sense of awe, reverence, gratitude for life, for the support of the Earth that sustains your life? What does it call you to do? Don't try to answer it. Just let the question germinate like a seed deep within you. Thank you. Great practice, everybody. Happy Earth Day. Thank you, Earth, for sustaining our lives, for this air to breathe, for this food to eat. I recommend you come back to this meditation or a meditation like it that reminds you again and again that it's not nature you have to get back to at least in the sense of escaping from the city and up into the mountains. Although that's a good idea too. But to remind yourself often that you are nature, you're an expression of nature. And when you're mindful of this reality, you will naturally take care of nature as yourself, as your very own being. We got one more episode left, people, in this season. Next week, we'll be dropping the 25th and final episode. It's been a good run. I've loved being here with you. I've loved hearing from you. Thank you for your support. Thanks for sharing us with your friends. Thanks for your ratings on iTunes and everywhere else you get your podcasts. Be back with a grand finale next week. Until then, be well. Hug a tree, hug the Earth, hug yourself, and I'll be back soon.

Watching Now
Celebrate Earth
Celebrate Earth
Thomas McConkie • 21:09

The relationship between mindfulness, embodiment, and our connection to the Earth is significant and crucial to both our general well-being and the sustainability of the planet. Through the practice of mindfulness, which involves bringing non-judgmental awareness to the present moment, we can develop a strong sense of presence and connection with both ourselves and the people and things around us. We develop a stronger feeling of embodiment when we practice mindfulness because we become more aware of our bodily sensations, emotions, and thoughts.

In this meaning, the word "embodiment" refers to the sensation of fully inhabiting our bodies and realizing our connection to the Earth. When we establish our connection to our physical experience, we become aware that our bodies are made of the same elements that are present in nature. We all breathe the same air, drink the same water, and are sustained by the Earth's resources. When we understand that preserving the environment also safeguards us, our relationship with the world naturally shifts.

Through mindfulness and embodiment, we develop a profound understanding of the interconnectedness of all life and a strong sense of responsibility as stewards of the Earth. We begin to comprehend the impact of our actions on the environment and the tight relationship between the health and vitality of the natural world and our own well-being. Our understanding of the world's abundance inspires us to live sustainably, make ethical judgments, and cultivate wonder and gratitude for its bounty. In the end, it is because of the interplay between mindfulness, embodiment, and our relationship with the Earth that we are able to live more purposefully, in accordance with our core values, and as compassionate stewards of the environment we call home.


View Transcript
[Thomas McConkie, Mindfulness Teacher] - Hello and welcome to another episode of Mindfulness+. I'm your host, Thomas McConkie. Thank you so much for listening. Earth Day is coming up. Earth Day is upon us, and I wanted to take some time in this episode to kind of explore our relationship with the Earth. Sound like kind of a not so related topic to you? I hope by the end of the episode, you think differently. There's a lot of complexity I could get into from a psychological perspective on the phenomenon of disembodiment, but I want to just keep it simple and practice-oriented today. And on the simple side of the street where I like to stroll these days, I would say that disembodiment is just part of our nature as human beings. We have these big juicy brains that are metabolic hogs. They take a lot of energy to run. They're these predictive machines. They tell us about what's going on in the moment, what might happen next. We're constantly mapping the world, trying to find patterns that hopefully help us meet the next moment a little bit better than we met the last moment. How's that for simple? So we human beings, we're endowed with this capacity to think abstractly and by, abstract means, you know, in the original Latin, to draw away from. We're drawing awareness away from physical embodied reality into a world of symbols. So we human beings, whether we know it or not, we hang out in a symbolic world, what some philosophers have called the world of mind, which is distinct in a sense from the world, from the Earth. And this is where I want to go today. Strictly speaking, we're never disembodied, right? Like as long as we're living, breathing, even if we've been lost in reverie in our thoughts for a thousand years, we're still in a body. The body's right here. And yet we don't always experience being in a body. Because of our power to abstract, because of our option of staying glued to a digital device and checking out my social media and so forth, reality, embodied life can start to feel very thin, insubstantial, insubstantial in let's say a not so healthy way. We lose touch with our breath. We forget where our feet are. Literally, we just lose awareness of the body. And the body falls ill. Talking, let me link this back to Earth Day. Here's what I want to say. The body is the Earth. We talk about feeling disembodied. We talk about being distant from nature. We talk about, "Man, I feel so pent up in this apartment and just working all day every day. Let's go camping for the weekend. Let's get back in nature," right? In point of fact, we can't actually leave nature, because we are nature. We can't ever be disembodied, because we are a body foundationally first and foremost. But we often have the experience of being out of the body, leaving the body. And this is what I want to work with in our mindfulness practice today. We can't ever be separate from nature. How could we be? We are nature. We can't ever be separate from the body. We are the body. But certainly, we can feel disembodied. Certainly we can feel alienated and distant from nature. And that's hard on us. So what can we do with our mindfulness practice to feel like we're actually coming back to ourselves? Coming back to nature, so to speak. What I would suggest, here's kind of the kicker for the episode. When we embody our physicality more deeply, more fully, we automatically simultaneously draw closer to nature. Draw closer is a metaphor we, like I said, we can't actually be distant from nature, but as we feel more into the aliveness, the experience of the body, we realize that there is no distance between whoever we think we are in the body. There's no distance between us and nature. There's no distance between us and the Earth. We are the Earth. Quite literally speaking, we're made of the very same substance of the Earth, but we forget this. I think now more than ever, we forget this in the modern world. The modern world is complex. The modern world in this digital age of information, the modern world abstracts us from our physically embodied home. So let's do something about that. What I've found, when we actually spend time cultivating a sense of physical embodiment, we spontaneously take better care of our body. We take better care of the collective body. We naturally connect to a sense of Earth stewardship. And I thought this would be a timely practice as Earth Day is right around the corner. Let's practice. Take a moment to gather awareness in the field of physical sensation. Letting thoughts be in the background, letting movement, sight sounds in the environment be in the background of awareness. Turning up the volume on sensation, brightening sensation by bringing awareness to sensation. Just feel this for a moment. What is the reality of the activity of sensation of the physical body in this moment? What's happening? Don't answer that in your mind. That's just more thought. That's just more abstraction. Stay in the sensation. Stay open and curious through the sensation. Let the movement of sensation be the response. Feel the ground beneath you. Feel the Earth beneath you. The food, the nutrition, the water, everything that sustains your life comes right from the Earth, right from the ground beneath you. It's your root bed. Just take a moment to open up awareness wide open to this connection, this communion. What we call gravity, another abstraction, as it's felt and sensation is like an embrace. The Earth holding us closely to her in her arms and her care. Notice the breath now. Like a swinging door, we draw the breath in from the environment, enters our lungs, oxygenates ourselves. We breathe out. The breath returns to where it came from, expelling what is waste to us, but what is food and nutrition for plant life. And feel clearly, literally there is no boundary between in and out with the breath. Breathing in, breathing out, breathing in, breathing out. No boundary, no barrier. The inside is the outside. Stay with this rhythm for a moment. Feel the life force, feel the vitality. Sustaining you, animating you moment to moment. By some mystery, this planet that we're hurdling through space on, at one moment in remote history came to life. A film of organic material started to grow and proliferate on the rocks. And this same vitality now quickens and animates you. You are one. You are continuous, seamless with this vitality. The life in you is no different than the life in an animal, a plant, another human being. We are all expressions of life. Nourished, sustained by the Earth. Feel the wetness of the mouth, the moistness of the nasal tissues, all making available to us the experience of water, the water in the body, the hydrogen, the oxygen of which we are made. It's the same water that covers the entire planet with ocean. You are continuous with the rains, the rivers, the oceans. The phases of the moon pull on the tides as they pull on you. One in the same movement. There's no distance between you and anything. You are nature. Feel free to engage your visualizing capacities here. The very same nitrogen in the soils of the Earth that bring forth all manner of plant life, food. It's the same nitrogen in your body that creates muscles, tissues. Same iron that runs through the Earth like ribbon. The same ore of the Earth is the same iron that runs through your blood. The carbon in every cell that supports organic life, that supports this life force as a vessel. It's the same carbon that was cooked in the cauldron of the stars billions of years ago as near as we can tell. All to say that there's just no distance between you and the body, and no distance between the body and nature, the body and the Earth. You are the body. The body is nature, the body is the Earth. Rest here. Rest in this boundless sea of vitality, of life, of matter. Let a sense of reverence rise in your heart. By what mystery are we alive, by what mystery are we sustained? And as we bring this meditation to a close, I want you to hold a question in your heart, in your body. What does this precious gift of life, what does this reverence for life call me to do? Open-ended question. How can you express a sense of awe, reverence, gratitude for life, for the support of the Earth that sustains your life? What does it call you to do? Don't try to answer it. Just let the question germinate like a seed deep within you. Thank you. Great practice, everybody. Happy Earth Day. Thank you, Earth, for sustaining our lives, for this air to breathe, for this food to eat. I recommend you come back to this meditation or a meditation like it that reminds you again and again that it's not nature you have to get back to at least in the sense of escaping from the city and up into the mountains. Although that's a good idea too. But to remind yourself often that you are nature, you're an expression of nature. And when you're mindful of this reality, you will naturally take care of nature as yourself, as your very own being. We got one more episode left, people, in this season. Next week, we'll be dropping the 25th and final episode. It's been a good run. I've loved being here with you. I've loved hearing from you. Thank you for your support. Thanks for sharing us with your friends. Thanks for your ratings on iTunes and everywhere else you get your podcasts. Be back with a grand finale next week. Until then, be well. Hug a tree, hug the Earth, hug yourself, and I'll be back soon.


Thomas McConkie
More from
Thomas McConkie