Walking through a glade of oaks with golden leaves, I heard a sound.
Tap....tap....tap. 'What is that sound?' Oh it’s acorns dropping from high high up in the branches onto the ground near me. My feet crunch over the carpet of acorns. They squish into the soft earth.
Leaves gather in heaps all around streets and buildings.
Pomegranates splatter all over the road, brown and rotting.
Seeds spill out all over the place.
The leaves of the fig tree which shared its delicious bounty with me a few months ago, are yellow and droopy, they litter the ground.
This falling apart of the year is messy. Disorganised. Unstoppable. The precise shapes and patterns of leaves and flowers disintegrate into a brown moosh. We sweep and rake and try and keep a bit of order. But ultimately, it wants to be messy! It longs to fall apart!
The hungry ground eats it all up and mysterious fungi sprout joyfully from the debris.
All of us have felt this falling apart at one time or another, A disintegration of something beautiful, precious, familiar. A habit, a relationship, a way of life or something else.
It feels so messy. We think that we made a great big mess. We messed it all up. That somehow the mess is a mistake and we need to quickly tidy it up.
Maybe we find ourselves in a blaming mode, or in self-pity or resentment
The pomegranates were so pink and lush and delicious, why did they have to rot!
What if mess is just another part of life?
A natural part letting go.
Sometimes we catch sight of the illusory nature of the idea that one day life will stop being messy. One day we will get it all worked out, get it all together. And maybe we can also see that this illusion is what keeps us miserable. That stops us from feeling the richness of our life right here and now. The belief that things are not supposed to fall apart. It is very painful to hold on to that belief.
What if disintegration is the food of life?
Fertile ground for sprouting seeds?
When we find ourselves up to our armpits in mess, knocked over by a wave, washed up and ragged on the shore, how would it be if we noticed also the warm sun on our back, the sparkle of the sea, a colourful crab scurrying past? How would it be to feel the tenderness of our own hand reaching for our brow or our shoulder?
In the midst of mess, of grief, of falling apart, we can feel our own noble presence. Tender, receptive, powerful and able to give and receive blessings.
Collective Practice for Peace
I am so glad to be part of an international community who meet regularly online and sometimes in person on retreats, for meditation, movement, creativity, inquiry and teachings.
Recently we were inspired by Sherrie Mitchell, a Native American woman. In her community, elders chanted with the intention of
"dissolving obstacles between the heart and mind of people in power in their area. The elders did ceremony for an awakening of the political leaders, compassionate awareness of their connection to life...would pray for them to see the value of the living beings that they were harming in our environment. Would see the value of every life that they were willing to sacrifice for profitibility"
"Within 3 months, 12 of these political leaders left their positions because 'they could no longer in good conscience continue doing the work that they were doing'"
Listen to the full interview with Sharon Blackie here
So our community decided to find our own ways of dedicating practice towards dissolving of obstacles to peace and harmony in the world.
Read my teacher Jaya's blog where she describes what we are doing, here.
I have been silently chanting the green Tara mantra on sunrise runs, and out loud on my sunset walks in the woods. I will continue this practice until 21st December.
Om Tara Tuttare Ture Swaha
So I invite you whole heartedly to join me in this daily practice (the chant can be found on youtube) or a practice of your own, with the intentiom of dissolving obstacles, towards peace and harmony on earth.
Namaste and much love
All photographs and artwork by Frances Hearnden