You are the great Earth, you are Terra, you are Gaia; you are this infinitely beautiful blue planet. You are the Earth Refreshing Bodhisattva—fragrant, cool, and kind. Your immeasurable patience and endurance makes you a great Bodhisattva. Even though we your children have made many mistakes, you always forgive us. Every time we return to you, you are ready to open your arms and embrace us.
Whenever I am unstable, every time I lose touch with myself, or am lost in forgetfulness, sadness, hatred, or despair, I know I can come back to you. Touching you, I can find a refuge; I can reestablish my peace, and regain my joy and self-confidence. You love, protect and nurture all of us without discrimination.
You have an immense capacity to embrace, handle and transform everything that is cast at you, whether it be great asteroids, refuse and filth, poisonous fumes, or radioactive waste. Time helps you to do this, and your history has shown that you always succeed, even if it takes millions of years. You were able to re-establish equilibrium after the devastating collision that created the Moon, and have endured at least five mass extinctions, reviving yourself every time. You have an extraordinary capacity to renew, transform and heal yourself—and also us, your children.
I have faith in your great power of healing. My faith comes from my own observation and experience; it is not something others have told me to believe. That is why I know I can take refuge in you, dear Mother. As I walk, sit and breathe, I can surrender myself to you, trust wholly in you, and allow you to heal me. I know I don’t have to do anything at all. I can simply relax, release all the tension in my body, and all the fears and worries in my mind.
Whether I am sitting or walking, lying down or standing, I allow myself to take refuge in you, and allow myself to be held and healed by you. I entrust myself to you, Mother Earth. Each one of us needs somewhere to come back to, a place of refuge, but we may not know where it is or how to get there. Looking deeply today, I can see that my true home, my true place of refuge is you, my beloved planet. I take refuge in you, Mother Earth. I do not have to go anywhere to find you: you are already in me and I am already you.
Dear Mother, each time I sit in stillness on your Earth, I will be aware that because you are in me, it is possible for me to embody your wonderful qualities of solidity, perseverance, patience, and forbearance; of depth, endurance, and stability; of great courage, and non-fear, and inexhaustible creativity.
I vow to practice wholeheartedly to realize these qualities, knowing that you have already sown these potentials as seeds in the soil of my heart and mind.
By Thich Nhat Hanh