At the recent Facilitators Retreat at Kinnoull monastery Lindsay Lumsden lead a powerful Touching the Earth ceremony where she used a version of the land section she had written a few years ago with Margo Henderson & Hugh Green for a North of Scotland Sanghas Retreat. Several of us asked for a copy and I thought I’d share it here:
I see that I am whole, protected and nourished by this land and all of the living beings who have been here and made life easy and possible for me through all their efforts. I see the hard-working farmers and fishermen, miners, labourers and shipbuilders, and I see the women – the crofters who held the hearths, the fisher quines who followed the boats, the women waulkers who wove the cloth and the culture of the people into song, the wise women and healers. I see the close family bonds of the clans, and the traveller folk, the ‘summer walkers’ who lived close to the earth and followed the rhythms of the seasons. I see Maire Mhor nan Oran (Big Mary of the songs), Robert Burns, George Mackay Brown, and all the poets, artists and musicians who have contributed to the rich heritage of this country. I see James Keir Hardie, Ramsay MacDonald and John Smith – champions of social justice; I see Alexander Fleming and Joseph Lister, whose discoveries of penicillin and antiseptics continue to save so many lives; I see Andrew Carnegie, who used his great wealth to promote learning, literacy and peace; and Queen Margaret, who ruled with such compassion that she was made a saint. I see the conservationist John Muir, considered to be the father of the environmental movement. I feel the power of the sacred places in this land – the standing stones of our earliest ancestors; Holy Island, now a centre for world peace; Iona, home to early Celtic Christianity; Findhorn, beacon of light. I feel the energy of this land penetrating my body and soul, supporting and accepting me. I vow to cultivate and maintain this energy and transmit it to future generations. I vow to contribute my part in transforming the violence, hatred, and delusion that also still lie deep in the collective consciousness of this society so that future generations will have more safety, joy and peace. I ask this land for its protection and support.
I also produced a copy formatted to tuck inside my Plum Villiage Chanting book. You can download the PDF below. You just need to print it on A4 paper and trim two sides off.
I really like this version but I also want to add more people. I think it is a good exercise in generosity to think about who has made our land and society capable of supporting our happiness. It is also a good practice to come up with a list short enough to fit the ceremony!
Many thanks to Lindsay for sharing this.