The Earth Breathes

I recently attended a lecture on the geology of Central Oregon. Most of the talk focused on the way our landforms are created and re-created through the action of tectonic plates. The entire globe breathes through massive continent-sized chunks of the planet colliding, sub-ducting, stretching, and belching in relation to each other. It seems like the earth continuously yawns to balance pressures and create new versions of itself.

The re-created planet does not stop anywhere; the breathing continues unabated. The little piece of land we are standing upon is always different. We are not able to perceive this because of vast geological time scales. It takes a long time to rearrange terrain. Even so, I can feel the earth’s tendency toward redesign when I sit upon a rock in the natural world. I feel a kind of buzz in my butt! There seems to be a subtle vibration of movement from the earth echoing in every stone and landform. 

Imagine if we were to live like the planet we inhabit. Maybe we would cooperate with continuous reformation rather than trying to control our moments in time. Every one of our breaths would offer a new perspective on life, renewing and recreating the land of awareness. Buddha suggested this quality is the foundation of our original unconditioned mind. Were it not for the ego’s control issues we would be free to consciously enjoy, or at least accept, the wild ride of unexpected change.

Next time you experience an earthquake in your circumstances maybe you will take a breath, remember the earth, and smile. That moment of disruption is a mere blip on the grand timescale of pure awareness—continuous with the immeasurable vastness of space. 

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