LAY YOUR BODY DOWN
Many years ago, I studied with shaman living high in the Andes Mountains of Peru. Between the extremes of altitude and weather almost nothing will grow. They described how they would create a bed with damp straw, plant corn kernels in the bed, spread another layer of damp straw on top, and sleep on that bed of straw. The heat from their bodies germinated the corn. When the sprouts were sturdy enough they were planted out to grow and feed the community.
In 2016 I returned home from a conference, lay down to rest, and did not get up for over a year. The initial diagnosis, chronic fatigue, plummeted into a seemingly endless abyss of health complications. I was continually aware each day may be my best, the next one may be further downhill.
Nothing about that time was easy, and yet, it was a profoundly beautiful year in my life. Too exhausted for Buddhist practices that nourished me, too cognitively challenged to recite even the simplest mantra, I would lie in bed imagining Mother Tara as tiny blazing light in the center of my heart. Rainbow light filled my body and then the world. I would imagine all beings being filled with blessings, receiving everything they needed.
Personally and collectively we are called to determine if our actions "grow corn." If we can find the light in our hearts under the most difficult circumstances. Most importantly, we are defining what we stand for and where we might need (and be willing to) lay our bodies down.
LAY YOUR BODY DOWN is a work in progress. I am experimenting with different substrates, including kozo paper. I am also exploring embellishments including paint and gold leaf.