The Conservationist's Way Meditation
Say to yourself – I, with all others, am beautiful and belong
Imagine nature embracing you in beauty and belonging
Repeat – I, and all others, are embraced in beauty and belonging
Imagine yourself embracing others in beauty and belonging
1. Develop a practice where you look hard at reality. Study science, biology, ecology, evolution, history, psychology, behavior, interpersonal neurobiology, and cognitive ethology. Continue to seek greater understanding of the interdependence of life, and of how beauty and tragedy intertwine. Challenge your assumptions, and that of human cultures. Imagine yourself in an ocean of life where we are all connected, and all die. As you swim through the depths and through time you see trillions of beings evolving into complexity, those that came before merging into those yet to come. There is so much life and you are a part of it. You witness those eating, and those eaten. Nature is as indifferent as the ocean, and yet the source of all. Though the ocean is large and there are risks, you keep swimming in curiosity and awe so that you may know it all, hold it all. You rest in knowing that you will get to that far shore, gradually evolving to once again walk upon the land.
2. Develop a practice where you experience and embody all of nature. Be open to how these experiences impact your body and mind, and call you to different levels of meaning and behavior. Imagine yourself walking on a beach and you see an albatross flying out beyond the waves. The gentle waves lap up against your feet as you see the beauty of the bird's flight. You feel called to join the albatross, to soar, and you cannot resist the call to dive into the ocean, and merge with all life. You walk into the waves until your toes no longer touch the sandy bottom. Though over your head you breathe deep, and trust. Floating on your back, you look up at the albatross and she looks down at you. You are in the cradle of life, rocked gently as the waves come and go, as life comes and goes. You are at peace.
3. Develop a practice where you are continually called into the embrace all of reality, and live a life based on accepting the great merger of all. Even though you may be far from the ocean or from where beauty impacts you directly, imagine yourself walking along the beach and calling out to an albatross, inviting her into your life. You walk miles and miles, and your eyes strain as you look relentlessly to the horizon. You want to give up but you continue on. At last you see a speck, barely discernible, but over time the image grows into a mighty albatross coming towards you. You continue to call to her, concentrating on her flight lest she turns away from you. She alights at your feet, walks up to you, and embraces you. You fold into each other, and tears are shed on both parts for you have found your way home to yourself, to loving all that is. As the sun sets the albatross looks deeply into your eyes, spreads her wings, and the wind carries her away. As you see her go into the setting sun, you breathe deep, holding fast your connection to her, to all. The sun slips away and the darkness comes, the milky way in all its splendor and immensity sends tingle of awe and fear through you. You do not turn away, as the field of stars blankets you in belonging.
4. Develop a practice of nurturing others as you have been so nurtured. Imagine yourself walking along a beach. Though the stars and albatross have slipped from sight, you know you are not alone. You wish to give this gift to others, and so call out, inviting others onto the beach. Soon you see a person walking towards you, and then another. They all appear beautiful to you. Soon the beach is crowded with people and the beings of the world. Some are your friends and your loved ones, and you joyously hug them. Some are strangers and you smile at them in greeting. Others are those you cannot understand, and you feel a heaviness upon you. Some have hurt you and will hurt others, and you side step away from them. Even though you may not be able to hold them all and nurture them directly, you know that the albatross hugs them too, and that the same ocean of life laps up around their feet as it does yours. You are the albatross searching out their beauty, you are the ocean welcoming them home.