EARTH: Our Fertile Ground
During Sacred Warrior retreats and courses, I like to organize teachings in relationship to the elements— earth, water, fire, air, and ether. This approach helps us to connect our bodies with the body of the earth and understand elemental teachings that run through martial arts (particularly taoist practice), herbalism and holistic healing traditions from around the world. I start with the element of earth because it’s impossible for anything to grow without a solid foundation. Roots supply us with the energy of survival, inviting stability and balance into our bodies, our lives and our practices. When we ground, we calm. The more grounded we are, the more we can let go to stand firmly in our power. Earth Element themes include our foundation, form, stability, sensation, survival and balance.
Here is a look at some earth based plant medicines and practices we share during courses and retreats:
Our Root Medicine in Costa Rica: Cuculmeca (Smilax Family): This sacred root has been used for centuries by traditional healers of Central America. Cuculmeca is a strong blood builder, a rich source of iron, calcium & other minerals, natural plant steroids and saponins. The root also builds the blood by connecting our first chakra with the earth and raising the earth elements up into our energy fields.
Root Medicine back home in Brooklyn: Burdock Root. A deep taproot, Burdock, “turns worriers into warriors.” Burdock nourishes adrenals, calms fight or flight response, cleanses blood, clears skin and simply nourishes the whole body system. You can often find Burdock root at your local farmer’s market and growing in the wild all over the northeast. You can also order the dried root from places such as Mountain Rose Herbs.
Meditation & Movement Practice: Plug into source energy. Stand with feet wide (horse stance in martial arts) and let go. Allow your body to get heavy with each exhale until you feel both feet firmly planted on the ground. Once you do, envision roots growing down through the soles of your feet. Draw energy up into the body from those roots from the feet through the crown of the head. Picture stagnant energy or anything you need to release composting as you exhale. Draw energy up the body with each inhale. Release. Renew. Repeat. This standing meditation eventually bring us into a solid fighting stance. The power of grounded connection, relaxation and letting go. For more on Sacred Warrior Training click HERE.
Mindfulness Practice: Feel the ground underneath your feet while you walk and when you sit. Notice the plants and trees growing throughout the city and what they may be communicating through their shapes, textures and colors. Many of them are medicine with rich history, purpose and folklore.
Questions to explore:
Do I feel grounded? Why or why not?
Where do I find stability?
How do I nourish and nurture myself? What gives me sustenance?
What is my relationship to my body? To the body of the earth?
Where do I thrive?
Self Care Suggestions:
Drink burdock root or culcumeca in tea/herbal infusion daily or use grounding roots in your cooking.
Engage the mindfulness practices. Feel the ground under your feet as you walk and notice the details of the plants and trees that call to you. Sit with one. Spend time outdoors.
Take time to be in silence and stillness. Explore your relationship to the earth. Nourish & nurture yourself.