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Sensing Self as Earth


In April 2021, Pennie Opal Plant offered this practice as part of One Earth Sangha’s first EcoDharma Exploration. In observance of International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, we now share it with our entire community.

Visit the program page for more teachings, practices, a recording of the live gathering, and follow-up resources: Remembering Our Reciprocity with Earth.

Pennie Opal Plant offers a guided meditation to support us in ‘Sensing Self as Earth.’ If there’s a less-human-dominated space near where you live and you have a mobile device, we encourage you to download this meditation and then take it into the field for practice. For those of you for whom this isn’t available, we’re including a version of the recording with some natural sounds of water, wind, and birds in the background.

Please note: part of the meditation involves a vessel of water, so make sure you have a cup or bowl of water with you before you begin.

Here is the recording without any natural sounds.

      Sensing Self as Earth - Pennie Opal Plant

Here is the recording with sounds of water, trees, and birds (starting around the 9-minute mark).

      Sensing Self as Earth (with nature sounds) - Pennie Opal Plant

From the Practice

The air we are breathing has been breathed in and out by billions of our human and non-human relatives since the beginning of air breathers on Mother Earth’s belly. Our breath connects us to the sacred system of life, to all of those who came before and all of those who are breathing with us now.

Breathe your gratitude to the waters in your body for keeping you alive. Imagine the waters all over the world cleansed, healthy, liberated, and if it feels right, vow to act in a good way on behalf of water. Thank the spirits of the waters for all that they give you and for what they offer life.

While we listen, while we feel, while our hearts are open, we experience the web of life that we are a very small part of. Feel how it flows into you and through you and extends outward, continuing through the web that connects everything, even the planets and stars.

There are many ways of experiencing life and we don’t have to limit ourselves to our minds. Know that by paying attention to your body, you will have a fuller experience of the sacred system of life and being alive.

The transcript of this practice can be found here.

Pennie Opal Plant

Pennie Opal Plant

Pennie Opal Plant is one of the co-founders of Idle No More SF Bay, a co-founder of Movement Rights and a signatory of the Indigenous Women of the Americas Defending Mother Earth Treaty. She has worked for over 35 years to ensure that the sacred system of life continues in a manner that is safe, sustainable and healthy. Her mother is Yaqui and Mexican, her father undocumented Choctaw, Cherokee and European. No members of her family have ever lived on a reservation. She lives in unincorporated Contra Costa County and sees the Chevron refinery in Richmond, California every day.
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