In my teachings these past two weeks, we have been playing with the beautiful words of German poet Rainer Maria Rilke’s poem, How Surely Gravity’s Law. Taking aspects of his love poem to GOD, we have explored surrendering and heaviness leading to rising up rooted like trees and trusting our heaviness. I share his poem here and offer you a brief opportunity to feel the depth of one of the stanzas of this beautiful connection to GOD/Spirit/Nature in the meditation practice that follows.
HOW SURELY GRAVITY’S LAW
How surely gravity’s law,
strong as an ocean current,
takes hold of even the smallest thing
and pulls it toward the heart of the world.
each stone, blossom, child –
is held in place.
Only we, in our arrogance,
push out beyond what we belong to
for some empty freedom.
If we surrendered
to earth’s intelligence
we could rise up rooted, like trees.
Instead we entangle ourselves
in knots of our own making
and struggle, lonely and confused.
So, like children, we begin again
to learn from the things,
because they are in God’s heart;
they have never left him.
This is what the things teach us:
patiently to trust our heaviness.
Even a bird has to do that
before he can fly.
-Rainer Maria Rilke – Rilke’s Book of Hours: Love Poems to GOD
We set out to explore the rich text of this work, and I invite you to explore it for yourself now. Listen or just read below:
“If we surrendered
to earth’s intelligence
we could rise up rooted, like trees.”
Invite your physical body to just drop into the earth – do it no matter where you are right now in this present moment.
Feel your connection to earth
Notice how the earth hugs you and has always been here to support you
Sense the wisdom of allowing yourself to surrender
Give over your impulse to control anything now and release to gravity
Look around in your imagination and try to see what surrendering looks like
How does the earth help support the image of surrendering you’ve created in the mind?
Can you see yourself lying on the earth’s surface?
Where are you on planet earth this very moment? See it fully in your mind’s eye.
Release yourself to her intelligence
What does that even mean for you?
How can the earth be intelligent?
What is intelligence after all?
Focus on your breathing and allow it to be natural.
And, as you lie here see small roots begin to release from your back and drop deep into the earth
With each breath now let these roots penetrate deeper and deeper into the earth’s surface
On each exhale feel the roots releasing from your back body slowly making their way through the crust of the earth
Surrender your roots to earth’s intelligence
Take your time to experience the penetrating depth of your roots
What comes to mind when you think of your own roots?
How does it feel?
Can you sense grounding and stability?
And in your mind’s eye look above you and imagine you can see a canopy of leaves protecting you.
Allow the mind to focus on the leaves, the shapes, the colors, the textures and surrender your mind too.
Imagine that your breath serves to feed the roots, your body the trunk of a tree, your mind, the branches and leaves, metaphors for the thoughts that exist from within.
And now fully surrender to earth’s intelligence and just rest here for a few moments. When you are ready, come back and see if you don’t rise up more rooted like a Tree.
We can learn so much from Rilke’s poem and the earth’s intelligence.
About Nancy Levenson: Nancy’s mantra is helping others Discover Yoga as a Healing Art and their personal path to their wellness. She is founder of NamasteWorks Yoga + Wellness. She explores the tools, history, philosophy and science of yoga in working with clients to discover their own innate healing process. If she could, she would sprinkle JOY in everyone’s life and remind them of their own true nature as a path to wholeness.
She loves guiding yoga retreats all over the world and has recently added private one-on-one desert excursions and private retreats for clients to explore their own contracts, soul wisdom and spirit animal through a practice called, SOULSutras.