A little thoughtfulness about grounding and centering.

The image above is NASA’s recently released composite image of the Milky Way made with radio data from MeerKAT. You can find it, and more about it, here: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/chandra/images/magnetized-threads-weave-spectacular-galactic-tapestry.html

Many of us have learned to ground and center by visualizing being a tree, and growing roots into the ground underneath us.

So, that’s nice and helpful.

And a very pretty image.

And I’m not being sarcastic; trees genuinely are quite nice.

However, please take a moment to notice that this image of grounding is not entirely correct. What we are doing is more like learning mentally how to reach from one ungrounded, uncentered place to another ungrounded, uncentered place.

We don’t put down anchors, y’all.

We are on a planet that is spinning at all times, with the ground under us (if we’re standing at the Equator) moving at around 1,000 miles (1600 kilometers) per hour. Earth races around the Sun at 66,000 miles per hour (107 million kilometers per hour). Our solar system is also spinning at around 220 kilometers per second, or 490,000 miles per hour. We are in a galaxy, the Milky Way, that is spinning at a speed of 210 kilometers per second (130 miles per second).

Not only that, Science Daily recently reported that “for every megaparsec — 3.3 million light years, or 3 billion trillion kilometers — from Earth, the universe is expanding an extra 73.3 ±2.5 kilometers per second.”

We don’t put down anchors. Much as we might like to–and we wouldn’t like to, really.

And we are not the center of everything.

What we can do is relate to what and who is around us, and learn to focus on the connection between two (two anything within a reasonable frame of reference for us).

While we might start a meditation by focusing on our breath, and noticing the movement of air in and out of our bodies, and that’s tremendously helpful in teaching us to focus, grounding as the NEXT step is really a way to think about our connections.

It is NOT a way to put down an anchor.

We can pretend we’re putting down anchors, I guess, but we’re really just reaching out for a nearby likewise rapidly moving thing.

The bad news is you’re falling through the air, nothing to hang on to, no parachute. The good news is, there’s no ground.

-Chögyam Trungpa

Meanwhile, even the bodies we think are solid aren’t–neither ours nor the planet’s. Even the molecules in our bodies are vibrating at speeds that would boggle your mind (at least, these speeds boggle my mind) to think about. Electron movements have to be measured in femtoseconds–infinitesimally tiny fractions of seconds.

And you thought tarot was weird.

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