This body is born of Mother Earth, dependent on Mother Earth, fed by Mother Earth, utterly embedded in Mother Earth. However I treat Mother Earth, it will be to my own benefit or harm.


— Bhante Bodhidhamma

Our Earth body has a double, interlinked meaning:

  1. It’s the physical body in which we are incarnate on Earth.
  2. It’s the Earth herself as our body.

leafy footprintWhen we look at the various forms on Earth such as mountains, valleys, fields, rivers, trees and so on, to our eyes, to our rational mind there aren’t any apparent similarities to our own body. When we contemplate that our body is a material body and the Earth is a material planet, then some substantial links are revealed.

While we’re not only physical beings, our physicality is of this Earth. So far as we know to date, this is the only planet that supports human life or more precisely physical life, i.e., the life of any living thing. Our body can be alive here on Earth only because it’s composed of the same elements found in and on this planet. We breathe oxygen and our body is composed mostly of water. Our bones are made of calcium, we contain carbon, hydrogen and nitrogen. And others, most of which are found in the Earth.

The Earth is the dimension of form and we’re alive in a specific form. The form of our physicality is born from the Earth, maintained, sustained, nourished and healed by the Earth. Our essence is from another dimension. Our form is from the material dimension. Both are sacred and special.

We often forget that the planet we are living on has given us all the elements that make up our bodies. The water in our flesh, our bones, and all the microscopic cells inside our bodies all come from the Earth and are part of the Earth… We are a living, breathing manifestation of this beautiful and generous planet.


— Thich Nhat Hanh

It’s not surprising that in Reiki we work with Earth Ki directly since it’s the vibration of this plane. We start here, with this body and our existential dilemmas that include food, shelter and livelihood. Also included are a healthy sense of self, psychological wholeness and self-worth, together with the confidence to take action and accomplish.

All this before we aspire to other ideals. Often spirituality is used as an attempt to escape problems at our roots, or the ground we live on is somehow considered to not be spiritual, that spirituality is only otherworldly, not available in physical existence. That can’t be because creation is holy. It’s also intentional.

If the basic facts of our planetary home are considered, it becomes obvious that its design is anything but random. The Earth has a breathable atmosphere with a sun that’s just far and filtered enough not to roast us. Water evaporates and rain comes. Everything we could ever need to nourish and heal ourselves grows on Earth, and she provides a dazzling variety of shapes, colors and beauty in all her expressions.

It doesn’t get anymore sacred than that.

When we’re involved in a teaching that gives us direct access to the vibration of the Earth (material) plane, as is the case in Reiki properly understood and applied, we’re involved with life at a fundamental level. That itself is spiritual because the vibrational layer of life is the spiritual web that contains and upholds all of life’s other aspects and manifestations.

Plus the teachings and practices of Reiki give us powerful ways of growing our understanding, wisdom and love working with specific primordial vibrations. For example, access is also provided to the counterpoint of Earth Ki.

We arrive here and get busy with survival, happiness, health, work and success. Valuable as these are each needs extracurricular help and support. There’s also a deep pull in each of us to fill our life with more significant meaning than what these concerns can provide.

We have physical bodies but we’re not mechanical beings. We’re not merely existing on a rock in the Milky Way! Life is relational. When we separate, we become robotic. Robots don’t have an ethic or values or seek meaning.

The profound relational nature of life is the solution we must first truly embody and then unequivocally embrace.

You carry Mother Earth within you. She is not outside of you. Mother Earth is not just your environment. In that insight of inter-being, it is possible to have real communication with the Earth, which is the highest form of prayer.


— Thich Nhat Hanh

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Our Earth Body