It's finally summer here in Vancouver. I know many other parts of the world are being blasted by record setting heat waves and what not, but in rainy ole Vancouver we're just getting started with the summer season. And of course, when the sun comes out, so do the people.
The other day I joined the happy throngs down in English Bay, a beach setting surrounded by grass, and plunked my carcass down on the lawn. "Ahhh shit, that feels good" I moaned as I released down into full back sprawl. At some point I looked up and saw all the other bodies strewn across the Earth around me, with people of all stripes hitting the canvas, and a thought occurred to me.
I remembered something I'd heard the nutritionist-physician-spiritualist Gabriel Cousens say about lying on the Earth being good for you. He'd mentioned this during a talk I attended that was mainly on food and nutrition, but this little nugget he mentioned in passing always stuck with me. In his book Spiritual Nutrition, he writes:
The electromagnetic field energy of the Earth is another source of energy input into our system. It is usually absorbed through our feet. The Taoists describe a point on the sole near the upper center of the foot, called yung-chuany through which it is specifically drawn up. Lying on the ground can also be a way of recharging.
It's been a couple of years since I heard that talk, but since then I've come across a field/movement (I'm not sure what exactly to call it) called Earthing, where the healing effects of walking barefoot and lying on the Earth are being given new scientific backing and a sustained promotion as a source of human health and renewal. The Earthing Institute (!) writes this on their webpage:
Throughout time, we humans have strolled, sat, stood, and slept on the ground—the skin of our bodies touching the skin of the Earth—oblivious to the fact that such physical contact transfers natural electrical energy to the body.
Modern lifestyle has disconnected us from the Earth’s energy, making us more vulnerable to stress and illness.
Earthing is the landmark discovery that this energy upholds the electrical stability of our bodies and serves as a foundation for vitality and health.
In an age of rampant chronic disease, reconnecting with the Earth’s energy beneath our very feet provides a way back to better health.
We are bioelectrical beings living on an electrical planet.
Reconnect to the Earth!
Connect to the Earthing Institute and educate yourself.
Now I haven't taken a deep dive into the science coming out behind all this, and maybe there's controversy, I don't know. But what struck me the other day while lying on the grass in English Bay, is that humans seem to know this all intuitively anyway. That's the reason me and a heap of others were sprawled out on the grass together, wall to wall Earthers whether we knew it or not. There's similar research coming out about the healing effects of walking in forests. I love that science is coming to compile more and more empirical research around these things; I also love that it puts us back in contact with a deep, ancient intuitive side of ourselves, that knows this whether we get scientific confirmation or not. I hope this helps us deepen a trust in the wisdom of our evolutionary heritage, of what we already know deep down to be true about our connection to the world around us. For instance, that lying in the grass feels frickin awesome!! (walking in the grass too. and in the sand.)
So on whatever slice of Earth you happen to be having a summer, may you enjoy those moments you get to steal away under a tree, or out in the open sun, and plunk down the ole carcass in the Earth's green grass.