In our practice of mindfulness we use many helpful tools to come back to the present moment, to touch life deeply and to nurture our intention to live a life of service. One of these tools are gathas, mindfulness verses. We use these in our daily activities. With the in breath we recite one line, with the out breath we recite another line.
Turning on the tap: Water comes from high mountain sources (in breath); water runs deep into the ground (out breath); miraculously water comes to us (in breath); and sustains all life (out breath).
Washing our hands: Water flows over these hands (in breath); may I use them skillfully (out breath); to preserve this precious planet (in breath).
Here is Southern California rain is truly a miracle, a very life giving one. Observing the native plants deal with heat and sunshine and seasonal and sparse rain is a great learning. Their life force is amazing, the vividness in their blossoms, their tough and sometimes o so fragrant leaves. We have great conditions to look deeply into water and the life giving qualities of water. Several years ago we let go of having some green lawns around Deer Park, this save us over 300,000 gallons of water each year. We know that the water we use (when we are on city water, we also use well water during part of the year) has come a long way and that as a society in Southern California we use way more water then the land here provide for.
When we develop our practice of gathas like these our relationship with our daily activities and the world start to change. When we start changing our behavior we can influence others and together we can find the joy of living simply with few desires. The planet will be grateful and a future for human civilization might be possible.