Margarita Loinaz, M.D. has been a Buddhist practitioner since 1977 in the Tibetan and Theravada traditions with an emphasis on Dzogchen practice for the past 10 years. She is a graduate of the first Community Dharma Leader’s program at SRMC where she contributed to the initial stages of the diversity program and taught at the first POC retreat. She also trained in MBSR at the UMass Stress Reduction Clinic and is a student of the Diamond Approach. She is originally from Dominican Republic.
Hello. It’s great to see everybody here, and it’s really an honor for me to participate in this gathering. I feel very grateful that we are coming together on this date to turn the gaze towards that, which is the origin of these bodies. Every little molecule of this physical body comes from the earth. We are sustained to this whole life from things that are coming from the earth. All the food we eat, the air that we breathe in the atmosphere, and then when our bodies are done, you know, they recycling back onto the surface of the earth. So, we are the earth itself even though we don’t fully realize that. So, I’m very grateful to be part of this gathering.
To begin with, we have a bowl, a gourd, with water, and we’re going to make an offering to the earth itself. Water is what makes life possible in this planet. Without water, there would be no life. And so, we are going to offer this bowl with water to the earth itself, and also to the ancestors that lived on this land. The ___ people. They lived here for thousands of years, and we’re the last humans that really knew on this land on how to live in harmony in a sustainable way. So the word for water in ___ is ___. So, ___ going to take the bowl. Yeah, if you could come up. And we’ve already talked about where we’ll put it outside. And at the end of the day, she’ll pull the water out, and it’ll be there throughout the day. So, if you can go ahead—yeah. And while ___ is out there, doing that, I want to ask you if you could tune in to your own ancestors. This can be your own biological ancestors, it could be your spiritual ancestors, it could be the ancestors of the land you’re connected to. And just tune into that to the degree that you can, asking for their support, and their guidance for the day.
The single field of awareness that we are part of is beyond time and space, and particularly, ancestors that have skills that we need right now, they’re waiting for us to tune in. And with the prayer that we have, the receptivity to actually receive the guidance and the support.
I also want to acknowledge the fact that some of you are quite familiar with meditation and some of you may not be as familiar, so some of the material that I’ll be presenting may be readily accessible, and some of that may be a stretch, but if it feels like a stretch, just let it kind of wash over you and see if it will take hold down the line.
So when we were planning the day, you know, you’re going to have wonderful people presenting throughout the day. And later on, there’ll be a lot of guidance about, you know, how to come together, how to face things. And for my little section this morning, what I really wanted to focus on is basically perception and how our own perception relates to our spiritual practice and what the shift in perception is that we need right now. So I was asked to write a little description. I don’t think you have it, but— so I wrote this. And I wanted to just read to you:
A wondrous aspect of ourselves as newborns is the experience of oneness with everything there is. This expresses itself as other openness. The state of one divided being maybe a faint memory in our adult minds, but it returns to us in the depths of the spiritual development. Our lives and well-being are linked to the life and well-being of this planet, of this life here. At this time, the earth needs us to remember what we have forgotten, and recognize our absolute inseparability.
So this theme is what I want to just open up a little bit with this little time we have. So, we, all, generally, of course, people loves babies. When we look into a baby’s eyes, the eyes connect to infinity. They’re utterly open. And often, when we comfort a baby, we feel whole. We’re sort of taking care whatever their needs are and they relax and, but when I say relax, if you pay attention, there’s an incredible relaxation in us. Because the baby, in effect, we think we’re regulating them. They’re regulating us. They’re reminding us of what we have forgotten. And when we feel that there is such comfort, because we are all suffering from this disconnection, profoundly so. And the state of our planet is a direct reflection of that disconnection. Of that forgetting. If we were to actually living from that place of knowing the inseparability of everything, of all of life, we will not be where we are.
So when we’re born in the state, you now, in psychological language, you know, there’s all this kind of ways of trying to explain, you know, the development of a baby. But in a spiritual sense, particularly if you’re curious to look into the area of psychology that’s dealing with pre-natal and para-natal psychology, the work of a particular man named ___ is profound, because some people are having memories of actually before their birth and when they were born, and the capacity that this newborn has to be aware of itself and be aware of how it’s meeting the world as it comes out. And those have profound implications of how we understand ourselves and the fact that awareness is continuous before we’re born, when we’re born, after we die. That experience that is accessible to some people who gives us an inkling of the timeless nature of awareness itself. So when we are born, depending on the cultural context, we’re born into, you know, there’s all the belief structure of the culture that we’re coming into. In indigenous cultures, because of their own beliefs and the way they’ve sustained a connection to the land and to the natural world, their aspects of that oneness that are retained in the life an indigenous adult.
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