The biggest puzzle seems to be – here we are alive improbably on a planet teeming with nature, surrounded in our whole solar system and way beyond it with no other life forms.  What did we do to deserve this?  Each of us knows on some level that naturally we ought to bow down each day and thank God or whatever you believe in for this unbelievable opportunity.

Yet people persist in ingratitude.  We see, or are affected by the news, that many people still actively hate others – sometimes just because they were born on a certain piece of geography.  We see that there is greed, sometimes dishonesty, as some people try to accumulate more and more wealth at the expense of deepening the poverty and suffering of people around them.  The seven “deadly sins” are still alive and kicking:  wrath, greed, sloth, pride, lust, envy, and gluttony.   I know I am guilty of most of them to some extent almost everyday.  Perhaps they are all natural animal attributes that unsurprisingly arise in us without our consciously willing it.

These sins manifesting on the planetary level make human life harder than it needs to be.  Look at the fallacy of ownership – nothing really is yours, you borrow this piece of land, this fruit’s nutrition, for a relatively short period of time.  We can forget one of the obvious goals of being human and conscious – to pass this world on in better shape than we found it to each succeeding generation.  We need to fight against a tragic short-sightedness that seems to have generated a global reversal – the planet’s complexion and inner resources having been diminished rather than augmented in the last 30 or so years.

This consciousness that we are alive on an incredible, unlikely, prolific planet, keeps breaking through.  Perhaps our greatest gift as humans is to know what a gift human life is.   Each time we massage we can restore the natural gratitude for that gift.  People lie down on our tables often frustrated because of stress, filled with reverberations from their “sins” and those of the people around them.  They often think they or those around them are bad people because of these sins.  They often think life sucks because it’s a challenging balancing act.

High quality touch on the other hand reminds them.  You are alive and this is good.  You have trouble reconciling the selfish and generous sides of yourself.  Welcome to the club!  Restore your sense of wonder and compassion for being a living, conscious being on this earth.

H. H. Dalai Lama said, “Although attempting to bring about world peace through the internal transformation of individuals is difficult, it is the only way.”  Let us dedicate ourselves to this transformation this Earth Day and each day.  It is a simple matter of gratitude for the gift of space and time on this singular home to life, Mother Earth.