Precious Human Birth

precious human birth

In this first week of the new year of 2,021, I truly fell in love with this offering from Mark Nepo out of his book, “The Book of Awakening”. It brought me to tears a few times. When he says, “in this time, in this place”, I was taken aback. To practice this level of gratitude for being in human form, with such awareness and consciousness, thru the time of a pandemic, a cultural awakening to the suffering of Black Lives, and more, wow.  I invite you to read this piece more than once. Soak it in, and read it whenever you like.  May we all honor and treat each other as rare and precious.  May we all honor and treat our self as rare and precious.  Enjoy, and I will see you on the mat soon! And, stay tuned for some other announcements coming up!  Love, Shawna

Precious Human Birth

~Of all the things that exist, we breathe and wake and turn it into song.~

There is a Buddhist precept that asks us to be mindful of how rare it is to find ourselves in human form on earth. It is really a beautiful view of life that offers us the chance to feel enormous appreciation for the fact that we are here as individual spirits filled with consciousness, drinking water and chopping wood.

It asks us to look about at the ant and antelope, at the worm and the butterfly, at the dog and the castrated bull, at the hawk and the wild lonely tiger, at the hundred-year-old oak and the thousand-year-old patch of ocean.  It asks us to understand that no other life form has the consciousness of being that we are privilege to. It asks us to recognize that of all the endless species of plants and animals and minerals that make up the Earth, a very small portion of life has the wakefulness of spirit that we call “being human”.

That I can rise from some depth of awareness to express this to you and that you can receive me in this instant is part of our precious human birth. You could have been an ant. I could have been an anteater. You could have been rain. I could have been a lick of salt. But we were blessed–in this time, in this place–to be human beings, alive in rare ways we often take for granted.

All of this is to say, this precious human birth is unrepeatable. So what will you do today, knowing that you are one of the rarest forms of life to ever walk the earth? How will you carry yourself? What will you do with your hands? What will you ask and a whom?

Tomorrow you could die and become an ant, and someone will be setting traps for you. But today you are precious and rare and awake. It ushers us into grateful living. It makes hesitation useless. Grateful and awake, ask what you need to know now. Say what you feel now. Love what you love now.

*Photo of my daughter on her day of birth. March 4th, 2019.


Breathe and Believe.