What We Do Now Matters . . .

So here’s the deal (this just in via CNN).  Russian scientists have recently cultivated this beautiful plant from seeds that were deposited in a squirrel burrow over 30,000 years ago [imagine the squirrel from Ice Age here].  Thanks to the permafrost that encased the soil, they were preserved, and scientists were able to extract them.  They took “placenta tissue” from the immature seeds, grew that tissue into “mature seeds,” and then planted those seeds in rich soil.  The result?  These gorgeous, pre-historic flowers.

In both Buddhist and yogic tradition, there is much conversation about “bija,” or seeds.  “Bija” are described as those habits, actions, and thought patterns that become habitual.  They are said to leave impressions that guide our behavior, not necessarily in helpful ways.

All this makes this curious, spiritually-inclined yogini wonder:  What type of  bija am I cultivating in my lifestyle, habits, and actions right now?   If someone dug up my DNA 300 centuries  in the future and grew its essence, what would it look like?  Can I live this moment, this life, in a manner that cultivates an inner beauty and awareness that will blossom and bear fruit?  Can I find the balance of repose and action that leaves a trace of justice, a hint of something more, long after I’m dust?  Knowing that our bija leaves a trace, in ways we cannot possibly foresee, far into the future, how do I mindfully journey through this day?

What have I planted, so far, on this day?

Have I sown the seeds of compassion and kindness for which I long?

Have I been too tired and preoccupied to care?

Have I stopped long enough to listen, so that something of you may be planted within me?

Do I care enough about myself to press loving hands to fertile soil, to knead the clods and open the rich secrets of the earth, so that new life can grow?

Have I loved as I would be loved?

What have I planted, so far, on this day?

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