Touching the Earth Practice

The practice of “Touching the Earth,” also known as bowing deeply or prostrating, helps us return to the Earth and to our roots, and to recognize that we are not alone but connected to a whole stream of spiritual and blood ancestors. We touch the Earth to let go of the idea that we are separate and to remind us that we are the Earth and part of Life.

To begin this practice, join your palms in front of your chest in the shape of a lotus bud. Then gently lower yourself to the ground so that all four limbs and your forehead are resting comfortably on the floor. While touching the Earth, turn your palms face up, showing your openness to the Three Jewels — the Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha. When we touch the Earth, we breathe in all the strength and stability of the Earth, and breathe out our suffering – our feelings of anger, hatred, fear, inadequacy and grief.  This is a wonderful practice.

The following Earth Touchings were developed for the 2019 Plum Blossom Sangha Spring Retreat in Austin, Texas, lead by Dharma Teacher Terry Cortes-Vega.


Bodhisattva Manjushri Touching of the Earth

Bodhisattva Avalokita Touching of the Earth

Bodhisattva Samanthabhadra Touching of the Earth

Bodhisattva Ksitigarbha Touching of the Earth

For more information about the practice of Earth Touchings, please visit the Plum Village website