The Memory of Water
Updated: Nov 1, 2019
Restoring the mauri of the Hauraki Gulf, what a task...a place that was once a biodiversity hotspot is now a polluted waterway with only a portion of its original populations still existing. How can we collectively bring back the mana of this gulf? Can our culture adopt an indigenous worldview and give respect back to our Tangaroa? GulfX is the Sustainable Business Networks initiative with this intent exactly.
I was asked to open for their event 'The Memory of Water' with a meditation and I was so grateful to be a part of such a purposeful mission. Written by Anne Gummer and performed by Georgi Hart, this spoken-word storytelling event was powerful. It was an exploration of how water has changed in our region, and how these changes have affected the mauri, the life-giving essence, of the Hauraki Gulf.
It was a collaboration of art, activism, mindfulness and policy. It left me at times with tears in my eyes and also with some pragmatic tools to improve the quality of the Hauraki Gulf, including; changing your car brakes to 'copper free', installing a litter trap on your businesses drain and being mindful of pollutants off our streets. Even with these pragmatic tools, what I truely took away was the felt realisation of how we have treated our waters. Georgina personified water, she gave it a personality and made it personal. She told us of the friendship of humans and water. She told us of the times we used to honour the water, be one with the water, drink from her rivers and bath in her. She then took us on a journey to our relationship now. That of a disowned child, a neglected lover, a disgraceful friend. One that pollutes, devalues and abuses. It shook me to my core. My cells felt the grief of what my ancestors have done to dishonour this natural phenomenon and I wanted to help, I want to change, I want everyone to change.
I want to share my opening meditation with you. My intention was to bring the guests to ultimate presence. To be able to fully experience the spoken word that was to follow, to feel the depth of our water quality issues and ignite change in their lives.
" I invite you to take a deep breathe, in through the nose and out through the mouth.
Dropping down your gaze and turning inwards. Inhaling to fill your lungs to the top and exhaling letting go of any tension you may be holding onto from your day. Become aware of where your body meets the ground. Notice the sensations here.
Continuing with your natural breathe, give yourself permission to be here, for the rest of this event, be fully present. Let go of anything you are carrying from your day or anything you are forecasting into the future. If your mind wanders away in thought outside of the present moment, kindly invite yourself back to your breathe, to the sounds in the room, to this journey of water.
I invite you to become aware of your inner landscape. Using your breathe can you slow the thinking mind, can you draw your attention from your mind into your body. Into the space in your chest and it is from this place that I invite you on a journey into the memory of water.
Invite into your heart space, from your most sincere place, why are you here at this event? What is your deepest intention for the water?
Your body is made from 70% water. Can you feel this water in your body? What does it feel like? Imagine your body full of tiny molecules of water, pure water deep in your cells.
Acknowledge that this water is as ancient as the earth, it has been in continual transformation since the water cycle began. Therefore, your body is made up of this ancient water, carrying all of the memories of the cycles of time. Of the changing climates, of the era of dinosaurs of the origination of man, all the way through to your body in this room right now. And it is still in cycle. The water you invite into your body, cycles through your body, taking with it all the waste and excreting it out into our environment.
This cycle is an ancient one, never changing but ever changing. We are the water, the water is us. The health of the water is the health of ourselves, the health of our land and the health of our ecosystems.
Now please invite your intention back into the space in your chest. What is your most sincere intention for being here right now?
Remember what you have to give to the earth is powerful, is valuable and you are a part of this circle of life. Everything is connected.
Come back to your breathe now. Inhaling and exhaling.
I invite you to be present for this evening, if your mind wanders into the past or the future, if you are taken into a daydream, simply notice and invite yourself back, to your breathe, to the sounds of the present moment. And enjoy the journey into the memories of water.
Take one more deep breathe together, introducing subtle movements into your toes and fingers and in your own time, open your eyes and come back to the room."
With love and peace, may we work to restore the mauri of our Hauraki Gulf, and all the ecosystems of the earth, to live in harmony with our mother once again.