The phrase “bones of the all” in the Daodejing is sometimes referred to as meaning something old or ancient, but the true meaning is that all and everything is in the Earth.
Daoists hold the position that the Earth is a living entity with a consciousness of its own. Just as you have a consciousness, so does the Earth. And just as what is most active in your body changes from day to day, the Earth also changes.
You have the choice to link with any living being. What is meant by “linking”? When you go internal, it’s your consciousness that feels inside your body. The way in which anyone can clearly feel inside their brain or bone marrow, for example, is through their consciousness.
Now your consciousness has many interesting qualities. You can feel inside your body by linking with your body, by somehow focusing on, joining with and becoming one with it. Eventually you become aware, in tandem with your body, and do whatever it is you’re trying to do. Likewise, you can link with an animal, a tree, a human—even the Earth.
The Earth is a funny creature, but it’s no different than a human being or an animal. If you pay attention to and put your energy into one particular human being, that person will respond.
Likewise, if that human being does not get attention from any other human beings, he/she will not respond and very often becomes ill or goes crazy. The strongest example of this is babies who are never touched and die of crib death. They die from not having any real human contact.
Now if you consider very powerful relationships, there’s always one thing about them—regardless of sex or even the nature of the relationship itself. It’s the ability to just sit together and somehow fulfill each other.
For many marriages the biggest single factor that holds it together is that when the partners lie together, they are fulfilled. What happens is that each person settles into the energy of the other—each person’s energy flows into the other’s energy. Women are usually aware of this more than men. Making love is not just in the action, it is in the energy flow. And, at the end of the day, that is what people really remember, or at least that’s what holds people together for long periods of time.
The Earth is no different. Equally, the Earth responds to the tension of human beings. The Earth doesn’t need us, we need it. All the people on the Earth could die, but our relationship with the Earth intrinsically has to do with the fact that we pay attention to it.
If you use the Earth’s energy to rejuvenate you and, while you do that, you somehow have the feeling of what is coming into you, then this is a mutually beneficial relationship. I recommend people do this for a simple reason: otherwise the Earth might decide to get rid of us just as a dog doesn’t need fleas, but tolerates them.
Some people can make contact with the Earth and dissolve the energy inside themselves. To a certain degree, you will not be able to know if what you are dissolving is yours or if it’s some pain the Earth is having. And, it actually doesn’t matter because as one goes, the other will go too.
It will not be one, it will not be the other; it will be both. It is like when two people sit in a room or when your cat or dog sits next to you and it’s just quiet. You’re just being. You can do the same with the Earth. You can use its energy. And, if you care about the Earth, you can also help the Earth by what you’re doing with your awareness and intent.
To start, you have to link to the energy in the Earth. The mountains are the easiest place to link with the energy of the Earth, much more than flat lands. For example, in China many people practice amongst trees, so they can link with them. The energies of the different layers of the tree activate the energy layers in their body.
All you have to do is simply stand, sit or lie down in nature, close your eyes for about 20 minutes and let your mind go very, very quiet. Then, when your mind is finally still, do your best to link with the Earth. Leave your own body out of it and go into the layers of the Earth. A little appreciation for the bones of the all truly can go a long way.