Scripture: Micah 6:8
“God has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”
Micah, an 8th century BC prophet from a tiny village south of Jerusalem, tries valiantly to cajole Judah (also called the southern kingdom) to greater faithfulness. The people knew the Northern Kingdom (Israel) had fallen to the Assyrians in 722BC; Micah reminds them that they must obey the covenant with God, or they too will experience doom and exile. What God really wants, Micah offers, is the Hebrew people’s loyalty and love. God desires holy relationship with God and among people.
In this verse for today, Micah is referencing an offering. However, instead of a material offering on the altar, Micah indicates that the offering is to be one of self, of character and behavior. Micah urges his people to offer acts of justice, kindness, and humility to God.
How do we now, in 2017, offer justice, love kindness, and walk humbly, in a world that so desperately needs this kind of offering? Do we march on the streets for an issue, do we put on hardhats and volunteer for Habitat, do we sit with a second grader and help them read? Surely these are all good things to do. Perhaps, though, one unconventional answer might be to tend to our kidneys.
In Chinese medicine, the kidneys hold our vitality. The kidneys are our reservoirs of blood and therefore contain our energy or chi. In combination with the adrenal glands that sit atop them, the kidneys support our ability to be aware–which is key to being kind, to seeing the other, to doing the work of justice. The kidneys are responsible for our detoxification, while the adrenals regulate our hormones. When these organs and glands become dysfunctional, we literally become toxic. Our kidneys often become compromised from so much sitting and have a hard time then producing a flow of vital energy.
The scripture calls for action in the world, but we need to have full reservoirs to act with integrity and out of wholeness rather than depletion. We need to replenish our reservoirs, our kidneys, in order to be able to be just, to be kind, to be humble. By replenishing our kidney energy, we can be the loving kindness the world so desperately needs to receive.
This practice is geared to the restoration of kidney energy and flow. It will be a hybrid of restoration and action.
Beginning meditation: Take a seat on two stacked blankets. Allow the shins and knees to drop downward. Ground your two buttock bones evenly into the cushion. Exhale deeply a few times, exhaling out all that has depleted you this week.
Place the heels of both hands on your back, below the last rib bone, with fingertips extending down extending down past your waist. Direct your breath and attention there, to the place where your kidneys reside.
Buddha Konasana– Bring the soles of your feet to touch, knees open out on the blanket. Press your thumbs on the point below your big toe mound. Pump your thumb into this upper middle foot region. This is an acupuncture point for the kidneys and brings vitality to them and to the spine.