When we pause, allow a gap, and breath deeply, we can experience instant refreshment. Suddenly we slow down, look out, and there’s the world. It can feel like briefly standing in the eye of the tornado or the still point of a turning wheel. Our mood may be agitated or cheerful. What we see and hear may be chaos or it may be the ocean, the mountains, or birds flying across a clear blue sky. Either way, momentarily our mind is still and we are not pulled in or pushed away by what we are experiencing.
~ Pema Chodron
Listen with Ease
Have you ever sat very silently, not with your attention fixed on anything, not making an effort to concentrate, but with the mind very quiet, really still? Then you hear everything, don’t you? You hear the far off noises as well as those that are nearer and those that are very close by, the immediate sounds — which means really that you are listening to everything. Your mind is not confined to one narrow little channel. If you can listen in this way, listen with ease, without strain, you will find an extraordinary change taking place within you, a change that comes without your volition, without your asking, and in that change there is great beauty and depth of insight.
~ J. Krishnamurti, The Book of Life
Tides and storms, the patterns of seasons and migrations, the quality of the soil and the air – all of these continue to influence and are influenced by us; they remind us of the intricate web from which we cannot disentangle ourselves, try as we might. Also, some of us are still lucky enough to live in places where we are awakened by birdsong in the morning, where at night we can see the Milky Way spilled across the sky. These things are part of our daily human experiences. As such, these phenomena – like anything else – can take on particular meaning, both original and universal.
Such meaning depends on authenticity, which often depends on engagement. This is the case whether we are talking about authenticity between people and people or between people and nature. We must be attentive; we must give our senses over to the other.
~ Hannah Fries, In Defense of Wonder
Each day holds a surprise. But only if we expect it can we see, hear, or feel it when it comes to us. Let’s not be afraid to receive each day’s surprise, whether it comes to us as sorrow or as joy. It will open a new place in our hearts, a place where we can welcome new friends and celebrate more fully our shared humanity.
~ Henri Nouwen
Books are a uniquely portable magic.
~ Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft
Books are the perfect entertainment: no commercials, no batteries, hours of enjoyment for each dollar spent. What I wonder is why everybody doesn’t carry a book around for those inevitable dead spots in life.*
~ Stephen King
*I do. I carry a book with me almost everywhere (except on walks and hikes).
You carry Mother Earth within you. She is not outside of you. Mother Earth is not just your environment. In that insight of inter-being, it is possible to have real communication with the Earth, which is the highest form of prayer. In that kind of relationship you have enough love, strength and awakening in order to change your life.
Fear, separation, hate and anger come from the wrong view that you and the Earth are two separate entities, that the Earth is only the environment. That is a dualistic way of seeing.
So to breathe in and be aware of your body and look deeply into it, realise you are the Earth and your consciousness is also the consciousness of the Earth. Not to cut the tree not to pollute the water, that is not enough.
We need a real awakening, enlightenment, to change our way of thinking and seeing things. When we recognise the virtues, the talent, the beauty of Mother Earth, something is born in us, some kind of connection, love is born. That is the meaning of love, to be at one.
~ Thich Nhat Hanh
Don’t dismiss the elements. Water soothes and heals. Air refreshes and revives. Earth grounds and holds. Fire is a burning reminder of our own will and creative power. Swallow their spells. There’s a certain sweet comfort in knowing that you belong to them all.
~ Victoria Erickson