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The Meaning of Existence

I think this was a theme for the past week. What is existence? It is just being in the world and experiencing it in the most direct and pre-reflective way possible.

Les Murray writes about the impact that language has on how humans experience the world. Existentially, there is a difference between saying how we experience and saying how to experience. The former is just being and the latter is like a how-to manual.

When I just am, that is often the most rewarding moments I experience without realizing it and there is no way to intentionally recapture the moment. To just be is its own reward. When I try to express the feeling in words, it is indescribable. I use metaphoric, mythic, and poetic language to point at it, but always I fall short.

Everything except language
knows the meaning of existence.
Trees, planets, rivers, time
know nothing else. They express it
moment by moment as the universe.

 Even this fool of a body
lives it in part, and would
have full dignity within it
but for the ignorant freedom
of my talking mind.

there is…

ivonprefontaine:

Rumi has such simple and profound messages. We can see what others feel through those windows. There is a shimmering that happens and makes us feel complete.

Originally posted on poojycat:

There is a window
from one Heart to another Heart.

– Rumi

dew drop

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Because Kindness Matters

ivonprefontaine:

It always does. Alfonso Lingis writes that sometimes just being present is the most important thing and the words we say. Kind acts speak and tell the Other that they are recognized.

Originally posted on Tell Me About It!:

kindnessmatters

Because Kindness Matters

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What do you hear when you look at a tree?

ivonprefontaine:

This reminded me of Thich Nhat Hanh who describes an oak tree at Plum Village. He advises retreat attendees to take time, hug the tree, and listen to what it says. Deep ecology operates on the same premise. Nature has something to show us. We have to stop and listen with our hearts.

Originally posted on scampertotellthestory:

DSC06301When we were in Gatlinburg Tn, we got this face for my Mom and Dad’s tree.  The face is still there.  From where I sat it looked like the leaves of the tree appeared to be hair for this face.  I started thinking about trees.  When I was young I used to collect leaves and other plants to identify them.  My father helped me to know which tree was what.  He also knew the bark.  One time his sister asked him to come up and see if her trees had Dutch Elm disease.  He drove up and got out of the car and looked at the trees and said “No.  These are Oak trees”.  He got back into the car and his sister said “For heaven’s sake, come on in.  You came all this way.”  He had completed his mission and the trees weren’t elms.  He could see by their…

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Barefoot In The Sacred

ivonprefontaine:

This beautiful poem reminded me of the Alfred North Whitehead that the past and future always meet in the sacred, holy ground of the present. We cannot be any other place except in our thoughts which create a fantastic future and idealized past.

Originally posted on Masked Native:

in the sacred

Step outside the garden door,

with bare feet on cold concrete,

and after the realisation that it’s not so bad,
you can bear it,
move on to the dew wet morning grass,
to the uncut patch,
where the secret life within grounds you
to the heart of your heart,
to the world heart,
to the one sacred whole where you know yourself in everything,
where everything has it’s peace,
and even inanimate objects
find their rest in the sacred.

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No. 1054

ivonprefontaine:

Materialism and consumerism run rampant. One of the things we talked about in the wake of my mother’s passing was how the generation that grew up in the 1930’s is disappearing. With them goes the ethic of not wanting for more than what we have. When we experience our place and time in the world with indigenous qualities unique to it, it changes how we experience the world. That is a valuable lesson to be learned from those who went before.

Originally posted on Madstoffa's crunchy house!:

Embrace The New Dawn. By CpSingleton © 2015
Breathe like summer’s lighting up your skin.

That tingle in your cheeks to signal

A smile is about to begin

To take over your features.

This is what defines us from

The darker shadow creatures.
Don’t rely on your bank balance to bring you joy.

Numbers can’t replace a gifted soul,

Nor the shiny toy,

Or worthless rock.

No man found enlightenment

From sweating over stock.
Instead, open up your mind wider than a dragon’s yawn.

Disregard last night’s teachings and

Stride into your new dawn

Ready to enjoy your day.

Because, in a flash that is your life,

It can all be taken away.

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Song for Nobody

Thomas Merton was a Trappist Monk and prolific spiritual writer of the mid-20th Century with many works published posthumously. He passed away in an accident at a relative young age so it is hard to say how much more writing he had in him. He is best known for his essays, journals, and letters, but wrote poetry and was an artist as well.

He included as one of his key themes the key concept of activism as a form of violence on one’s self. He drew on Eastern philosophies and mindfulness in describing contemplation as a human necessity in the 20th Century with its busyness and distractions. One can only imagine what he would think today.

I thought of the biblical passages about how lilies grow and just do what comes naturally. The flowers sing their songs without words by themselves without spin and toil. We find their  music in their simplicity.

A yellow flower
(Light and spirit)
Sings by itself
For nobody.

A golden spirit
(Light and emptiness)
Sings without a word
By itself.

Let no one touch this gentle sun
In whose dark eye
Someone is awake.

(No light, no gold, no name, no color
And no thought:
O, wide awake!)
A golden heaven
Sings by itself
A song to nobody.

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