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Ask a Tree

Ask a Tree.

Thich Nhat Hanh wrote about a large tree on the grounds at Plum Village a Zen monastery in France.  When people are feeling lonely, sad, angry, etc. he suggests they hug the tree for a few moments. It provides people with an opportunity to connect as they pause.

The druids lived in nature often living in trees. Nature was a cathedral and should still be today. As I drove home yesterday, I saw the changing colour in leaves and branches hanging over our street. Nature and trees have stories to tell. We only need to ask, pause of a moment, and listen attentively.

Slow Down, You’re Going Too Fast

Slow Down, You’re Going Too Fast.

Paul Simon is supposed to have written the song 59th Street Bridge Song which includes the line “slow down you move to fast” while sitting in a traffic jam on the 59th St. Bridge in New York City. It is not so much that we have to or, for that matter, can make the morning last longer. It is more likely when we pause and take time to enjoy the world as we move through it and it moves through us we feel that morning lasts longer.

Chronos time is a human-made construct. Here, we master and manage time. Kairos time is a fluid, natural flow of time without measure. One is calculating and the other meditating. When we live in the world in a hermeneutic way, we take time and read the contours of the world as it appears, as we encounter and experience it fully with all our senses. There is no rush in those moments.

Silver

Silver.

If we can live in the world and it still amazes us and brings us wonder, the silver in our hair will shine. What do we hurry by and step over during our waking hours which, if we were fully awake, would shine forth their extraordinary qualities? Being present and mindful in the world and in our lives, brings the world into a fuller contrast with brightening of the colours, fragrances, tastes, feelings, and sounds.

Art’s nature versus “real” nature

Art’s nature versus “real” nature.

The beauty and perfection of Nature is in its imperfection. It is asymmetrical. Alfred North Whitehead and Albert Einstein suggested whatever we needed to find was in Nature.

Nature has ways of speaking to us and revealing itself when we are present and attentive. Being awake means encountering Nature as part of it rather than outside of it as virtual observers. When we open up all our senses Nature reveals herself readily.

It is in the ordinary we find the extraordinary. Art is a way of expressing Nature through the sensuousness we feel. When I look at art, it is the less than perfect representation that attracts. There is something in the asymmetry that pulls me deeper into my relationship with the world.

482. Spring flowers are long since gone. Summer’s bloom hangs limp on every terrace. ~Louise Seymour Jones

482. Spring flowers are long since gone. Summer’s bloom hangs limp on every terrace. ~Louise Seymour Jones.

Summer in Alberta took a beating this week. It snowed and in some places along the Eastern Slopes it snowed a lot.

I love the seasons and their change. The cycle of life is visible during the various times of the year in Alberta. We move from summer to fall to winter and Nature reveals herself in Her changes. It is in the cycle that Nature’s creativity is fully revealed.

This is the time of the year that farmers and gardeners harvest. It is a time of celebration, community, and gathering together in thankfulness for the gifts we receive. In a world where global interests prevail over the local, we sometimes forget our closeness to Nature and a need to be thankful through prayers, poetry, and Psalms.

What the Soul Needs Now

What the Soul Needs Now.

Rumi‘s poetry shines down through the centuries and provides insight in troubled times. When we are unsure and do not seem to hear the small voice inside of us, find an even deeper stillness and listen more closely. The voice is still there, being drowned out by distractions.

It is in the quiet and stillness we find the courage deep in our hearts and souls. When we do, we speak and act in right ways.

affirmations

affirmations.

When we get up to face the day, it is nice to have a few words which help us move into the day. These affirmations provide different ways to speak into the day quietly regardless of what we face.

The post reminded me of writing by Parker Palmer, Thomas Merton, Wendell Berry, and Mary Oliver amongst many. The quieter we are, the more we still our mind and body, the more able we are to hear the soul speak its words of wisdom. Courage grows from the heart. The word courage shares the same roots as the French word for heart, coeur. When we take heart, courage emerges.

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