Ebook Quotes

An all-consuming, passionate love affair

The story of the mystics is one of an all-consuming, passionate love affair between human beings and God. It speaks of deep yearning, of burning desire for the contemplation and presence of the divine beloved. Mystics seek participation in divine life, union, and communion with God. Their desire is kindled by the fire of divine love itself, which moves the mystics in their search and leads them, often on arduous journeys, to discover and proclaim the all-encompassing love of God for humankind.

~ by Ursula King

A blessing is the natural expression of the fiery love

A blessing is the natural expression of the fiery love and inclusiveness of our inner spirit. It is the manifestation of a soul-fire, and each of us can be its hearth. Each of us, you and I, can be points of reconnection, points of remembrance, points of love. We can be blessings.
~ from BLESSING: the Art and Practice by David Spangler

A living flame of love

If we are in any way to solve the problems of our day, we must rely on the power of Another, not on our own power. It manifests itself in the human heart as a blind stirring of love, as a living flame of love. Sometimes, this inner fire drives people into solitude where they intercede for humanity and unleash a power which shakes the universe. But the same inner fire drives others into the midst of action with a passionate love for justice and a willingness to die for their convictions.

~ from THE INNER EYE OF LOVE by William Johnston

How to grow in being

As you develop spiritually, with increased sensitivity, you become more aware of God's creativity and ceaseless bounty. You value order, for you realize that this makes for harmony, and harmony is the keynote of the universe. You value time. Hours spent visiting someone are Love-filled hours. Above all, you value those most precious moments of the day when you withdraw from activity and experience contact with the Divine Fire of Love: source of all. When this is the most important thing in your life then you are indeed growing in being.
~ from GROWTH INTO BEING by Margaret Holmes

The world has little by little caught fire

Throughout my life, by means of my life, the world has little by little caught fire in my sight, until a flame all around me, it has become almost luminous from within. Such has been my experience in contact with the Earth. The diaphany of the divine at the heart of the universe on fire ... a fire capable of penetrating everywhere, and gradually spreading everywhere.
~ from HEART OF THE MATTER by Teilhard de Chardin

What sets us on fire?

If we don't know in the depths of our being that God calls us "beloved," we need to. And if we do know it, and it hasn't set us on fire, then we don't know it well enough. Take time daily to be alone and silent before God. And an awareness of your utter belovedness will become a reality for you.

~ by Jan Orel

We as a people are only now beginning to learn to read the language of the earth once more

We as a people are only now beginning to learn to read the language of the earth once more. We are beginning to see what our actions create. Since the beginning there have been those who have listened to the earth's song. We are a note in the discord or the harmony of this world. The way we walk is the way it becomes. Speak in anger and anger will come to you, speak with caring and love and these too shall be drawn to you. Our choices in action are sacred. To choose to work our way through our emotions and actions in a good way can be a most sacred act. Each action affects all others.

~ from SWEETWATER WISDOM by Wendy Crockett

In all of nature

In all of nature there can be nothing more expressive than silence.

~ by John Hay

Saint de Terre

In the Middle Ages saunterers were considered saint de terre as they wandered the countryside.

~ Anonymous

Earth as living poetry

The earth is not a mere fragment of dead history, a stratum upon stratum like the leaves of a book, to be studied by biologists and antiquarians chiefly, but living poetry like the leaves of a tree, which precede flowers and fruit — not a fossil earth but a living earth.

~ by Henry David Thoreau

Faced with the job of healing the planet

All universal truths are available to us. All universal knowledge. Nothing is withheld. Our soul has a limitless capacity to enfold and know all. This is part of the dynamic of the soul. We are faced with the job of healing the planet, healing it from the multitude of messes we have created. The only way this can happen is for people to change their attitudes toward nature As we each open to the broader reality of nature, our attitudes will automatically shift, and how we treat our immediate environment will alter to accommodate those shifts in attitude. We will live our lives differently. We will have different motivations for what we do. We will become active co-creative partners in life. We will behave as if the God of ALL life mattered.

~ by Machaella Small Wright

The secret of secrets

Sunset in the ethereal waves:
I cannot tell if the day
is ending, or the world, or if
the secret of secrets is inside me again.

~ by Anna Akhmatova

You living garden

You set before me the book of Nature; and I understood how all the flowers created by You are beautiful, how the splendor of the rose and the whiteness of the lily do not lessen the perfume of the little violet or the delightful simplicity of the daisy. I understood that if all flowers wanted to be roses, Nature would lose her springtime beauty, and the fields would no longer be decked out with little wild flowers... It is the same in the world of souls, Your living garden.

~ by Therese of Lisieux

The old tree of eternal creative life

The old tree of eternal creative life lives
with an open heart, very deep roots,
and many branches waiting to
transform into new life.

~ by Richard Bachtold

What did you find in the fields today

What did you find in the fields today,
you who have wandered so far away?

I found a wind-flower, small and frail,
and a crocus cup like a holy grail;
I found a hill that was clad in gorse,
a new-built nest, and a streamlet's source;
I saw a star and a moonlit tree;
I listened... I think God spoke to me.

~ by Hilda Rostron

To look at nature as a part of myself

The three months of solitude were of the greatest significance for me. I came away from them very much strengthened — ready to share my insights with people who were interested in hearing them. Still today, I have the sounds of the jungle in my ears: the cries of the monkeys and birds and the wind rushing through the banana leaves. But there were also times of utter silence, at dawn and twilight. I took walks in the jungle in order to look at nature as a part of myself.

~ from I GIVE YOU MY LIFE by Ayya Khema

The earth does not belong to us

The earth does not belong to us; we belong to the earth. This we know. All things are connected like the blood that unites one family. Whatever befalls the earth befalls all who dwell on earth. We did not weave the web of life; we are merely a strand in it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves.
~ by Chief Seattle

I found a comfortable spot under a tree

I found a comfortable spot under a tree, far from the bees, and I closed my eyes. My mind cleared. All my fears, anger, and frustration fell away. A sudden calmness pervaded me and I felt in total harmony with my surroundings. No longer compelled to fight the perceived obstacles and dangers, I recognized a very natural and constant order. I had a tremendous realization that there was a natural harmony here in the mountains, and everywhere, and that for the first time in my life I felt that I was truly a part of God's universe.
~ from "A Natural Revelation" by Henry Stark in "Sacred Journey" June 1998

How glorious is Your dwelling place

How glorious is Your dwelling place,
O Loving Creator of the universe!

~ Anonymous

The solitary globe of night

The solitary globe of night
pours out its calm and clear light
in the midst of the silence and
contemplation of nature.

~ by Camille Flammarion

I am aflame beyond the beauty of the meadows

I, the fiery life of divine essence, am aflame beyond the beauty of the meadows. I gleam in the waters. I burn in the sun, moon, and stars. With every breeze, as with invisible life that contains everything, I awaken everything to life. I am the breeze that nurtures all things green. I encourage blossoms to flourish with ripening fruits. I am the rain coming from the dew that causes the grasses to laugh with the joy of life.
~ by Hildegard of Bingen

The forgiveness, the peace, the intimacy of things with each other

In the early evening we see the stars begin to appear as the sun disappears over the horizon. The light of day gives way to the darkness of night. A stillness, a healing quiet comes over the landscape. It's a moment when some other world makes itself known, a numinous presence beyond human understanding. We experience the vast realms of space overwhelming the limitations of our human minds. As the sky turns golden and the clouds reflect the blazing colors of evening, we participate for a moment in the forgiveness, the peace, the intimacy of things with each other.

~ from "The Great Community of Earth" by Thomas Berry in "Earth Letter" -- September 2001

I started dancing to the tune of a heavenly drummer

What happened next is difficult to put into words... A Spirit of adoration and celebration sprang up within me, and I started dancing to the tune of a heavenly drummer and singing words unknown to my conscious mind. I sang with my mind too — hymns and psalms springing up from distant memory as well as spiritual songs that cascaded down in impromptu splendor. Thanksgivings poured forth for all things great and small. Praises joined the river in joyous exaltation. It felt like I was being invited to join, in my feeble way, into the ceaseless paean of praise that ascends before the throne of God.
~ from PRAYER by Richard J. Foster

May your days be filled with merry music

May your days be filled with merry music;
May your life be filled with sacred songs!
May the Great Conductor lead you on ...
~ Anonymous

Sing the Song of your life

How can you keep from singing the Song of your life? Make it LOVE!
~ Anonymous

Naught are yet but songs, and as ye sing, ye are

With a song came the Word and by music it is sustained, And the soul ... is a note of revelation. Naught are ye but songs, and as ye sing, ye are ...
~ from CRESCENT AND HEART BY Samuel L. Lewis

The face of this singing nun would forever be unknown to us

They sang a capella: one voice began to mount like a skylark and detach itself from the rest, from those mingled voices which together sounded well, but from whose conjunction with this single one soared in an intensity of beauty — a voice so clear and just, yet vibrant with such warm sweetness, I have remembered it always. The fact that this great, this glorious and rare voice was singing behind bars, that the face and identity of this singing nun would forever be unknown to us, shadowed the music. Mainly, we were awed to think this treasure was so hidden.

~from TESSERAE by Denise Levertov

If I separated the religious goal from the musical one

I can't think of any way to explain the existence of art other than as a means to express something greater than ourselves. I can't reach a single musícal decision except wíth the goal of making a connectíon to God. If I separated the religious goal from the musical one, music would have no meaning for me.

~ by Sofia Gubaidulian

Her Beloved is silent music

In that nocturnal tranquility and silence and in knowledge of the divine light, the soul becomes aware of Wisdom's wonderful harmony and sequence in the variety of her creatures and works. Each of them is endowed wíth a certain likeness of God and in its own way gives voice to what of God is in it. So creatures will be for the soul a harmonious symphony of sublime music surpassing all concerts and melodies of the world. Thus there ís in it the sweetness of music and the quietude of silence. AccordÍngly, she says that her Beloved is silent music because in the Beloved she knows and enjoys this symphony of spiritual music.

~ from SPIRITUAL CANTICLE by John of the Cross thanks to Gav Grissom

The poet, the artist, the musician

The poet, the artist, the musician, continue the quiet work of centuries, building bridges of experience between people, reminding us of the universality of our feelings and desires and despairs, and reminding us that the forces that unite are deeper than those that divide.

~ by John F. Kennedy

What is the song of my life?

Each of us is a new creation, a singularity, a facet of the glory of God, Love's presence made visible. "The greatest glory of God is a person fully alive." Everything in creation has íts own language, its own radiance, its gift to the universe. Dante's music of the spheres, the movement of the planets and stars in their orbíts, is an unrivaled symphony. And I am not a single note, sound, or chord -- I am a symphony of a lífetime. What is the song of my life, the inner music of my being, the background music whích softly accompanies me? Each thing has its own song and each sings it ín silence. What a chorus when each life song is blended into and harmonized with all the others!

~ from NO ONE ELSE CAN SING MY SONG by Edward J. Farrell

And then your heart breaks open?

The silence of the marsh was so profound that it could have been the flip side of the singing in my church. Just last Sunday the people had sung the old spiritual, "Go Down, Moses," a cappella because the pianist was gone, and a bunch of people were crying, singing very loudly with their eyes closed, and the singing of that cry of a song was a wonderful form of communion. How come you can hear a chord, and then another chord, and then your heart breaks open?

~ from TRAVELING MERCIES by Anne Lamott

The voice of God whispers in the heart

The voice of God whispers in the heart
So softly
That the soul pauses,
Making no noise,
And strives for these melodies,
Distant, sighing, like the faintest breath,
And all the being is still to hear.

~ by Stephen Crane thanks to Peter Venable

Sing and your life will continue

Song is not a luxury, but a necessary way of being in the world. If you are cut off, in pain, estranged, numb — sing, give voice to anything. It needn't sound pretty. Simply, bravely, open despite the difficulty, and let what is in out, and what is out in. Sing and your life will continue.

~ from THE BOOK OF AWAKENING by Mark Nepo

My heart makes songs

It is my heart that makes songs, not I.

~ by Sara Teasdale

Something about a song is nearly irresistible

Something about a song ia nearly irresistible in that it reaches both the mnd and the heart, the former with meaning, the latter with beauty. The Spírit found her way into my shut-off heart through the songs I learned through that very same heart.

~ from "Spirit's Songs" by Kay Collette

Creation began with a big band

While I was writing about silence and explosíons and the moment, of creation, I made an ínteresting typing error. I wrote "big band"" instead of "big bang." I'd like to think that ít was not an error but the voice of creation typing for me. From now on that's my theory on the origin of everything. Creation began with a big band, and ever since there has been rhythm, style and beauty throughout the uníverse. Our job is to look and listen for the big song, and then to join in, following the beat established by the Conductor leading the big band.

~ from PRESCRIPTIONS FOR LIVING by Bernie S. Siegel

In a sense great music exists for the sake of its pauses

In a sense great music exists for the sake of its pauses; for instance, the pauses that occur in the middle of a Beethoven symphony. These pauses are of course quite unlike bits of ordinary silence, because the whole symphony has led up to them — they are held and defined, and the music goes on the other side of them. Such pauses are silence charged with meaning. Music transcends music by producing charged silence.

~ from THE WISHING TREE by Christopher Isherwood

The strain of tasks beyond our strength

In the face of the strain of tasks beyond our strength, we must turn inward to the Source of strength. If we measure our human strength against the work we see immediately ahead, we shall feel hopeless, and if we tackle it in that strength, we shall be frustrated... There is no healthier lesson we can learn than our own limitations, provided this is accompanied by the resignation of our own strength and reliance on the strength of God. The wheel of life will fly apart unless it is spoked to the Center ... wherever we go rushing onward without taking time to turn inward.

~ from SEEKING PEACE by Johann Christopher Arnold thanks to Steve Launer

Find joy in your work

Find joy in your work ...
Discover fulfillment and peace ...
Silence will guide you on the way.

~ Anonymous

Hands to work

Hands to work ...
Heart to God.

~ by Ann Lee

The time of busyness

The time of busyness does not with me differ from the time of prayer, and in the noise and clatter of my kitchen, while serving persons are at the same time calling for different things, I possess God in as great tranquility as if I were upon my knees in prayer.

~ from THE PRACTICE OF THE PRESENCE OF GOD by Brother Lawrence

Hands that moved in magical ways

Moses' motions were like a dancer's ... sliding, circling, turning — his movements finding balance and his eyes finding voice ... a bark of delight when he saw a true shot, a rasp of laughter as he found the right angle, the click of his tongue when he snapped the perfect picture.

And the camera which Novalee had thought old-fashioned and unwieldly, looked small and delicate in Moses' hands, hands that moved in magical ways, fingers that found their own rhythm and knew, without knowing, when is was right.

~ from WHERE THE HEART IS by Billie Letts

Knowing that our work is a blessing

Spiritual self-esteem is gained from knowing that our work is a contribution and a blessing. Then we perform for the love of God with no thought of personal recognition... When our motivatlon for work is valid, the work will be spontaneous and creative.

~ from RIGHT USEFULNESS by Thomas Hora

Work is one of the great human gateways to the eternal

To have a firm persuasion in our work -- to feel that what we do is right for ourselves and good for the world at exactly the same time — is one of the great triumphs of human existence... To have a firm persuasion, to set out boldly in our work, is to make a pilgrimage of our labors, to understand that the consummation of work lies not only in what we have done, but who we have become while accomplishing the task... Work, at its best, is one of the great human gateways to the eternal and the timeless.

~ from CROSSING THE UNKNOWN SEA by David Whyte

Thus do we know what we are to do

Our eyes are
the eyes of the universe
reflecting upon itself...

We look at the stars,
they look back at themselves
through us...

Lisen to the universe,
stir the deep memory ...
thus do we know
what we are to do.

~ by Nan Merrill

What is my work?

What is my work?

To let the mind fall silent
that I may hear the Invisible calling.

~ by Nikos Kazantzakis

Our daily work

Give Thy blessing, we pray Thee, to our daily work, that we may do it in faith, and heartily.
~ by Thomas Arnold - l7th C.

Yes there is more

The earth needs people who can say, "Yes there is more." Not just more in the way of knowledge or inventions or wisdom or revelations, but more compassion, more gentleness and sweetness, more caring, more love, more valuing of one another. That is your mission, and it is of the highest, for it is nothing other that the mission of manifesting the spirit of the Beloved in your life.

~ from THE CALL by David Spangler

When you are gifted at something, you have to do it

When you love to do something, that means you have a gift for it. And when you are gifted at something, you have to do it. You don't have to quit your job and mortgage your house, but you do have to give your gift a careful look. If you don't pay attention to what you love, you could overlook your greatest gifts!

~ from LIVE THE LIFE YOU LOVE by Barbara Sher

How terribly the rice suffers under the pestle!

How terribly the rice suffers under the pestle!
But it emerges polished, as white as cotton.
The same process tempers the human spirit:
Hard trials shape us into polished diamonds.

~ from A PRISON DIARY by Ho Chi Minh in AFTER SORROW by Lady Borton

Work is not your enemy

Work is not your enemy but your friend. How you work, not what you do, determines the course of your life. You may work grudgingly or you may work gratefully; you may work as a human or you may work as a robot. There is no work so rude that you may not exalt in it; no work so demeaning that you cannot breathe soul into it; no work so dull that you may not enliven it. Never be tempted to diminish your efforts; always do your best. What you plant now, you will harvest later.

~ from THE GREATEST SUCCESS IN THE WORLD by Og Mandino

We work to give value to time

We work not only to produce ...
we work to give value to time.

~ by Eugene Delacroix

The changing of work into play

The changing of work into play is effected as a consequence of the presence of a "zone of perpetual silence," where one draws from a sort of secret and intimate respiration, whose sweetness and freshness accomplishes the anointing of work and transforms it into play. For the "zone of silence" not only dignifies the soul at rest; there is contact with the heavenly or spiritual world, which works together with the soul. Those who find silence in the solitude of meditation without effort are never alone.

~ Anonymous

To bless the marketplace with a contemplative presence

It is not an easy task, but a most rewarding one, to bless the marketplace with a contemplative presence. It seems to me that the life of work and prayer is not only possible, but greatly enhanced by standing firm in the real world with one's being anchored solidly in the Ultimate Reality. It is the harmony of the universe that echoes in the heart of the "new monk" who works and prays, lives and loves, re-creates and recreates in the center of the present world. The mystical monastery is the whole of society; the marketplace is one of its cloisters. The Holy Rule of the New Monk is the solid perspective of the spiritual practice embraced.

~ by Theresa Mancuso in "A New Monastic Life"

Becoming conscious of God's subtle Presence through our own breathing

I experience the Divine Presence in many ways, but the form most often available to me is "spiration," or the act of breathing in which the Spirit often manifests itself and communicates itself. This process has given rise to the experience of inspiration, or in-spiration, in which the Spirit breathes into us. To be aware of God through spiration is to become conscious of God's subtle Presence through our own breathing.

We all share in the eternal spiration of the Spirit. When I am sufficiently absorbed in the experience of divine spiration, I realize inwardly my dependence, and that of all beings, on this subtle action of the Source.

~ from A MONK IN THE WORLD by Wayne Teasdale

Breathing mindfully

Breathing mindfully helps you to enter deep, inner silence ...
~ by Nan Merrill

To pray is to breathe in God's life-giving spirit

Dolphins can live in the deepest water without danger because they regularly come to the surface and breathe in air that sustains them. We, too, must rise in prayer into the spiritual realm. To pray is to breathe in God's life-giving spirit that gives life and peace, even in this world.

~ by Sundar Singh

As we breathe out what trees breathe in

As we breathe out what trees breathe in,
And the trees breathe out what we breathe in,
So we breathe each other into life, We and You.

~ by Marcia Prager

A living weather vane responding minute-by-minute to the breath of the Spirit

Those who assent to higher laws enter a new sphere of life marked by utter unpredictability, a way of being in which one becomes, if and when one remains alerts, a living weather vane responding minute-by-minute to the breath of the Spirit. . . As soon as we turn, even for a moment, to a deeper understanding of what life demands, of what is asked of us as beings born of earth and heaven, as long as we move, if only for a moment, from the realms of self-calming, self-feeding, and self-adoring into the realm of sacrifice and work for love of God and neighbor, we immediately enter, in potentia, the field of holy folly. Whether this potential is actualized is a decision not ours to make ("not my will, by Thy will be done"). Our job is to listen to the call: that is enough.

~ from "Holy Folly" by Philip Zaleski in Parabola Fall 2001

Breath deeply amidst the beauties of nature

Breath deeply amidst the beauties of nature;
absorb vibrations unsullied by
pollution and cosmopolitan ways.
Breathing mindfully brings balance into your life;
strength is gained through the Breath of Life!
Remember: breath is your life's companion!
And, as you limit your breath, you limit life itself.
Befriend silence: a balm to your soul.
As you breathe in silence,
your ear attunes to Spirit.
You will understand the eagle.
Breathe deeply! Breathe life!

~ from LUMEN CHRISTI...HOLY WISDOM by Nan Merrill

Slipping into cracks of silence

I long to slip into cracks of silence
where breath is connected to spirit and
spirit to wind and a sense of oneness
resonates in my core.

~ by Karyn D. Dedar

How I pray is breathe

What I wear is pants.
What I do is live.
How I pray is breathe...
Up here in the woods is seen the Word.
That is to say, the wind comes through
the trees and you breathe it.

~ from DAY OF A STRANGER by Thomas Merton

Love is an out-breathing and an in-breathing

To love means to give. When you love you seem to go outwards, flow out in order to help, to serve. But as you cannot breathe out without breathing in, so you cannot love without receiving. Love is an out-breathing and an in-breathing. It is a light that burns deep within: as warmth, a certainty, an inner knowing.
~ from WISDOM FROM WHITE EAGLE

Slow, deep, natural breathing

Slow, deep, natural breathing is a fundamental aspect of meditation practice. In a childlike awareness of each breath, breathing out we are quietly aware of breathing out. Breathing in we are quietly aware of breathing in. In this way, our awareness becomes one with the primitive rhythms of our breathing, one with the simply given nature of now's ceaseless flow in which our life is rooted.
~ from THE CONTEMPLATIVE HEART by James Findley

The two most important events in our life

By meditating on the breath and the power within and behind the breath, we realize in the deepest levels of our being that our life is sustained by God. We do not breathe by our own will; God is sustaining our life and everything else in creation... We are born into this world and we will die and live this world. Our first breath and our last breath, the two most important events in our life, are not in our conscious control. Because our breathing is automatic and involuntary, it is easy to forget about the gift of breath — gift of God.

~ by Melinda Ribner

Breathing out resentment, breathing in joy

I finished my morning quiet time with an exercise of breathing out resentment, breathing in joy; breathing out anxiety, breathing in peace; breathing out hate, breathing in love, breathing out want, breathing in thanksgiving; breathing out fear, breathing in trust. Then I am ready to start my day.

~ from A SACRED PRIMER by Elizabeth Harper Neeld

Follow the breath back to God

Breath and attention to breath are keys to self-emptying. Attending to the breath will carry you beyond the distractions of the mind and return you to the Greater Unity of God from which you arise and in which you dwell. Just as God breathed life into Creation, so God breathes into each one of us at this and every moment. Follow the breath back to God.

~ from OPEN SECRETS by R. M. Shapiro

As I stood with the sun

As I stood with the sun on the summit of the modest mountain peak, the solar orb became a catalyst for my encounter with the Divine. As often appears in myth, the sun became the conveyance for God. It ushered me into the Divine Presence through its powerful symbolic function, its archetypal capacity to represent the one. I was overcome as I stood alone before the Divine. I was seized by the Presence communicated through the sudden appearance of the sun. It carried me into an intense awareness of the Divine's utter reality. I knew then why I had made this journey, and the peace it conveyed remains with me to this day.

~ from A MONK IN THE WORD by Wayne Teasdale

Green is the Tree of Life

Gray are all the theories;
Green is the Tree of Life.

~ by Goethe

If your heart were pure

If your heart were pure then all of nature would be a great book of holy wisdom and sacred doctrine.

~ by St. Francis

To keep this world green

This is my work,
To keep this world green,
Keep it all green.
I began in the East, to help my friends.
I keep this world green,
Keep it beautiful.
I begin to fill the creeks,
To wet everything,
Keep it beautiful and green,
I begin in the East,
Make everything beautiful!
That is my work.

~ from THE MASCOUTENS by Alanson Skinner -- 1924

Every leaf talks with its long hands and fresh green tongue

Those who have eyes to see will discern the message of eternity in the spring breeze when it becomes visible in the roses and herbs: invisible waves of roses, hidden in the breeze, required the medium of the earth to reveal themselves to the material human eye, just as the human beings innate qualities must be revealed by his or her actions. The spirit needs matter in order to become visible; thus every leaf is a messenger from the realm of nonexistene, and talks with its long hands and fresh green tongue of the creative power of God.

~ from RUMI'S WORLD by Annemarie Schimmel

Participants in an explosion still in progress

We are, each of us, passive participants in an explosion still in progress. The sparks continue to fly, and in its rhythm, the universe is still expanding from that ancient blast. We are, as they say, star dust, by-products of the Big Bang. In this light, everything is connected, all creation evolving from the same Source, in a process which continues. We are kin to the stars, part of a universal family.
~ by Christopher Newbert

Hear me, You who have power to make grow

Hear me, You who have power to make grow! Guide the people that they may be as blossoms on your holy tree. Make it flourish deep in Mother Earth and make it full of leaves and singing birds.
~ Black Elk

Speak to the earth

Speak to the earth, and it will teach thee.

~ from Job 12:8

Caretaking the garden

In the traditional way of life gardens were a ceremonial event for all, an opportunity to give to the Earth as well as to receive. The seeds of good food are also the seeds of good relationship, so caretaking the garden is symbolic of caretaking all beings ... an offering to all.

~ from VOICES OF OUR ANCESTORS by Dhyani Ywahoo

A down feather as soft as an infant's curl

A down feather as soft as an infant's curl floats earthward and brushes the granite rock by my side. It feels like a message from above, and I wonder what it is telling me. I pick up this angel-wisp and hold it to my cheek. I feel it as a caress, a gentle and loving touch, and I realize that this IS the message — one that transcends words, concepts, and thoughts. It touches my heart and a place of inner knowing. In that moment I am complete, thankful, and fully at peace.

~ from ENTERING THE SACRED MOUNTAIN by David A. Cooper

The untranslatable language of God speaking in nature and stopping the world

Gabriella did not move. She was enchanted. She closed her eyes a moment and felt the coolness of her eyelids and saw the green shadows dancing beneath them. She pursed her lips to taste the moisture of the mountain forest and knew for sure that she was not dreaming. When she opened her eyes, she saw the deer eating the coiled peel of the clementine. It was a moment she would long remember. She would remember it as the mysterious beginning of healing, the untranslatable language of God speaking in nature and stopping the world in a green moment.
~ from AS IT IS IN HEAVEN by Niall Williams

The place for the meeting of the divine and the human

Within the universe, the planet Earth with all its wonder is the place for the meeting of the divine and the human.
~ from Evening Thoughts by Thomas Berry

Each craature God made

Each creature God made
Must live in its own true nature;
How could I resist my nature,
That lives for oneness with God?

~ by Mechtild of Magdeburg

Re-creation comes with time spent in the natural world

For humankind, a growing gap between our inner selves and outer selves — an imbalance between how we live our lives and how we would like to live them — leaves the spirit thirsting for renewal. For many, renewal and re-creation come with time spent in the natural world. The human spirit and the open landscape are inextricably connected. In feeling the spirit of place, we reconnect with the spirit of self.

~ from BEFORE LIFE HURRIES ON by Sabra Field and J. Lingelbach

Creation has been given to us as a clean window

Creation has been given to us as a clean window through which the light of God could shine into the human soul. Sun and moon, night and day, rain, sea, crops, the flowering tree: all these things are transparent.
~ by Thomas Merton in "Horizons" thanks to Nancy Conley

For all its silence, the sky has a language

For all its silence, the sky has a language. Without any words the stars speak many things right into our hearts. They hand there so silent and radiant — and how one's breast swells at the thought of being able to attain the same purity. At times it seems as if their light is of little benefit. Yet is is by them that we measure hours, days, and years. By them — or at least by the star nearest to us, the sun — we have light and heart, and our existence depends on it.

~ by J. C. Blumhardt

How music mirrors my relationship with God

As I was listening I thought about being in conversation with God, and I was struck by how much this piece of music mirrors my relationship with God. When I first began conversing with God, it was very simple, like the opening of the Fugue. In reply, God did not repeat my melody but responded in a harmonic way, just as Bach's instruments do. Over time, our conversation — the Divine's and mine — has built in richness, complexity, depth and beauty, like the fugue builds. Ebb and flow occur in the dynamics of both the music and my conversation with God, but my soul is constantly stirred by the heatbreaking beauty of what I hear and what I know.

~ from A SACRED PRIMER by Elizabeth Harper Neeld

The gift of music

I would give you the gift of music hat you might know your own soul.
~ by Betsy Kingsley Hawkins

The music of silence

Silence is more musical than any song.

~ by Christine Rossetti

When in our music You are glorified

When in our music You are glorified,
and adoration leaves no room for pride,
It is as though the whole creation cries Alleluia!
How often, making music, we have found
a new dimension in the world of sound,
As worship moves us to a more profound Alleluia!
Let every instrument, be tuned for praise!
Let all rejoice who have a voice to raise!
And may You give us faith to sing always Alleluia!

~ by F. Pratt Green

Brahms came like a thundering revelation

A few girls were taken to a performance of Johannes Brahms' "Requiem." Teak was the youngest to go, and she sat next to Frau professor. Teak had never been to a concert before. The music was so awesome, so profound, so moving and stirring that Teak's eyes filled with unexpected tears, and she was grateful when the old woman put her arm around her shoulder as if she understood. The muscc to Teak was like an opening into what she thought heaven might be like. Brahms came like a thundering revelation.

~ from THE BEEJUM BOOK by Alice O. Howell

How to produce joyous harmonies

The fitness of our hearts and thoughts to receive God's spirit is like that of violin strings. If they are properly tuned, in harmony with one another, then the touch of the bow produces beautiful music. If not, then there is only discord. Whenever our hearts are truly ready to receive God's spirit, they will produce heavenly airs and joyous harmonies -- both in this life and in the spiritual world.

~ from WISDOM OF SUNDAR SINGH

I heard the tune whistled of a little song

As I approached the house, I heard the tune whistled of a little song coming from the upper window. I did not know anything yet, but I listened. The tune stirred my memory and some dormant recollections came to the fore. The music was banal but the whistling was wonderfully sweet, with soft and pleasing notes, unusually pure, as happy and as natural as the song of birds. I stood and listened, enchanted, and at the same time strangely moved without having any kind of accompanying thoughts.
~ from JOURNEY TO THE EAST by Hermann Hesse

If each bird waited

If each of the birds in the forest waited until the bird with the most beautiful song could sing, the forest would be silent.

~ Unknown

The birds priase God

The world is full of implicit religion, and the inspired saints and poets, who say that the birds "praise God" when they sing, are in no way mistaken. Because it is their tiny life itself which sings the "great life" and makes heard, through its countless variations, the same news which is as old as the world and as new as the day: "Life lives and vibrates in me." What homage to the source of life is expressed by these small streams of life: the birds which sing!"

~ from MEDITATIONS ON THE TAROT by Valentin Tomberg

When the heart starts singing

When the violin
Can forgive the past
It starts singing.

When the violin can forgive
Every wound caused by others
The heart starts singing.

~ by Hafiz

Forget all distractions and just play

When I asked the old man if he believed in the healing power of music, he laughed at first, and then suddenly grew serious. "I forget everything when I play. All my heart goes into the music. If I don't concentrate, the music changes, so it's best to forget all distractions and just play."

~ from QUESTIONS OF HEAVEN by Gretel Ehrlich

Everything has its song

"Wake up! SEE!"

Suddenly from where I lay, I did see. I saw that as he shoveled, the coal had a song. Grandfather had a song, even the pickup truck had a song. I saw that Grandfather heard the song and that he shoveled in harmony with it. He was like a symphony conductor. I realized that what I saw was the maximum-efficiency, minimum-effort law he had been teaching me earlier. While I had struggled against myself during the long hospital ceremony, Grandfather had been conducting an orchestra, a ceremonial symphony.

"I see you got it. You see, everything has its song. Find the energy, the song, and merge wíth it. You must seek the harmonic and merge with it."

~ from STAR WARRIOR by Bill Wahlberg

Where we experience music

The interior place where we experience God is the same kind of place and as real as the place here we experience music and poetry.

~ by Karen Armstrong

Music has a divine message

Music has a divine message and messenger of life. It was quintessentially the "Quickening art" -- quickening my soul with this my body, so that suddenly, spontaneously, I was quickened into motion, my own perceptual and kinetic melody, quickened into life by the inner life of music. I was carried ahead by the ongoing musical stream.

~ from A LEG TO STAND ON by Oliver Sacks

Music is sound and silence

Music is sound AND silence. It is the spaces BETWEEN the notes that create rhythm, melody, and meaning, and the greater the composer -- and the perfornance -- the better the quality of the silence. Legendary pianist Artur Schnabel said that it wasn't the notes but the silences between them he played better than other people. A few seconds more or less at crucial moments in the performance of a piece may mean the difference between a mundane and a transcendent experience.

~ from THE NATURE OF MUSIC by Maureen McCarthy Draper

My worship is 10,000 crickets in the deep wet hay of the field

Warm sun. My worship is a blue sky and 10,000 crickets in the deep wet hay of the field. My vow is the silence under their song. I admire the woodpecker and the dove in simple mathematics of flight. Together we study practical norms. The plowed and planted field is red as brick in the sun and says: "Now is my turn!" Several of us began to sing.

~ by Thomas Merton