Ebook Quotes

His better self always seemed to come out in nature

Robert could not find the answer; his mind was driving him in circles. There was only one way to make it stop. Robert walked across the fields at dusk into the Forest of Welferding. His better self always seemed to come out in nature, perhaps because he had come from and would eventually die and go into nature. He felt the cool moisture on his skin, smelled the musky moss tucked between the stones along the brook, walking until he almost forgot why he'd come. The sky was filled with stars with no air raid sirens, no distant roaring of planes. In the forest Robert had caught a glimpse of what the world could be like without war, and it was good.

~ from PROPHET by Douglas Gillies

Nature undresses herself

As mind slowly empties itself,
nature undresses herself.

~ Christopher M. Bache

Arriving daffodils will make no sound

Arriving daffodils will make no sound,
will blow no trumpets -- only the earthworm
close to its root, burrowing underground,
will hear the upsurge, feel the green stems yearn.

Beauty returns to Earth, devoid of noise,
devoid of clamor. Now it lifts its head
epitome of stillness and of poise
and in unbroken silence all is said.

~ Fanny De Groot Hastings, thanks to Sally Hopkins

Nature soothes, heals, and teaches

Nature soothes, heals, and teaches with her silence.

~ Kenneth S. Leong

The stable earth

I bind unto myself today
The virtues of the starlit heavens,
The glorius sun's lifegiving ray,
The whiteness of the moon at even,
The flashing of the lightning free,
The whirling wind's tempestuous shocks,
The stable earth, the deep salt sea
Around the old eternal rocks.

~ from the hymn "Saint Patrick's Breastplate"

No sound for Nature

The Mikmaq on the Atlantic coast have no sound for Nature. They have "space" or "place of creation" ... they have cultural literacy with the ecosystem ... every aspect of nature to Mikmaqs is Spirit. They live in harmony with this intelligible essence. The Mikmaq can perceive the web.

~ Marie Battiste

I find it impossible to doubt music while actually playing it

I find it impossible to doubt music while actually playing it. Even as the rest of my life seems overpopulated with questions and uncertainties about why one thing should be done instead of another, in the midst of the playing, dancing around silence and space with the presence of notes, the music always seems to matter. I still want to reach for those notes that must be played, that are right because they are essential melodies, unavoidable tones, songs that cannot be defied. This music is silent even when it sings because it does not speak--it cannot be reduced by explanation.

~ from THE NECESSARY NOTE by David Rothenberg

Their sound was like a voice of a multitude, making music in harmony

Next I saw the most lucid air, in which I heard in a marvelous way many kinds of musicians praising the joys of the heavenly citizens. ... And their sound was like the voice of a multitude, making music in harmony.

~ Hildegard of Bingen

Loving music of any type makes us similar

We who love music of any type share one thing in common. Music touches us intellectually and emotionally. We love the notes, the rhythm, the percussion--the sound. It stirs us where we live. It speaks to us. ... Maybe our styles of faith differ from one another, but there is one binding love, this one celestial music that supersedes our differences and joins us at our hearts, into God. Loving music of any type makes us similar. Our problem is that we tend to note the differences, not the similarities.

~ from TWO MINUTES FOR GOD by Peter B. Panagore

Consider learning how to sing or pay a musical instrument

Consider learning how to sing or play a musical instrument, not for professional reasons but as a way to interact with the angels and to enjoy sound. Recently, I started playing my flute again. When I sit outside and play my flute it is exhilarating . I treasure these moments where I can return to the heaven-sent birds even the most meager reflection of the beautiful music they offer me throughout the year.

~ from A MESSAGE FOR HUMANITY by K. Martin-Kuri

The Eternal keeps singing

Within this body
The Eternal keeps singing
And Its spring goes on and on flowing.

~ Kabir

In the time I spend alone with God I tune my soul to the music of the dance

There is a certain relevance to life
that is hard to hear in the business of the day.
The past and future come pounding on my brain.
It is in the time I spend alone with God
that I tune my soul to the music of the dance.
I can begin to hear the song
in the most wondrous places,
in the most unexpected circumstances.
I am called to the rhythm
and even if no one else has ears,
I enter in the song.

~ Karen Pulman, thanks to C. Humphreys

God is everywhere singing

You wouldn't think
It would be so easy
To forget
Who we really are
Or that death is always at our shoulder
Or that everything is alive
Or that God is everywhere singing.

~ Claudio Mauro

I can feel everyone in the room waiting for the next note

I once heard the pianist, Arthur Rubinstein, being interviewed. At one point he was asked to share his experience of playing Chopin's Nocturnes. He said in effect, "I do not know what it is. But over and over again I have had the experience of sitting in a crowded concert hall playing the Nocturnes and I can feel everyone in the room waiting for the next note." In this moment of waiting, all present find their contemplative community in their oneness with one another in the boundless mystery that enraptures them.

~ from THE CONTEMPLATIVE HEART by James Finley

When the soul has lost its harmony, music assists in restoring it

Music was bestowed on humankind for the sake of effecting harmonious revolutions of the soul within us whenever its rhythmic motions are disturbed. Thus when the soul has lost its harmony, melody, and rhythm, music assists in restoring it to order and concord.

~ Bruno Meinecke in MUSIC AND MEDICINE ed. by Schullian & Schoen

I heard the first measures of music

I heard the first measures of music and was thinking how lovely it was to be in this small church in a distant land. Then a solo voice took over the room, filling everything with its power, and my next breath came with difficulty. I have never, anywhere, heard a human voice so Pure, a sound so penetrating: outside of me, then suddenly inside of me, tearing down resistances I didn't even know I had ... its love so piercing that everyone began to weep involuntarily. When I opened my eyes nothing prepared me for what I saw. The young voice was coming from eighty-three-year-old Jonas, who was singing the "Sanctus," by Beethoven, with a beauty that could not be explained. It was like the Soul of all life summoning each spirit who listened.

~ from A NEW SET OF EYES by Paula D'Arcy

A divine voice sings

A divine voice sings
through all creation.

~ a Jewish prayer

The music flows within me like pure spirit

The music flows within me like pure spirit.
What a wonderful conversation
within the flow of universal energy!

Eloquence needs no words --
I know this from intimacy with the divine.

O Great One, I give thanks for this
and for all music --
A power line fed into my heart from
the universal grid.

~ a prayer from Vienna

A pressing need for the music of the soul to be played

There is a pressing need for something to be made known, for the secrets of the heart to be made public, for the music of the soul to be played. For centuries lovers of God have held the secrets of Divine Love within their own hearts, shared only with a few. But this knowledge needs to be made public, the song of Love's oneness to be heard. If the music of Divine Love is not played in the marketplaces, life will lose its meaning, and the collective despair of the soul will be too terrible to imagine.

~ from THE SIGNS OF GOD by Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee

Gratitude gentles us

Gratitude gentles us
and grants us grace.

As I express my gratitude,
I become more deeply aware of it.
And the greater my awareness,
the greater my need to express it.
What happens here is a spiraling ascent,
a process of growth in
ever expanding circles
around a steady center.

~ David Steindl-Rast

One can lose the feeling of gratitude

When you no longer have expectations, the unexpected kindness of others and small acts of consideration become like "sweet manna from heaven." The feeling that rises spontaneously within one's heart at such times is true gratitude. When one is accustomed to kindness, one can lose the feeling of gratitude. One must constantly return oneself to the spiritual starting point of no expectations.

~ from TARIKI: Embracing Despair, Discovering Peace by Hiroyuki Itsuki

Give me one thing more -- a grateful heart

Thou that has given so much to me,
Give me one thing more--
a grateful heart.

~ George Herbert

Grandfather cultivated gratitude at every step

Grandfather cultivated gratitude at every step. On Fridays, after noon prayers, he retired to his room for a half hour ritual. Eyes closed, hands on heart, grandfather melted into a trance. Softly, at times in silence, he intoned continuous words of heart-felt thanks to God interspersed with recitations from the Holy Book. At times his body swayed with his outpourings; other times he was still. Tears poured profusely down his cheeks, soaking his shirt. Curious family members who secretly peeked in invariably burst into tears.

~ from THE FRAGRANCE OF FAITH by Jamal Rahman

With grateful hearts and no one to thank

Were there no God, we would
be in this glorious world
with grateful hearts
and no one to thank!

~ Christina Georgina Rossetti

The ancients sometimes said that the worst sin is ingratitude

The ancients sometimes said
that the worst sin is
ingratitude, which is a
forgetting of the greatness,
beauty, truth, and goodness
of the Source that is
constantly creating us--
in other terms, a forsaking
of Being and of the Good.

~ Jean-Yves LeLoup

The essence of all beautiful art is gratitude

The essence of all beautiful
art, all great art,
is gratitude.

~ Frederich Nietzsche

We are born into 'thank you'

In the very last conversation we ever had, five days before his death, the subject came around to gratitude ...

"If you're quiet enough, as still as that mountain, you can hear in your heart a silent ‘thank you.' The whole universe, if you listen in your heart -- every blade of grass, each bird, each stone -- it is all ‘thank you.' We are born into ‘thank you' ... every step of the way is ‘thank you.' "

Rafe may not have heard the stars move. But I believe he was hearing "the Love that moves the stars and the sun."

~ from LOVE IS STRONGER THAN DEATH by Cynthia Bourgeault

Gratitude deepens both the attentiveness and the expectancy

The right here is an inner, not an outer, state of being rooted in Love ... Not only am I alert to the present moment, I am hopefully, wishfully, longingly expecting something in it. Gratitude deepens both the attentiveness and the expectancy. Through gratitude I am not only glad for where I am and for all the possibilities inherent in where I am, I am also able to accept the everything or the nothing that is given. Gratitude enables me to find my very own place, humbly and joyfully, in the right here.

~ from FRIEND OF THE HEART by Claire Blatchford

Gratitude for the opportunity to practice

As the monk advances in practice, feelings of hardship decrease and he is suffused with energy and sustained by joy. The marathon monk has become one with the mountain, flying along a path that is free of obstruction. The joy of practice has been discovered and all things are made new each day. Awakened to the Supreme, one marathon monk described his gratitude thus:

"Gratitude for the teachings of the enlightened ones,
gratitude for the wonders of nature,
gratitude for the charity of human beings,
gratitude for the opportunity to practice ... "


In Silence as Bright as Round White Light of Full Moon, Thank You

In Silence as
Bright as Round White Light
of full moon,
Thank you.

In Blessed Stillness
of new moon season
Thank you.

Life and Breath
All rest
in One.

~ Claudia Parrone

Gratitude is an amazing grace

Gratitude is an amazing grace crowned in heaven with peace.

~ Anonymous

The practice of gratitude

Slowly, the practice of gratitude will begin to transform your consciousness so you start to detect Divine Presence and Divine Mercy all around you, which in time tremendously lessens your fear and suffering. For, it will make you aware of the maternal protection of God and of how the entire universe and all of life is constantly giving you signs of God's glory, beauty, and love. Practicing gratitude not only heals you of vanity and pride; it also heals your fear, grief, and insecurity of separation.

~ from THE DIRECT PATH by Andrew Harvey

Spring comes a smug cliche of fat buds

Spring comes
a smug cliché of fat buds
the earth is getting ready
to spring spring upon us
the birds are making a racket
in the bland air.
Why do I growing old
in all this abundance of life
say to death, move over,
let us sit together a moment
on the doorstep?
~ from THIS DANCING GROUND OF THE SKY by Peggy Pond Church

Come into the light of things

Come into the light of things.
Let nature be your teacher.

~ William Wordsworth

To see all things at their origin puts us in kinship with all that lives

To see all things at their origin, their beginning, puts us in kinship with all that lives: trees, birds, stars seem foreign to us only inasmuch as we perceive them outside of our common origin with them. To drink at the source of all that lives and breathes expands the heart and makes the blood sing, echoing the song of all the vital fluids in the world. To dwell near all beginnings is to draw infinitely near to that which creates both the unity and the diversity of all beings.

Tending a garden nourishes the human desire

Tending a garden nourishes the human desire to give form to mystery and offers ground for growth, not only for plants that nourish and delight, but for engagement of self and the world. There is a sacramental element in watching a living thing flourish under our care toward its full potential, and what this nurturing opens in us becomes written on the human soul. 
~ from "The Patient Reach for Light" by Anita Lange in "Parabola" Spring, ‘05

Everybody needs beauty as well as bread

Everybody needs beauty as well as bread
places to play in and pray in,
where nature may heal and give strength
to body and soul alike.
~ from THE YOSEMITE by John Muir

Be the thing you see

To look at any thing,
If you would know that thing,
You must look at it long. . . .
Be the thing you see:
You must be the dark snakes of
Stems and ferny plumes of leaves,
You must enter in
To the small silences between
The leaves,
You must take your time
And touch the very peace
They issue from.
~ John Moffitt

When the lessons of equality are learned on earth

When the lessons of equality are learned on earth, the electro-magnetic field of the planet will change and earth will give birth to a new, more glorious curriculum. The seeds of this transformation have already been sown. Our job is to water and nurture them.

~ from LOVE WITHOUT CONDITIONS by Paul Ferrini

The imperatives of our own being

We cannot discover ourselves without first discovering the universe, the earth, and the imperatives of our own being.

~ Thomas Berry

God did not grant me the gift of art

God did not grant me the gift of art. I had to express myself in my own life, in my thoughts, in my feelings, in my dreams and ideas, and in my love for all humanity and the Earth. I feel human, totally ecstatically human. I will help this planet, with all my abilities and love, to become what it was always meant to be: the planet of Love, a true miracle in the universe, inhabited by a happy, fulfilled, peaceful, loving humanity, thankful for the miraculous gift of life.

~ Robert Muller’s "Journal" in PROPHET by Douglas Gillies

The Divine Feminine encourages interdependence

The Divine Feminine encourages interdependence, interconnectedness, and mutuality: instead of dominating and controlling nature, the Divine Feminine represents reverence for nature’s web of life. Instead of dismissing feelings and emotions, the Divine Feminine interprets them as a source of wisdom.

~ from SOUL SISTERS by Pythia Peay

There is nothing in me that is not of the earth

There is nothing in me that is not of the earth, no split second of separateness, no particle that disunites me from the surroundings. The river runs through my veins, the winds glow in and out with my breath, the soil makes my flesh, the sun’s heat smolders inside me. A sickness or injury that befalls the earth befalls me. A fouled molecule that runs through the earth runs through me. Where the earth is cleansed and nourished, its purity infuses me. The life of the earth is my life. My eyes are the earth gazing at itself.

~ Richard Nelson

I dream of a world where all beings are honored

I dream of a world where all beings are  honored, where earth, air, fire and water are held to be sacred. For me, living more simply is an important step toward helping to create this world... Voluntary simplicity is a tiny thread in the cosmic process. It is said that one cell’s action affects the whole universe. This means that whatever we do as individuals does make a difference.

~ Susan Kleihauer in “Earthlight” #21, Spring ‘96

Snow crystals on a trembling leaf

Snow crystals on a trembling leaf,
along the river where we talked at
the tip of Spring; fresh air, moist
lavender sky--the silence following
a blessed rain that came, bringing
us to beauty; a tiny wild flower
under the shadows of a moss-covered
log; as if to say, I am the first smile,
the new beginning of heaven.

~ Unknown

The world is breathing

Something inside of me has reached to the place
where the world is breathing.

~ Kabir

Breathing is the connection between the mind and the body

Breathing is the connection between the mind and the body. When the mind concentrates on the breath, it focuses attention on the present moment. Breathing is the first step on the path to discover your spiritual nature. As you get the body to breathe correctly, the mind settles down, and that creates fertile ground to develop whatever spiritual nature exists within you.

~ from BREATHE SMART by Aaron Hoopes

Take the breath of the new dawn

Take the breath of the new dawn,
make it a part of you,
it will give you strength.

~ Hopi saying

Each breath as a newborn baby

When we understand how precious each moment is, we can treat each breath, each moment, as a newborn baby. Awareness can become that tender.

~ Michelle McDonald

Breathing properly and consciously

Breathing properly and consciously assumes an attitude of openness and attentiveness. Our breath has a connection with the deeper emotional layers of consciousness. This is evident when we are emotional, angry, or anxious. At the same time, however, our breath remains open to those dimensions of our consciousness where we unfold and become receptive to God.... We need to discipline ourselves to attain an inner stillness and receptive attention toward God, who is our beginning.

~ from THE EYE AWARE by Jerome Witkam

Two graces in breathing

There are two graces in breathing:
drawing in air and discharging it.
The former constrains, the latter refreshes:
so marvelously is life mixed.

~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

God's breath breathing me

In this latter part of life, my prayer of the heart is most often without words. My tongue is stilled. My mind is stilled. The prayer of the heart becomes the heart's own respiration. I breathe in and I breathe out. It is God's breath. God breathing in, God breathing out. It is God's breath breathing me.


~ from CIRCLING TO THE CENTER by Susan Tiberghien

Give us a heart for simple things

Give us a heart for simple things:
Love and laughter
Bread and wine
Tales and dreams

Fill our lives with
Green and growing hope
Make us a people of justice
Whose song is Allelujah
And whose name
Breathes Love.

... a Prayer by Walter Wink

~ a Prayer by Walter Wink

Breathing in, breathing out

Breathing in I calm my body and mind.
Breathing out I smile.

~ Thich Nhat Hanh

Windforest take our breath away

Windforest: take our breath away,
and return it to us refreshed
with the life you can give it.
Take it to the ends of the earth,
to nourish what you sustain,
And bring back what is offered you
there to sustain others.
Transform our breath so that new life
can be nurtured.

~ from WINDFOREST by Ellen Fremedon

The spiritual core of "soul-breath"

We live in a time of religious fervor, with adherents too busy clashing with each other to honor the sacred space we all share, the spiritual core of "soul-breath" – the same human family from the same Source breathing the same air on the same planet.

~ P.M.H. Atwater

The art of contemplative practice can be facilitated by the breath

In any activity that requires concentrated effort, the breath quite naturally plays a role. If you have ever tried to thread a needle or repair a watch, you might have observed that without even thinking about it the breath quiets and deepens. Singers, swimmers, people who struggle with panic attacks, and a host of others learn the importance of proper breathing in order to negotiate the respective tasks at hand. Thus, that the art of contemplative practice can be facilitated by the breath should come as no surprise.

~ from INTO THE SILENT LAND by Martin Laird

Nurture yourself with feasts of breath in silence and solitude

"From LUMEN CHRISTI, the wording 'Nurture yourself with feasts of breath in silence and solitude' blew me away, to put it mildly. Although most mornings I do some breathing exercises, it occurred to me that I had not really paid attention to my breath otherwise in months. Going into meditation, I focused on inhaling Divine Love and exhaling peace and harmony. My mind became like a prism, drawing the energy of the pure white light of Love to a focal point and then refracting it into the colors of peace and harmony and breathing them out to the world ... thirty-five minutes in the Silence without distracting thoughts intruding!"

~ in a letter from Anne Amerson, with thanks

Breath of life, you ride the waves of life with me

Breath of life,
You ride the waves of life with me
in the rhythms of my communion with you.
You enter the comings and goings
of each day and in every prayer I breathe.
Whether I am in the stillness of quiet prayer
or in the fullness of the day's activity,
may your peace flow through my being.

~ Joyce Rupp

People can live only by dwelling in the living breath of God

People can live only by dwelling in the living breath of God. Only in this way can they be at peace and realize their aspirations. From sunrise to sunset, they dwell in the living breath of God; every sight and thought is part of that breath. God provides a place for them filled with clarity and bliss and stillness. In the silence, we are moved by this wind, which blows everywhere in the world.

~ from THE LOST SUTRAS OF JESUS, ed. by Ray Riegert & Thomas Moore

Simple labor is smoothing my edges

I'm learning that what's important is not so much what I do to make a living as who I become in the process. Simple labor is smoothing my edges, teaching me to crave work not because it might make me special or wealthy but because the job pleases my spirit, makes me a more pleasant person, and meets my immediate financial needs.

... Forcing things works against instinct and the elements. Working within the tides and the rules of the universe is fast becoming my preference.

~ from A YEAR BY THE SEA by Joan Anderson

The Work of our lives

To turn all we possess into the channel of universal love becomes the Work of our lives.

~ John Woolman

Your feel your longings and desires and they do the Work

You feel your longing and desires and they do the Work. My whole life has been following my intuition and strange beckonings.

~ David Whyte

Pull away the veil and allow the force to come through

To be in service to God is to realize that there is a loving force in the universe, and I must pull away the veil and allow the force to come through.

~ by Karyn D. Kedar

What counts is the slightest effort to give one's all

The more I withdraw into God and with God into silence, the closer I feel to everyone and the more I find everyone. The more I make my little efforts to help others by practicing my calling, the more fruit I bear, albeit without seeing a single fruit. I must live my life with naked and pure faith, giving everything without seeing anything. What holy peace and joy this gives to my soul! Even if all I give is worth no more than a penny, how pleasing it is to God, because what counts is the slightest effort to give one's all, and how great is the reward: God's all.

~ from NAZARENA by Thomas Matus

They worked at a gentle pace

I found that the Ladakhis had an abundance of time. They worked at a gentle pace and had a surprising amount of leisure. Even during harvest season, when the work lasts long hours, it is done at a relaxed pace that allows an eighty-year-old as well as a young child to join in and help. People work hard, but at their own rate, accompanied by laughter and song. The distinction between work and play is not rigidly defined.

~ from ANCIENT FUTURES by Helena Norberg-Hodge

Your work is to discover your world

Your work is to discover your world and then with all your heart give yourself to it.

~ Buddha

The way to do is to be!

The way to do is to be!

Without going outside,
you may know the whole world.
Without looking through the window,
you may see the ways of heaven.
The farther you go, the less you know.

Thus the sage knows without traveling ...
sees without looking ...
works without doing.

~ Lao Tzu (470-490 B.C.)

In planetary service, all work and workers are equal

In planetary service, all work and workers
are equal. ... All service leads to the good
of the whole.

~ Jacqueline Small

I am lent to be spent in the service of others

O Thou, cut down in me this hour and every
hour the swift growing tree of self-regard
which screens me from the needs of others.

Fill me with the realization that for these
few swift years I am put here on earth,
I am lent to be spent in the service of others.

~ Douglas Speer

Work helps prevent one from getting old

Work helps prevent one from getting old. My work is my life. I cannot think of one without the other. The one who works and is never bored is never old. A person is not old until regrets take the place of hopes and plans. Work and interest in worthwhile things are the best remedy for aging. ... With age your facility of expression and perception diminishes. I have almost nothing left but time. But if I can be of service, I would like to go on living.

~ Scott Nearing at 98

To be here doing whatever it is I am to be doing

I am learning as I go about my daily life of work, play, or prayers that it is right and good to be here doing whatever it is I am to be doing. In a word, attentiveness and being in the present. Learning to be. A growing sense of vocation with the liberty to be at One ... to be harmonious.

~ Madelieine Thompson

Contemplatives are the great doers

Contrary to what many think, contemplatives are the great doers. In their return from silence they take up the work of giving form to the liberating truths that have been given to them in flashes of insight and vision. Because they have been present to themselves, they are able to be present to others in a way that awakens, enlivens, gives courage. In them we see more clearly a way of existence that combines both being and doing.

~ N. Gordon Cosby

When love and skill work together

When love and skill work together,
expect a masterpiece.

~ John Ruskin

God, give me work

God, give me work
Till my life shall end
And life
Till my work is done.

~ Winifred Holthy

Great acts are the small, quiet ones that no one hears about

I didn't know exactly how to go about helping others. But if I could remember that great acts are the small, quiet ones that no one hears about, that would be a start. I could look for ways myself to help people in need of a boost, to align myself with underdogs. I need to remember Ella's way with her leprosy ... her intent. Perhaps it didn't matter what I did to earn a living, as long as the motive was to help others and not just gain attention.


There will be something growing like a flower

All things belonging to the earth will never change—the leaf, the blade, the flower, the wind that cries and sleeps and wakes again, the trees whose stiff whose arms clash and tremble in the dark . . . all things proceeding from the earth to seasons, all things that lapse and change and come again upon the earth—these things will always be the same, for they come up from the earth that never changes, they go back into the earth that lasts forever. Only the earth endures, but it endures forever . . . Under the pavements trembling like a pulse, under the buildings trembling like a cry, under the waste of time, under the hoof of the beast above the broken bones of cities, there will be something growing like a flower, something bursting from the earth again, forever deathless, faithful coming into life again like April.

~ from YOU CAN’T GO HOME AGAIN by Thomas Wolfe, quoted in An Almanac for the Soul by Marv and Nancy Hiles

When one flower blooms

When one flower blooms
it is spring everywhere.

~ Zen saying

When one flower blooms

When one flower blooms
it is spring everywhere.

~ Zen saying

The spiritual properties of the world are subtle

The spiritual properties of the world are subtle . . . The whole earth breathes the divine spirit. When you know this it informs everything you do, every word you say, every act.

~ by June Singer

Barnaby just walked, looking at the river or the woods

Barnaby was what I call "heart smart." While other dogs accompanied me in our intellectual journeys and listened while ideas came in, Barnaby just walked and walked with me, looking at the river or the woods and feeling deep feelings. Rarely have I had a walking companion who could just be silent, not having to make a talking point or a barking commentary. With Barnaby, one barked in silence in which much of a more contemplative nature was communicated -- peace, simplicity, the glory of the natural world, the presence of God.

~ from MYSTICAL DOGS by Jean Houston

Touch the Earth

Touch the Earth, love the Earth, honor the Earth, her plains, her hills, her valleys, and her seas. Rest your spirit in her solitary places.

~ Henry Beston

Nature is never spent

Nature is never spent;
There lives the dearest freshness
in deep down things;
And though the last
lights off the
black West went
Oh, morning,
at the brown brink
eastward, springs . . .
Because the Holy Ghost
over the bent
world broods
with warm breast
and with ah!
bright wings.

~ from GOD'S GRANDEUR by Gerard Manly Hopkins

I am leaf and I am wind

I felt myself a steady, fixed point on the earth round which a whirling gathered and spun a center. Then it was that I seemed to be no one, to belong to no one, and suddenly beholding the russet light of the turning sumach tree in the pasture, I thought,

I am leaf and I am wind and I am light. Something in the world likes faces and leaves and rivers and woods and wind together and makes of them a string of medallions with all our faces on them, worn forever round our necks, kin.

~ from THE HOUSE OF BREATH by William Goyen

Nature invites us constantly to be what we are

Everything in nature invites us constantly to be what we are.

~ Gretel Ehrlich, The Solace of Open Spaces

The old tree of eternal creative life lives with an open heart

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

~ Richard W. Bachtold

All around me the precious quiet of evening

All around me the precious quiet of evening and the pungent smell of hay in the air. Above me the starry sky. Such a sweet inner peace fills me and gently takes possession of every fiber of my whole being and existence. And one surrenders to her, great Mother Nature, fully and completely and without reservation, and says with open arms, "Take me."

~ Paula Worpswede in DEAR FRIEND by Eric Torgersen

One's relationship to nature

One's relationship to nature is a deeply personal experience. To some it's best represented by a walk in the park, or along the river, or under a summer night's sky. To others it reaches its pinnacle in the study of a smell, a sound, the sight of a bird's egg, a gray whale, or lodgepole pine. And while all of nature is laid out before us to appreciate, not all is understood, known, or even knowable. But about human nature we do know at least one thing, which is that it embodies an irrepressible and infinite ability to create, to express, to give, and to share.

~ Al Gore in THE NATURE OF NATURE by William H. Shore

The whole of Creation is but one sacred temple

The whole of Creation is but one sacred temple of the One who created it.

~ Gregory of Nyssa

The tiny petal of a tiny flower

The tiny petal
of a tiny flower
that grew from a tiny pod . . .

Is the miracle
and the mystery
of all creation and God!

~ Helen Steiner Rice, with thanks to Martina Roach

Springtime in your soul

Spring is a youthful season coming forth in a rush of life and promise, hope and possibility. At the heart of spring, there is a great inner longing when desire and memory stir toward each other. Consequently, springtime in your soul is a wonderful time to undertake some new adventures, some new project, or to make some important changes in your life; there the rhythm, the energy, and the hidden light of your own clay work with you. You are in the flow of your own growth and potential.

~ from ANAM CARA by John O'Donohue

Music and my communication with God

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

~ from THE SACRED PRIMER by Elizabeth H. Neeld

The music that ushered in the cosmos

The music that ushered in the cosmos plays on, inside us and around us.

~ by Brian Swimme

The rise and fall of a songline

We will never "solve" life, crack its ultimate code, or frame it with consistency. It is forever enigmatic and resists control by words or concepts. What is left to us is the rise and fall of a songline and the vision of a Great White Rose.

~ from ALL THE DAYS OF MY LIFE by Marv and Nancy Hiles

I sought thee with my songs

Ever in my life have I sought thee with my songs.
It was they who led me from door to door,
and with them I have felt about me,
searching and touching my worlds.
It was my songs that taught me all the lessons I ever learnt;
they showed me secret paths
they brought before my sight
many a star on the horizon of my heart.

~ from GITANJALI by Rabindranath Tagore

This world of music is immortal

I have never written the music that was in my heart to write; perhaps I never shall with this brain and these fingers, but I know that hereafter it will be written: when, instead of these few inlets of the senses through which we now secure impressions from all without, there shall be a flood of impressions from all sides; and instead of these few tones of our little octave there shall be an infinite score of harmonies -- for I feel it, I am sure of it. This world of music, whose borders even now I have scarcely entered, is a reality, is immortal.
~ by Mozart

The Music of your heart

Silence and music
Ebb and flow:
Beauty of bird-song,
The silence that follows:
Afterglow which warms the heart
Sets us yearning
For our own soul-song:
Journey in silence
Take the path of Mystery
To the music of your heart.

~ by Nan Merrill, April 2003