June 2023 (Vol. XXXVI, No. 6)

Now we will count to twelve
and we will all keep still
for once on the face of the earth,
let's not speak in any language;
let's stop for a second,
and not move our arms so much.

It would be an exotic moment
without rush, without engines;
we would all be together
in a sudden strangeness.

Fishermen in the cold sea
would not harm whales
and the man gathering salt
would not look at his hurt hands...

What I want should not be confused
with total inactivity.

Life is what it is about...

If we were not so single-minded
about keeping our lives moving,
and for once could do nothing,
perhaps a huge silence
might interrupt this sadness
of never understanding ourselves...

~ Pablo Neruda from "Keeping Quiet" in EXTRAVAGARIA
Pablo Neruda EXTRAVAGARIA sabbath
June 2023 (Vol. XXXVI, No. 6)
Sabbath time is a time when we turn our attention to what is holy, to what is sacred, to what is important. It's a time when we allow the clamor of the world to fall away and we listen for the still, small voice of God. It's a time when we allow ourselves to be embraced by the love of God, to rest in that love, and to be renewed and refreshed by it.
~ Macrina Weiderkehr in A TREE FULL OF ANGELS
Macrina Weiderkehr A Tree Full Of Angels sabbath
May 2023 (Vol. XXXVI, No. 5)

Diversity is the magic. It is the first manifestation, the first beginning of the differentiation of a thing and of simple identity. The greater the diversity, the greater the perfection.

~ Thomas Berry in THE DREAM OF THE EARTH
Thomas Berry The Dream Of The Earth diversity
May 2023 (Vol. XXXVI, No. 5)

Our ability to reach unity in diversity will be the beauty and the test of our civilization.

~ Mahatma Gandhi
Mahatma Gandhi diversity
May 2023 (Vol. XXXVI, No. 5)

In the modern working world, we define diversity as a concerted effort to accommodate the full spectrum of human experience.

~ Blaise Radley from "Understanding the Different Types of Diversity in the Workplace" on the workday.com blog
Blaise Radley Workday.com Blog diversity
May 2023 (Vol. XXXVI, No. 5)

Leaders of the nations and all peoples,
young and old,
Give praise! Unite together in all
your diversity,
that peace and harmony might
flourish on earth.

~ Nan Merrill from her interpretation of "Psalm 148" in PSALMS FOR PRAYING
Nan Merrill Psalms For Praying diversity
May 2023 (Vol. XXXVI, No. 5)

All religions
All this singing
One song

Rumi Rumi's Little Book Of The Heart diversity
May 2023 (Vol. XXXVI, No. 5)

Diversity is the one true thing we all have in common... Celebrate it every day.

~ Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill diversity
May 2023 (Vol. XXXVI, No. 5)

We have become not a melting pot but a beautiful mosaic. Different people, different beliefs, different yearnings, different hopes, different dreams.

~ Jimmy Carter from "Jimmy Carter 95th Birthday" in Newsweek magazine
Jimmy Carter Newsweek Magazine diversity
May 2023 (Vol. XXXVI, No. 5)

I saw before me a huge crowd which no one could count from every nation and tongue. They stood before the throne and the Lamb, dressed in long white robes and holding palm branches in their hands...They said, Amen! Praise the glory, wisdom and thanksgiving and honor, power and might to our God forever.

~ Revelations 7:9 in THE NEW AMERICAN BIBLE
The New American Bible diversity
May 2023 (Vol. XXXVI, No. 5)

Hold fast to dreams
for if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly.
Hold fast to dreams
For when dreams go
Life is a barren field
Frozen with snow.

Langston Hughes The Collected Poems Of Langston Hughes diversity
May 2023 (Vol. XXXVI, No. 5)
Diversity may be the hardest thing for a society to live with, and perhaps the most dangerous thing for a society to be without.
William Sloane Coffin Jr. The Collected Sermons Of William Sloane Coffin - The Riverside Years diversity
May 2023 (Vol. XXXVI, No. 5)

If you're a boy and you like teaching, you like nursing, you would like to have a doll, that's OK. We should each be free to develop our own talents, whatever they may be, and not be held back by artificial barriers.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg Ruth Bader Ginsburg: In Her Own Words diversity
May 2023 (Vol. XXXVI, No. 5)

May I mindfully appreciate
the diversity
of every being I encounter,
who, like flowers,
brings beauty, variety,
and sustenance
to our world.

Jean Smith Now!: The Art Of Being Truly Present diversity
May 2023 (Vol. XXXVI, No. 5)
On the beach, at dawn;
four small stones clearly
hugging each other.
How many kinds of love
might there be in the the world,
and how many formations might they make
And who am I ever
to imagine I could know
such a marvelous business?
~ Mary Oliver from "On the Beach" in SWAN: POEMS AND PROSE POEMS
Mary Oliver Swan: Poems And Prose Poems diversity
April 2023 (Vol. XXXVI, No. 4)

And suddenly, there it is, a loud whirring crashing into the silence: a field cricket singing in the fading light. We all stop to listen. From a distance, we must look like a strange bunch, leaning towards a bramble bush. For us, though, the moment is holy. A tiny, solitary creature has the power to lift our spirits.

Dara McAnulty Diary Of A Young Naturalist nature
April 2023 (Vol. XXXVI, No. 4)

In the desert flowers come forth,
the pastures flourish with
fruit and grain;
Creation's diversity is glorious!
May all people honor these gifts
with joyful song
while walking the path of Love.

~ Nan Merrill from her interpretation of "Psalm 65" in PSALMS FOR PRAYING
Nan Merrill Psalms For Praying nature
April 2023 (Vol. XXXVI, No. 4)
I like to live in the sound of water, in the feel of mountain air.
A sharp reminder hits me: this world is still alive,
it stretches out there shivering toward its own
creation. And I'm part of it. Even my breathing
enters into this elaborate give-and-take,
this bowing to sun and moon. day or night.
winter, summer, storm, still—this tranquil
chaos that seems to be going somewhere.
This wilderness with a great peacefulness in it.
This motionless turmoil, this everything dance.
~ William Stafford, "Time for Serenity, Anyone" in EVEN IN QUIET PLACES
William Stafford Even In Quiet Places nature
April 2023 (Vol. XXXVI, No. 4)
Ultimately, I think gardening speaks to a deep-seated desire to experience the real, the essential, the astonishingly possible. To garden is gradually to give up control, to fall literally to one's knees and come into closer and closer contact with the tremendous and often bewildering beauty of the world. Nothing, you find, is at all what you thought it was. Dirt is not dirt, but a teeming mass of microorganisms that turns death back into life.
~ Joyce McGreevy in GARDENING BY HEART
Joyce McGreevy Gardening By Heart nature
April 2023 (Vol. XXXVI, No. 4)
The song of a river ordinarily means the tune that waters play on rock, root, and rapid....This song of the waters is audible to every ear, but there is other music in these hills, by no means audible to all. To hear even a few notes of it you must first live here for a long time, and you must know the speech of hills and rivers. Then on a still night, when the campfire is low and the Pleiades have climbed over the rimrocks, sit quietly and listen for a wolf to howl, and think of everything you have seen and tried to understand. Then you may hear it--a vast pulsing harmony--its score inscribed on a thousand hills, its notes the lives and deaths of plants and animals, its rhythms spanning the seconds and the centuries.
~ Aldo Leopold, "Song of the Gavilan" in A SAND COUNTY ALMANAC
Aldo Leopold A Sand County Almanac nature
April 2023 (Vol. XXXVI, No. 4)
If you find yourself half naked
and barefoot in the frosty grass, hearing,
again, the earth's great, sonorous moan that says
you are the air of the now and gone, that says
all you love will turn to dust,
and will meet you there, do not
raise your fist. Do not raise
your small voice against it. And do not
take cover. Instead, curl your toes
into the grass, watch the cloud
ascending from your lips. Walk
through the garden's dormant splendor.
Say only, thank you.
Thank you.
~ Ross Gay, "Thank You" from AGAINST WHICH
Ross Gay Against Which nature
April 2023 (Vol. XXXVI, No. 4)
What a wild family! Fox and giraffe and wart hog, of course. But these also: bodies like tiny strings, bodies like blades and blossoms! Cord grass, Christmas fern, soldier moss! And here comes grasshopper, all toes and knees and eyes, over the little mountains of dust.

When I see the black cricket in the woodpile, in autumn, I don't frighten her. And when I see the moss grazing upon the rock, I touch her tenderly,

sweet cousin.
Mary Oliver Volume Two, New And Selected Poems nature
April 2023 (Vol. XXXVI, No. 4)
Oh what a catastrophe, what a maiming of love when it was made a personal, merely personal feeling, taken away from the rising and setting of the sun, and cut off from the magic connection of the solstice and equinox. This is what is the matter with us. We are bleeding at the roots, because we are cut off from the earth and sun and stars, and love is a grinning mockery, because, poor blossom, we plucked it from its stem on the tree of Life and expected it to keep on blooming in our civilized vase on the table.
D.H. Lawrence A Propos Of Lady Chatterly's Lover And Other Essays nature
April 2023 (Vol. XXXVI, No. 4)
One night, a full moon watched over me like a mother. In the blue light of the Basin, I saw a petroglyph on a large boulder. It was a spiral. I placed the tip of my finger on the center and began tracing the coil around and around. It spun off the rock. My finger kept circling the land, the lake, the sky. The spiral became larger and larger until it became a halo of stars in the night sky above Stansbury Island. A meteor flashed and as quickly disappeared. The waves continued to hiss and retreat, hiss and retreat.
In the West Desert of the Great Basin, I was not alone.
~ Terry Tempest Williams in REFUGE
Terry Tempest Williams Refuge nature
April 2023 (Vol. XXXVI, No. 4)
Listening to the rain, time disappears....This forest is textured with different kinds of time, as the surface of the pool is dimpled with different kinds of rain. Fir needles fall with the high-frequency hiss of rain, branches fall with the bloink of big drops, and trees fall with a rare but thunderous thud. Rare, unless you measure time like a river...

...Paying attention acknowledges that we have something to learn from intelligences other than our own. Listening, standing witness, creates an openness to the world in which the boundaries between us can dissolve in a raindrop. The drop swells on the tip of a cedar and I catch it on my tongue like a blessing.
~ Robin Wall Kimmerer in BRAIDING SWEETGRASS
Robin Wall Kimmerer Braiding Sweetgrass nature
April 2023 (Vol. XXXVI, No. 4)
Above all, tell them to practice an intimate presence to the beauty and wonder of the natural world through their intuitive awareness that recognizes the oneness of all life; tell them to stop and enlarge moments throughout their days to become aware of the mysteries and miracles of creation all around them – the movement of a squirrel, the sound of a bird, the pattern of a leaf, changing patterns of light, the sun, the rain, the stars, dawn and sunset. Tell them we are not ourselves without everything and everyone else.
~ Thomas Berry, on the Behold Nature website
Thomas Berry nature
April 2023 (Vol. XXXVI, No. 4)
And you — what of your rushed and
useful life? Imagine setting it all down —
papers, plans, appointments, everything,
leaving only a note: "Gone to the fields
to be lovely. Be back when I'm through
with blooming".
~ Lynn Ungar, "Camas Lilies" in BREAD AND OTHER MIRACLES
Lynn Ungar Bread And Other Miracles nature
April 2023 (Vol. XXXVI, No. 4)
The earth beneath my feet is the great womb
out of which the life upon which my body depends
comes in utter abundance.
There is at work in the soil a mystery
by which the death of one seed
is reborn a thousandfold in newness of life.
Howard Thurman Meditations Of The Heart nature
March 2023 (Vol. XXXVI, No. 3)
speechless before
these budding green spring leaves
in blazing sunlight
Basho Narrow Road To The Interior wonder
March 2023 (Vol. XXXVI, No. 3)
Yes, awe arises during the extraordinary: when viewing the Grand Canyon, touching the hand of a rock star like Iggy Pop, or experiencing the sacred during meditation or prayer. More frequently, though, people report feeling awe in response to more mundane things: when seeing the leaves of a Gingko tree change from green to yellow, in beholding the night sky when camping near a river, in seeing a stranger give their food to a homeless person, in seeing their child laugh just like their brother.
Dacher Keltner How Awe Makes Us More Human wonder
March 2023 (Vol. XXXVI, No. 3)
Happiness is in the quiet, ordinary things. A table, a chair, a book with a paperknife stuck between the pages. And the petal falling from the rose, and the light flickering as we sit silent.
~ Virginia Woolf in THE WAVES
Virginia Woolf The Waves wonder
March 2023 (Vol. XXXVI, No. 3)
In the point of rest at the center of our being, we encounter a world where all things are at rest in the same way. Then a tree becomes a mystery, a cloud a revelation, each [person] a cosmos of whose riches we can only catch glimpses. The life of simplicity is simple, but it opens to us a book in which we never get beyond the first syllable.
~ Dag Hammarskjold in MARKINGS
~ Dag Hammarskjold Markings wonder
March 2023 (Vol. XXXVI, No. 3)
Every day you have choices. You can do things that wound your soul, like being dominated by the work ethic or compulsively seeking more money and possessions, or you can be around people who give you pleasure and do things that satisfy a desire deep inside you. Make this soul care a way of life, and you may discover what the Greeks called eudaimonia—a good spirit, or, in the deepest sense, happiness.
~ Thomas Moore in CARE OF THE SOUL
Thomas Moore Care Of The Soul wonder
March 2023 (Vol. XXXVI, No. 3)

Of all ridiculous things the most ridiculous seems to me, to be busy — to be a man who is brisk about his food and his work.

~ Soren Kierkegaard in EITHER/OR: A FRAGMENT OF LIFE
Soren Kierkegaard Either/or: A Fragment Of Life wonder
March 2023 (Vol. XXXVI, No. 3)
Because of the routines we follow, we often forget that life is an ongoing adventure...and the sooner we realize that, the quicker we will be able to treat life as art; to bring all our energies to each encounter, to remain flexible enough to notice and admit when what we expected to happen did not. We need to remember that we are created creative and can invent new scenarios as frequently as they are needed.
Maya Angelou Wouldn't Take Nothing For My Journey Now wonder
March 2023 (Vol. XXXVI, No. 3)

Each morning we awaken to the light and the invitation to a new day in the world of time; each night we surrender to the dark to be taken to play in the world of dreams where time is no more. At birth we were awakened and emerged to become visible in the world. At death we will surrender again to the dark to become invisible. Awakening and surrender: they frame each day and each life; between them the journey where anything can happen, the beauty and the frailty.

~ John O'Donohue in BEAUTY
Beauty wonder
March 2023 (Vol. XXXVI, No. 3)

Rumi said, There is no proof of the soul.
But isn't the return of spring and how it
springs up in our hearts a pretty good hint?

~ Mary Oliver from "Whistling Swans" in DEVOTIONS
Mary Oliver Devotions wonder
March 2023 (Vol. XXXVI, No. 3)
What a large volume of adventures may be grasped within the span of [her] little life by [she] who interests [her] heart in everything.
Laurence Sterne A Sentimental Journey Through France And Italy wonder
March 2023 (Vol. XXXVI, No. 3)
The more stuff you love the happier you will be.
Ross Gay The Book Of Delights wonder
March 2023 (Vol. XXXVI, No. 3)
When things are taking their ordinary course, it is hard to remember what matters. There are so many things you would never think to tell anyone. And I believe they may be the things that mean most to you...
~ Marilynne Robinson in GILEAD
Marilynne Robinson Gilead wonder
March 2023 (Vol. XXXVI, No. 3)

It's a subtle thing, freedom. It takes effort; it takes attention and focus to not act something like an automaton. Although we do have freedom, we exercise it only when we strive for awareness...

Gabor Mate In The Realm Of Hungry Ghosts wonder
March 2023 (Vol. XXXVI, No. 3)
Oh, God of dust and rainbows, help us see.
That without dust the rainbow would not be.
~ Langston Hughes from "Two Somewhat Different Epigrams" in THE POEMS: 1951-1967
Langston Hughes The Poems: 1951-1967 wonder
March 2023 (Vol. XXXVI, No. 3)
Accustom yourself every morning to look for a moment at the sky and suddenly you will be aware of the air around you, the scent of morning freshness that is bestowed on you between sleep and labor. You will find every day that the gable of every house has its own particular look, its own special lighting. Pay it some heed if you will have for the rest of the day a remnant of satisfaction and a touch of coexistence with nature. Gradually and without effort the eye trains itself to transmit many small delights, to contemplate nature and the city streets, to appreciate the inexhaustible fun of daily life.
~ Herman Hesse from "On Little Joys" in MY BELIEF
Herman Hesse My Belief wonder
March 2023 (Vol. XXXVI, No. 3)
Earth's crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God...
~ Elizabeth Barrett Browning from "Aurora Leigh" in THE OXFORD BOOK OF ENGLISH MYSTICAL VERSE
Elizabeth Barrett Browning The Oxford Book Of English Mystical Verse wonder
February 2023 (Vol. XXXVI, No. 2)
To see we must forget the name of the thing we are looking at.
~ Claude Monet
Claude Monet wisdom
February 2023 (Vol. XXXVI, No. 2)
You are in this time of the interim
where everything seems withheld.
The path you took to get here has washed out.
The way forward is still concealed from you.
The old is not old enough to have died away.
The new is still too young to be born.
~ John O'Donohue from "For the Interim Time" in TO BLESS THE SPACE BETWEEN US
To Bless The Space Between Us wisdom
February 2023 (Vol. XXXVI, No. 2)
Powerlessness is our greatest treasure. Don’t try to get rid of it. Everything in us wants to get rid if it. Grace is sufficient for you, but not something you can understand. To be in too big a hurry to get over our difficulties is a mistake because you don’t know how valuable they are from God’s perspective, for without them you might never be transformed as deeply and as thoroughly.
~ Thomas Keating in Contemplative Outreach News, Vol. 30, Number 2, June 2014
Thomas Keating wisdom
February 2023 (Vol. XXXVI, No. 2)
We do not have within us a principle of stable existence. What we find in ourselves, on the contrary, is a principle of renewal, of return, of being lost and found again. This principle we can only understand if we experience it in ourselves; and we know its taste as the taste of rebirth: whenever we come back from a state of oblivion, of forgetfulness. This happens over and over again, to such an extent that we become accustomed to it and cease to see how important it is – and really how wonderful it is – that we should be able to come back again after having been lost.
~ J. G. Bennett’s "Death and Resurrection" in SUNDAY TALKS AT COOMBE SPRINGS
J. G. Bennett Sunday Talks At Coombe Springs wisdom
February 2023 (Vol. XXXVI, No. 2)
Measure the walls. Count the ribs. Notch the long days.
Look up for blue sky through the spout. Make small fires
with the broken hulls of fishing boats. Practice smoke signals.
Call old friends, and listen for echoes of distant voices.
Organize your calendar. Dream of the beach. Look each way
for the dim glow of light. Work on your reports. Review
each of your life’s ten million choices. Endure moments
of self-loathing. Find the evidence of those before you.
Destroy it. Try to be very quiet, and listen for the sound
of gears and moving water. Listen for the sound of your heart.
Be thankful that you are here, swallowed with all hope,
where you can rest and wait. Be nostalgic. Think of all
the things you did and could have done. Remember
treading water in the center of the still night sea, your toes
pointing again and again down, down into the black depths.
~ Dan Albergotti, "Things to Do in the Belly of the Whale" in THE BOATLOADS
Dan Albergotti The Boatloads wisdom
February 2023 (Vol. XXXVI, No. 2)
This place where the two seas meet is the locus of the mystical journey, "where the dead fish becomes alive," where spiritual teachings become a living substance that nourishes the wayfarer. When we meet the path, this happens: something becomes alive within our heart and soul. We become nourished not by spiritual texts or teaching, but by direct transmission. The spiritual journey is a way to live with this spiritual substance, to be burned by its fire, to be consumed by its love.
~ Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee from the essay "Where the Two Seas Meet" in FRAGMENTS OF A LOVE STORY: REFLECTIONS ON THE LIFE OF A MYSTIC
Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee Fragments Of A Love Story: Reflections On The Life Of A Mystic wisdom