The Healing Power of Nature

I wanted to share these lovely paintings and a great poem by Mary Oliver. Nature really does have healing qualities. However, as the group pointed out today, nature also can be rather capricious!

The Spirit of the Woods: Poet and Painter Rebecca Hey’s Gorgeous 19th-Century Illustrations for the World’s First Encyclopedia of Trees

by Mary Oliver

When I am among the trees,
especially the willows and the honey locust,
equally the beech, the oaks and the pines,
they give off such hints of gladness.
I would almost say that they save me, and daily.
I am so distant from the hope of myself,
in which I have goodness, and discernment,
and never hurry through the world
but walk slowly, and bow often.
Around me the trees stir in their leaves
and call out, “Stay awhile.”
The light flows from their branches.
And they call again, “It’s simple,” they say,
“and you too have come
into the world to do this, to go easy, to be filled
with light, and to shine.”

Change Blindness

I’m really fascinated by the limitations, and the amazing potential, of human consciousness. This is an interesting video on how humans often see continuity where there is none. We seem to be hardwired to disregard change! No wonder impermanence disturbs us. Maybe there’s nothing really “wrong” with our longing for permanence in a world of change.

And…a poem:

(The earth shakes) by Steve Sanfield

The earth shakes
just enough
to remind us.


Why smile?

We discussed the reason why the Dalai Lama considers his enemies to be his teachers:

The Dalai Lama on why he laughs:

Also: I will be traveling next week, so there will be no Sunday sitting group December 8.  See you for the Dec. 15 sitting!

More Back to Basics

I think it may be a good idea to think about what this practice means for you. Is meditation a feel good exercise, like stretching, to start your day? Are you  exploring possibilities which may potentially enrich your life? Or are you a dedicated practitioner, ready to witness suffering, delusion, and impermanence on a startling, personal level? Any of these are reasonable decisions, but please make them conscious decisions. Mindfulness begins here and now!

Here’s some interesting thoughts from Phillip Moffitt on committing to a meditation practice. I agree with a lot of what he says, some of the time. Or some of what he says, a lot of the time.