That cabin in the woods,
nestled beneath second generation pine
planted after the last logging,
waits for our visit.

Snow caught in tree-tops
meanders through the winter sky
covering the green roof in a smooth
slope where acorns speed to the ground.

Ravens ever present toward the open fields,
near the old silo base, they rule the open sky
with acrobatics and voices blanketing
the otherwise quiet space.

The nest in the overhang now empty.
Somewhere deep in the woods they watch
with caution and curiosity as the dogs
run circles around that cabin in the woods.

My breath from the trees.
My liquid from the oceans.
My feet upon the earth.

Each day, each second
should be in your honor.

Each task, each decision
should be in your image.

Through you we can attain peace.

From http://www.inhabitots.com/happy-earth-day-2010-from-inhabitots/
From http://www.inhabitots.com/happy-earth-day-2010-from-inhabitots/

Why do we continue to judge ourselves and our actions against a written word and faceless God when the only entity we should measure against is life around us, how we impact them, and the face in the mirror?

When you wake, can you think back, reflect on the previous day, your actions, your impact, and be ok? Do you feel you tried to be the best person you could, but know you have tomorrow to try again?

What can we do for ourselves, people, non-humans, that will better today, tomorrow and years from now when we have passed and our children follow the footsteps we have implanted in the black earth?

Pine needles fall upon my head. The sweet pungent earth mixes with the summer rain. Each step leaves a mark of the way I took, a path for others to follow. I carefully choose where I go and the destruction I may leave in my wake. I turn-around and learn what I can, soak in the experience, and move forward as the ravens follow.

Birds gather across the open sky and we join hands across borders and across cultures because we are human and we are in this together.

weekend-Common-Raven

Weeks have passed since my last visit.

Jack pine needles blanket the pole barn’s roof

a painting of solid green and brown slivers.

The front porch is covered with maple and oak leaves,

spider webs and left-over wood that was cut for fires.

What used to be a driveway is now in the beginning stages

of returning to prairie grasses with spotted wild flowers.

Dragonflies, damselflies, and other winged creatures

casually float 20 to 30 feet overhead and beneath

afternoon blue sky, growing darker as the sun

is sinking below the treeline.

With what little light is left I choose the pruning

shears and work my way to the trail I have spent the past 3-years

cleaning, clearing, and moving deeper into the forest

of countless trees, creatures, and tall guardians.

My goal is to cut branches below 8 feet and leave

a tunnel, allowing more light through and the

path to take on murky, moving shadows.

At the third tree, I stopped, still, silent

and listened as the tree in front of me,

a white birch, spoke my name.

I touched its trunk, felt its heart and energy

and decided that was enough for the evening.

I will leave you untouched, as you are,

guardian of this forest.

A well-writen article discussing Christianity and Buddhism. A question at the core of my belief is why is there so much bickering and hate in the world, and the view that “my way is better than your way”? Why are views so rigid and thrown in the face of others? Why is it so difficult to see that all of these views and spiritual paths are very similar in the end, with slightly different teachings and guideposts to get there? We may never know for certain, and even if there was some proof there will always be naysayers and conspiracists, but all of these beliefs are likely to me the same being, the same source of energy that give birth to everything.

Religion and spirituality should be what works for you, with a strong moral code, and an awareness of how we affect other humans, animals, and the earth – our sphere of influence.

While I personally am moving toward a Zen Buddhism way of thinking and living, I will never be 100% immersed in that.  I do not want to limit my view of the world, and do not want to be closed to others beliefs.

What can it not be simple?


http://www.buddhas-teaching.com/why-are-christians-turning-to-buddhism/


Raven in the Blue Sky
Raven in the Blue Sky

I’ve been continuing to read the book The Deep Ecology Movement. This includes an introduction to the movement and a collection of essays with varying thoughts and opinions. Along with finding many similarities to Buddhism, I feel this is a meaningful framework to express nature and humans, and the dependency of each on the other, and the critical task to strike balance.

An important concept that would help to start down the right path is the ecological self. A quote from the essay “Self-Realization: An Ecological Approach to Being in the World” by Arne Naess –

“We may be said to be in, of and for Nature from our very beginning.”

My favorite quote that sums up everything simply and elegantly is from John Haines –

“We speak of nature, of the natural world, as if that were something distinct from ourselves and the social world we appear to have made, seldom noticing that we are in nature and never out of it…”

Continuing to read “Cultivating the Empty Fields“, the translator makes a comment that Hongzhi’s teachings , who lived from 1091 to 1157, presage the modern philosophical movement of Deep Ecology.  I had not heard of this movement and school of thought until this passage, which goes on to make the connection that not only are clouds and mountains metaphors for awakened activity, but we are the clouds and the mountains.  The clouds and mountains are us.

An introduction on this movement is at the Foundation for Deep Ecology website.

I read through the 8 guiding principles, and for the most part this is common sense, and something to become more aware of in everyday activity, how we interact with all beings (including inanimate beings, such as rocks and trees), and how conduct ourself in the world at large, not just in our own personal space.  The key here is to be aware of the connection between all beings, the delicate balance, and how one shift, one vibration, can cause a rift thousands of miles away, and across centuries and millennia.

The Deep Ecology Platform

1. The well-being and flourishing of human and nonhuman life on Earth have value in themselves (synonyms: inherent worth, intrinsic value, inherent value). These values are independent of the usefulness of the nonhuman world for human purposes.

2. Richness and diversity of life forms contribute to the realization of these values and are also values in themselves.

3. Humans have no right to reduce this richness and diversity except to satisfy vital needs.

4. Present human interference with the nonhuman world is excessive, and the situation is rapidly worsening.

5. The flourishing of human life and cultures is compatible with a substantial decrease of the human population. The flourishing of nonhuman life requires such a decrease.

6. Policies must therefore be changed. The changes in policies affect basic economic, technological, and ideological structures. The resulting state of affairs will be deeply different from the present.

7. The ideological change is mainly that of appreciating life quality (dwelling in situations of inherent worth) rather than adhering to an increasingly higher standard of living. There will be a profound awareness of the difference between big and great.

8. Those who subscribe to the foregoing points have an obligation directly or indirectly to participate in the attempt to implement the necessary changes.

—Arne Naess and George Sessions (1984)

Winter Plume
Winter Plume