The more clearly we can focus our attention on the wonders and realities of the universe about us, the less taste we shall have for destruction. Rachel Carson
Yesterday I was wandering the beach and saw something bobbing around in the surf. At first I mistook it for a jellyfish, but upon closer inspection I saw it was a toilet plunger. Where did this thing come from? It could have circumnavigated the world on the ocean currents. The careless remnants of our disposable society are a hallmark of the new geological epoch – the Anthropocene.
Humankind has ravaged the earth looking for cheap raw materials. Rainforests are burned out and plowed under for beef production. Grand beautiful trees have been ground down for pulp and the indigenous populations routed to the edges of extinction.
Fossil fuels have been extracted and converted into a myriad of disposable products which now taint our air, sea and land. The portion of beach I claim for my personal walking meditations is only a mile or so long, but it is a world unto itself for me. Whenever I see trash I pick it up and put it in the garbage cans. What infuriates me most is the casual way people think the ocean can somehow magically transform their trash back into raw materials.
All too many people have a selfish taste for destruction. Gentle use of nature is wonderful. It puts us back in touch with the wonders and realities of the universe as Rachel Carson said. There are uncountable glories everywhere in nature. In meditation, prayer, entreaties to various gods, all these wish to put us in touch with the sacredness of which nature abounds.
Humans believe we are the most powerful force on earth, but a visit to the beach will show that to be untrue. Embrace nature, and embrace the divine. The subtle forces sculpting and carving the shore are vast and wondrous. Stand on the tide-line and feel your toes curl up trying to hold on to solid ground. Release the taste for destruction and begin to live in a more ecological way. God is in the details as the saying goes. There from the tiniest creatures to the endless sky embrace the transcendence.
Focus on wonder, and find love everywhere. Be Well
Your days are numbered. Use them to throw open the windows of your soul to the sun. If you do not, the sun will soon set, and you with it. – Marcus Aurelius
The length of one’s life is not predetermined. Many factors go into shortening or lengthening your days, but the quality not the quantity should matter most. Each day you shut yourself off from the world you speed up the passage of time. Every day you open your soul to the sunshine, you slow down the passage of time. That is why people say someone lived a full life. The hours of their days bubbled with a positive spirit.
This is not to say one should be deluded or create a fantasy around which their life revolves. But attitude is crucial to increasing the enjoyment of life. Days stuck in gloomy ruminations blur one day into another until life becomes nothing more drudgery and ruin. Changing perspective is the first step towards a fuller life.
Disentangling our souls from negative attachments takes determination. Often the harmful fictions we tell ourselves wreak havoc on our self-image. Puling away the strings of dark negativity intensifies our enjoyment of living. Find a way to throw open the windows to your soul and let the sunshine of positive light increase the fullness of your days.
Ride the rising currents of happiness. Soar above the burned out relics of past sorrows. Although the total number of days you will have is unknown, you can make the most of each day and feel the enjoyment spread out towards infinity before the sun sets forever.
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For most of history, man has had to fight nature to survive; in this century, he is beginning to realize that, in order to survive, he must protect it. – Jacques-Yves Cousteau
Too much of human society has become far removed from the natural world. Whole cultures are stagnating under the sterile weight of mass communications powered social media enabled hub-bub. The whirling, whizzing, fizzing phantasmagoria of digital ephemera erodes our connections to nature.
Bright and shiny whirligigs mesmerize and tantalize us with the unfulfilled promise of satisfaction and wholeness displayed across interconnected tiny glass screens. People try to get the perfect selfie from a so-called famous spot. Once beautiful places are overrun with photo takers and temporary documentaries of the superficial masquerading as the profound. Put down the mechanism and simply BE. Be one with our incredible planet-home.
Experience the bare beauty of shifting sands and featureless gray sky. Stand still and hear your heartbeat as one with wind and wave. Place yourself within the landscape and get reacquainted with nature. Be alone with your thoughts and limit your photos to pure and meaningful scenes – as best as you can. Tread softly across the ground. Empty your mind of plans and deadlines. Silence the judging and questioning. Let nature distill your essence from out of the silence. Allow passion to rise in your chest. Experience the raw suspension of time brought about by communing with nature.
Protect your sanity, by taking time away in the real world. Allow yourself to sing or shout – alone out there in the wild. Release the pressure. Carry delight with you when you return to your “life”. Reflect upon the happiness you found simply being yourself – alone. Smile when you unwrap nature’s gift to you over and over each time you step outdoors.
Let us be grateful for the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom. Marcel Proust
Be eternally grateful for the people in your life who shine a positive light upon your day. Every day give thanks to the almighty universe for being fortunate enough to witness another day dawn. Send your heart soaring into the clouds to greet the sun, for you are alive to witness the splendor.
Gather your prayers for those you love and speak from your hear with the fullest joy you can muster. Look forward to the day’s challenges and rewards as an opportunity and not a burden. There before you is the canvas on which to paint your living dream. Step into the dawn and sing. Implore the sky to send down its warmth and the earth to welcome your steps. You are loved.
Each day we walk into the glorious potentiality of our blossoming soul. At any moment our lives can change. Our paths may be altered in a positive or a negative way. Those who make us happy will continue the journey with us no matter the consequences. They are truly like gardeners caring for our happiness. Consider yourself fortunate for the smiles you give and receive. Cast that happiness in the air around you and receive happiness with gratitude and grace. Do not expect others to make you happy – be receptive to being happy and reflect delight on your face.
Find happiness today and for each day forward. Let go of the negative unhappy thoughts that cloud your judgment and keep you in shadows. Anxiety and disappointment are inevitable, but do not tolerate them dominating your thoughts. Look around you. Breathe in and release the negative. Practice self-care. Be thankful for those who bring you happiness and BE WELL 🙂
For life and death are one, even as the river and the sea are one.Kahlil Gibran
Life and death are connected one to the other along infinite paths. This gull’s remains provide evidence of the eagle’s feeding. All life converts death into life. We are sustained by sacrificing the life-spark of other beings.
So-called lower forms of life are consumed with little thought given to snuffing out their non-sentient existence. These creatures exist in abundance across the earth, and should be harvested in a sustainable way to save our planet. We humans are the top of the food chain and as such we depend on the survival of the species below us. Just as the rivers and the seas are all one – we too are one with the living earth.
This sea lion washed up on the beach six months ago. For several months as its body slowly decayed, dozens of species fed on its remains. Slowly the finer details of its once supple body eroded and holes appeared, exposing bones and sinews, muscles and fat. For months the carcass was covered by sand. Recently it was exposed again, and there was still edible bits and pieces for the gulls, crows and insects to consume. Nothing is wasted in death. Obliteration takes place over time, but in a sense death is annihilates the individual’s life but in turn provides for the life others. The river of our lifetime flows into the great crucible of transmigration.
Life and death fold endlessly one into the other. The miraculous world in which we live rolls on and on. The water, the sky, the land – belong to all life, and we must all play a positive part in the natural order.
This is the true joy of life – the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one, the being thoroughly worn out before you are thrown to the scrap-heap; the being a force of nature instead of a feverish, selfish clod of ailments and grievances.
George Bernard Shaw
As far as we now for certain, all of us have one unique life to live. There is no warranty our life will be fulfilling or satisfying. Early on we imagine fantastic scenes for our future selves to experience. Our days can either seem full empty based on our perceptions. We must use our being to the fullest measure possible. Do not waste vigor nursing grievances, rather try to make your essential being into a force of nature carrying you towards the future you imagine.
The capacity of the human imagination whirls and whizzes with dynamism. Wandering along as a beachcomber, I unleash my imagination and suppress rational thinking. Relentless nature sculpts the seascape day and night. This seaweed bundle resembled a mountain goat or woolly yak. Allowing my mind to wander is liberating. Unfettered by rationality my core being is harnessed instead to the mighty purpose of creation.
Nature wastes not. All matter is recycled into other forms. Our modern civilization has been lashed economically to a myriad of artificial ends, which cannot be recycled back into natural, organic forms. Instead our artificial cast-offs befoul the real world. Can we as a species reduce the scrap-heap of our so-called “refined” culture in order to rebuild our life affirming connections to nature. This reconnecting to nature is one of the true joys of life.
Today – this moment – lay down some of your perceived grievances and self-defeating ailments. Walk to the nearest window and recall some of those fantastic scenes from your youth. Remember the thrill of looking forward to those days when you would use the power of your being like a force of nature. Go out into the natural world and recover portions of your soul long dormant. Be well.
I remember him as something left behind on the road of life – as something I have passed, rather than having actually been -and almost think of him as someone else.
Each season of our life imprints upon our hearts a record of its passing. What did we accomplish, learn or need to forget. Behind it all is the same transcendent force that fastens us to the growing grass and roaring sea – Time.
Each of us casts off the empty guises we wear throughout our lives when we have outgrown the need for them. Adopting temporary characteristics or beliefs is a crucial human adaptation. The mind’s repository overflows with learned behaviors which in turn are stitched together into a patchwork of superficial identity presented publicly.
Some parts we play last but a few seasons or perhaps a few days before they are left behind. These discarded bits and pieces of what we once were are dissipated beneath the changing tides of time.
Other parts we play become integrated into our deep-seated nature. Elements of our core identity flow from our actions. By overcoming the rocky paths met along the way, we increase endurance and wisdom by understanding our hardships and appreciating our blessings.
On the road of life, the years – good and bad – hew our essence. Our time on earth is finite. Our spirit, however, is infinite.
We all sit here stranded, though we’re all doin’ our best to deny it.Bob Dylan
No matter how far we may roam, we all came from somewhere and a portion of our heart, large or small, yearns to remain attached somehow to the source of our genesis. Making our way gingerly at first, all life venture forth into the greater world. Departure is critical to survival. Life has emerged in a myriad of forms and each of those are our far-flung cousins.
Far-flung is a strange kinetic term. Life has been flung far and wide from the most ancient origins. Adapt or die is the motto of life. Humans have the capacity to adapt to extremes much like the least complex life forms – bacteria. But habitat is key to the survival of species. The more specific the adaptation, the more fragile the survival. As habitats are increasingly degraded globally by climate change, life’s endurance becomes increasingly fragile.
When individual lifeforms die, their remains are recycled. Life disintegrates and reintegrates into new life. On our living planet all life is interconnected in one way or another. According to the principle of conservation of energy, energy cannot be created or destroyed, it instead can transform from one form to another. This life-energy flows through us all along thousand-fold channels across air, land and sea.
There is an intimate beauty in the final array of remains. Inexorably the force of flowing tides gathers together remnants and weaves them into poignant displays across the sand. We all are stranded here on this single planet – this single point of origin. Our home does not belong to humans alone, but to all life.
The proper function of man is to live, not to exist. I shall not waste my days trying to prolong them. I shall use my time. Jack London
Rise in the morning and greet the sun. Do not waste the dawning of a new day. One never knows when the last day will come. That is the bittersweet angst of being human. Summon positive thoughts to confront the issues of the day. Do not make mountains from molehills, but also do not shrink away from those mountains ahead you must climb.
Each and every day we are confronted, to varying degrees, with patterns and clues – hints about the way to direct our efforts. Each day is filled with shades and shadows counterbalancing clarity and profundity. Do not focus on the minutiae – instead be in the moments as they come. Flow with time and do not exhaust yourself fighting against the inevitable passage – steer as you go.
The days pile one atop the other gently like snowflakes but sometimes crash down upon you like an avalanche. On those rough days allow your heart a few precious minutes to soar. Remind yourself that each day dawns with promises of change and tantalizing chances for triumph. Seize upon the positive currents and sweep past the gloom.
Before the day ends express your gratitude, whisper I love you to those you cherish whether near or far. Do not take for granted that there is another day to wait. Waste not this day, these sweet joyous moments of life. The light you create now will blaze on into eternity. Begin, this day, to shine.
One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things. Henry Miller
A tremendous beautiful feeling comes over me walking the shore. My only intended goal is to go between three and five miles and to return home eventually. Along the way I try to take note of whatever catches my eye and slow my pace to appreciate odd details here and there. From this angle the front of this burned out driftwood resembles a titanic bird bowing down in the sand. The thought of the trees former spirit being set alight by random visitors brought a tear to my eye.
The might of the ocean is obvious, but spending so much time wandering the seaside makes the subtle forces all the more impressive. The heaving waves can tear docks apart and sink ships, but also gently wrap various flotsam and jetsam together in marvelous bundles. Various elements are swirled together in interlinked vortex within open ocean eddies. These natural bouquets are tossed along the tide-line – blessings from the primordial deep.
An ecstatic undertone overpowers my perspective. This sea-bouquet is imbued with a vaguely familiar and attractive aesthetic. It reminded me of Japanese flower arrangements in its asymmetrical structure. People spend a lifetime trying to learn how to be “natural”. Meditation, yoga, hypnosis – all manner of techniques are studied in order to regain that raw purity with which we were born. The organic flourishes garnished with beach-stones could just as easily be a masterpiece of modernist art or exquisite ink wash watercolor.
Seeing the world anew each day regenerates sparkling flecks of childhood perspective. With this flickering rejuvenation fresh in my mind, I return home and create. See your life in a new, more positive light and appreciate the little things.