Our holy places

One positive aspect of the lockdown, and what is allowed, is the extra time spent walking in nature. (I am not sure that his interpretation is, strictly speaking,  etymologically correct, but it predates him by some centuries and is a nice idea)

Do you know the origin of that word ‘saunter?’ It’s a beautiful word. Away back in the Middle Ages people used to go on pilgrimages to the Holy Land, and when people in the villages through which they passed asked where they were going, they would reply, “A la sainte terre,’ ‘To the Holy Land.’ And so they became known as sainte-terre-ers or saunterers. Now these mountains are our Holy Land, and we ought to saunter through them reverently.

John Muir, 1838 – 1914

Just for a little while

Just for a little while, stop thinking about all the problems, crises, tasks. everything that’s pulling and pushing on us.

Be in that quiet space.  

After all these years, some of us still need permission to let go.

Melody Beatty

The sun still shines

A lot of wisdom in this:
The trick to having a happy life is to remember that it all comes down to what we ourselves make of the life we have. 

“The sun shines and warms and lights us and we have no curiosity to know why this is so”, Ralph Waldo Emerson says, ” but we ask the reason of all evil, of pain, and hunger and mosquitoes and silly people.”

Joan Chittister, O.S.B., American Benedictine nun.

Change

Today is the Autumn Equinox, which is celebrated as a public holiday in Japan.

Imitate the trees.

Learn to lose in order to recover,

and remember that nothing stays the same for long,

not even pain.

May Sarton, 1912 –  1995, Belgian-American poet and novelist.

Natural rhythms

In meditation we’re learning from Nature rather than from society, so you have to train in terms of wilderness awareness: to learn from your bodily intelligence. Otherwise, if you’re trying to get your business-model, ‘get it done’ mind,  to take you to samādhi (concentration or calm) it’s like riding an elephant as if you’re driving a taxi: you implant stress onto a natural process and that constricts your awareness. 

Ajahn Sucitto