beasts of our inner nature


When I was immersed in the primal beauty of a remote island, there was no sense of responsibility. Life was fully present around me—the power of the wind and rain bending the palm trees, the fragility of a spider’s web caught in sunlight. And I was part of this landscape, aware but not separate. Now, when I watch the fog coming in from the ocean, or a baby fawn eating the grass outside my window, there is another quality of consciousness present, a deeper awareness. The passing years have changed me; an innocence is lost. Often there is a sadness beneath the surface, a sadness that comes from knowing how humanity is treating this beautiful and fragile web we call life. I wonder how long this landscape will last, how will it be for my grandchildren.

And it is not just the surface landscape that calls to me. The primal beauty that spoke to me when I was a teenager carried a note that I now know belongs to the sacred—to that hidden pulse that gives life its wonder and meaning. And this note I sense is also passing, is becoming even more hidden, less accessible. Something essential within the core of life is changing, often without our noticing. We are in the time of the “Great Forgetting,” of losing an elemental color of life, while our surface life distracts us with its constant noise and clutter. The moment is fully alive, both in what is present but also with what is more and more absent, like a childhood landscape remembered only in your dreams.

Sadly much contemporary spirituality that helps us to be present in the moment does not embrace this responsibility, but instead focuses more often on self-fulfillment or well-being. Then too easily we remain as children—entranced, but not fully engaged. The now is the seed of the future, and as such needs to be held within the heart and soul if it is to grow, if our grandchildren are to see the same colors in the rainbow. Love and care for the Earth and all its communities belong to the moment that is fully felt, that is lived from the depths of one’s being. When Rumi said, “Return to the root of the root of your Self,” he was speaking of the real mystery that lives within each of us, that connects us to the sun and the moon as well as to all of creation.

Love can open us to deep participation in the life of the whole; it can teach us once again how to listen to life, feel life’s heartbeat, sense its soul. It can align us with the sacred within all of creation, and reconnect us with our innate knowing that the Divine is present in everything—in every breath, every stone, every animate and inanimate thing. In the oneness of love, everything is included, and everything is sacred.

With simple acts we can weave the stories of love back into life, so that once again it can sing the note of unity, and so begin the work of healing itself. Small things with great love reach further than we can see, because they become part of the fabric of creation. And there are many ways to engage: from the simple act of praying for the world, to planting flowers or vegetables in our garden with loving hands, to listening to the troubles of another with a receptive heart. Through our loving we nourish life in unseen ways. Because life is an expression of love, each act of love is a participation and gift to the whole.

~Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee

and maybe our stories are bigger and beauty is like the raging, wild mystery we cannot realize….

inquiry for today~   how empty and ready are you for this day?

our sacred trust

May this be a morning of innocent beginning,

When the gift within you slips clear

Of the sticky web of the personal

With its hurt and hauntings,

And fixed fortress corners,

A morning when you become a pure vessel

For what wants to ascend from silence,

May your imagination know

The grace of perfect danger,

To reach beyond imitation,

And the wheel of repetition,

Deep into the call of all

The unfinished and unsolved

Until the veil of the unknown yields

And something original begins

To stir toward your senses

And grow stronger in your heart.

~John O’Donohue

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