The Peace of Wild Things

When despair grows in me
and I wake in the middle of the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children's lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting for their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

- Wendell Berry

via Poem Hunter


"Three Seeds" - Another Take on the 5th Sun?

from Reality Sandwich:

Image by Niffty Neal Fowler
Used courtesy of a Creative Commons license

Once upon a time, the tribe of humanity embarked upon a long journey called Separation. It was not a blunder as some - seeing its ravages upon the planet - might think. Nor was it a fall, nor an expression of some innate evil peculiar to the human species.

It was a journey with a purpose: to experience the extremes of Separation, to develop the gifts that come in response to it, and to integrate all of that in a new age of Reunion.

But we knew at the outset that there was danger in this journey: that we might become lost in Separation and never come back. We might become so alienated from nature that we would destroy the very basis of life; we might become so separated from each other that our poor egos, left naked and terrified, would become incapable of rejoining the community of all being.

In other words, we foresaw the crisis we face today.

That is why, thousands of years ago, we planted three seeds that would sprout at the time that our journey of Separation reached its extreme. Three seeds, three transmissions from the past to the future, three ways of preserving and transmitting the truth of the world, the self, and how to be human.

Imagine you were alive thirty thousand years ago, and had a vision of all that was to come: symbolic language, naming and labeling the world; agriculture, the domestication of the wild, dominion over other species and the land; the Machine, the mastery of natural forces; the forgetting of how beautiful and perfect the world is; the atomization of society; a world where humans fear even to drink of the streams and rivers, where we live among strangers and don't know the people next door, where we kill across the planet with the touch of a button, where the seas turn black and the air burns our lungs, where we are so broken that we dare not remember that it isn't supposed to be this way.

Imagine you saw it all coming. How would you help people thirty thousand years thence? How would you send information, knowledge, aid over such a vast gulf of time? You see, this actually happened. That is how we came up with the three seeds.

Continue reading 'Three Seeds' here: http://www.realitysandwich.com/three_seeds


Nirvana in climate chaos and peak oil

February 28, 2011 By Andrew Durling


Medicine Wheel

How can Buddhism help us deal with fear and anxiety as we face of the converging issues of peak oil and climate change?

One way is to understand that the reality of climate change is inseparable from the actual, specific experiences of living beings here and now.

Climate change is not some external, impersonal phenomenon that exists separately from all other phenomena, and especially from people. It’s actually a dimension of our daily experience, an aspect of the suffering that is an inexorable part of our lives.

In recognizing that climate change is suffering, and that climate change is a pervasive and an increasingly pressing part of our lives, then we have to face up to it in the same way that we have to face up to that ultimate dimension of our suffering: our own death and the loss of all we are and have.

Death be not proud

Facing up to our own death is a good analogy for how we have to learn to face up to climate chaos.

Recognizing the reality of global warming and the horror and fear that it induces offers a moment of clarity. We can then use that clear-eyed recognition to strip away what is meaningless and trivial from our lives and re-focus on what will help us to move with a renewed sense of purpose, beyond the fear, to meaningful action.

So many people who find out that they have a terminal illness go on to fill what time they have left doing what they always really wanted but never got around to. Ironically, overcoming the often overly suppressed (but often mentally disruptive) fear of death can be the prelude to a more joyful and fulfilling life, as philosophers, psychologists and religious teachers have told us through the ages.

In the same way, helping ourselves and others to overcome the denial or suppression of the reality of climate change can help to create the motivation to engage in ways of living that are more fulfilling and creative than before.