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Posts Tagged ‘Wisdom’

Revering the Trees

 

For me, trees have always been the most penetrating preachers. I revere them when they live in tribes and families, in forests and groves. And even more I revere them when they stand alone. They are like lonely persons. Not like hermits who have stolen away out of some weakness, but like great, solitary men, like Beethoven and Nietzsche. In their highest boughs the world rustles, their roots rest in infinity; but they do not lose themselves there, they struggle with all the force of their lives for one thing only: to fulfil themselves according to their own laws, to build up their own form, to represent themselves. Nothing is holier, nothing is more exemplary than a beautiful, strong tree. When a tree is cut down and reveals its naked death-wound to the sun, one can read its whole history in the luminous, inscribed disk of its trunk: in the rings of its years, its scars, all the struggle, all the suffering, all the sickness, all the happiness and prosperity stand truly written, the narrow years and the luxurious years, the attacks withstood, the storms endured. And every young farmboy knows that the hardest and noblest wood has the narrowest rings, that high on the mountains and in continuing danger the most indestructible, the strongest, the ideal trees grow.

Trees are sanctuaries. Whoever knows how to speak to them, whoever knows how to listen to them, can learn the truth. They do not preach learning and precepts, they preach, undeterred by particulars, the ancient law of life.

A tree says: A kernel is hidden in me, a spark, a thought, I am life from eternal life. The attempt and the risk that the eternal mother took with me is unique, unique the form and veins of my skin, unique the smallest play of leaves in my branches and the smallest scar on my bark. I was made to form and reveal the eternal in my smallest special detail.

A tree says: My strength is trust. I know nothing about my fathers, I know nothing about the thousand children that every year spring out of me. I live out the secret of my seed to the very end, and I care for nothing else. I trust that God is in me. I trust that my labor is holy. Out of this trust I live.

When we are stricken and cannot bear our lives any longer, then a tree has something to say to us: Be still! Be still! Look at me! Life is not easy, life is not difficult. Those are childish thoughts. Let God speak within you, and your thoughts will grow silent. You are anxious because your path leads away from mother and home. But every step and every day lead you back again to the mother. Home is neither here nor there. Home is within you, or home is nowhere at all.

A longing to wander tears my heart when I hear trees rustling in the wind at evening. If one listens to them silently for a long time, this longing reveals its kernel, its meaning. It is not so much a matter of escaping from one’s suffering, though it may seem to be so. It is a longing for home, for a memory of the mother, for new metaphors for life. It leads home. Every path leads homeward, every step is birth, every step is death, every grave is mother.

So the tree rustles in the evening, when we stand uneasy before our own childish thoughts: Trees have long thoughts, long-breathing and restful, just as they have longer lives than ours. They are wiser than we are, as long as we do not listen to them. But when we have learned how to listen to trees, then the brevity and the quickness and the childlike hastiness of our thoughts achieve an incomparable joy. Whoever has learned how to listen to trees no longer wants to be a tree. He wants to be nothing except what he is. That is home. That is happiness.  ~Herman Hesse

My thanks to Amy Callan at Spirit Within Art for sharing this quote with me.

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here on planet autumn

every success and every seeming failure is applauded
no bigger, no better, no smaller, no lesser
you see, it is all life’s treasure expressing itself

and even if a little seedling never quite pushes through to survive
that is glorified and celebrated as life’s gift to us
it is enough
no bigger, no better, no smaller, no lesser

everything wants to come to fruition and fruition has many levels
just witnessing life for a singular moment
asks you to come to it willingly, yes willing indeed
to see the precious glory within it.

here, on Planet Autumn, patience is not a virtue
move as an inchworm or a rocket ship
no bigger, no better, no smaller, no lesser

other edicts: waste not, want not
you won’t find them here
Even just an inner desire that never meets paper and pen,
is a song of praise on your lips
It’s yours and yours alone, and
it is enough.

You will find life brimming from its very essence, here on Planet Autumn.
And you will hear, ever so delicately, the song of exaltation to
The Great One, painted on every single leaf

Keep the song of praise always on your lips,
this is true wealth that can never be taken from you.

Evening falls now on Planet Autumn, while you are sleeping,
angels come and paint the song of praise on your lips.
And they whisper in your ear of your preciousness.

Come, here, listen.

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Earlier in the month I was in the midst of an intensive 6 day training in Sourthern California.  This was part one of three parts leading to certification as a Chinese Face Reader.  It’s a subject I find fascinating, to say the least, and so does Louise Hay!  She has said that it’s the most exciting material she’s come across in the last 15 years.  If you are curious about Chinese Face Reading, click on the Wisdom of Your Face link in the right hand column of this blog under Favorite Things.

In the middle of training I thought, “I can’t do this” and I’ve armed myself with a litany of reasons detailing why I can’t!  There’s 60,000 facts about the face I must commit to memory.  Ok, that’s only a slight exaggeration, it feels like 60,000!   I’m supposed to be in my heart not my head to be a face reader.  Ok, that settles it, I can’t do it!  My spirit sunk with that notion.  Pack your bags, Bethie, because you cannot do this.

But wait, then I remembered the weekly powerful question I’d received that week.  These are questions I sit with, I don’t answer them immediately, instead I roll the question around like a shiny penny in my hand, feeling first around the edges of it.  So, what was the weekly powerful question, you ask?!  It was very simply: “What if I could?”

What if I could?  Here I was all bound up in I can’t do this, no way, no how.  I then recall — what if I could? — and instantly I am drawn into the life giving expansiveness of potential.  What if I could?  What if I asked that question of all my doubts and all my “I can’ts”.

I think I love it the most because I am not trying to convince myself I can.  Yes I can, feels like a quantum leap that I have to convince myself into and this also has the flavor of tight, contracted and all bound up.  But entertaining a “what if I could” is just a little, tiny, infinitesimal turn of the dial in the affirmative direction.  So small a step that lifts me up and out of my own gray prison walls and into the brightness of possibility and potential.

What if I could?  It’s a deep breath of fresh air.  A little question to ponder and there, right there, is the wide open receptive spaces of freedom.  Ok then, maybe I can :).

*Image I took at Carlsbad Beach, California, where my training was held.

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I’m back!  So I’ve been to a Wisdom of Your Face retreat for 5 days and it was truly transformational.  I have to tell everyone in the new age community who loves learning about new models of thought, check this out.  You may have not seen anything like this.  Louise Hay and the author of The Wisdom of Your Face, Jean Haner are collaborating on a book together.  Louise Hay, herself, has said this is the most fascinating material she has come across in the last 10 or 15 years.  Pretty amazing stuff, if it’s impressing Louise Hay.

Now for the big news.  This retreat took place in a mountain lodge up in the majestic Cascade mountains of Washington state.  There were less than two dozen of us and guess who was there?  OMG!!  Louise Hay!  I was so starstruck and I even told her so, among other things.  Her gracious reply to me was, “I’m just a person”.  Yes, just a person who happens to be one of the forerunners in the new age community for the late 20th century.  Just a person who is the mother of affirmations.  Just a person who has influenced, inspired and motivated millions of people. Wow!

I have some notes from Louise for all of you that are appended below.  I agree with Louise (look, I’m already on a first name basis with her :), this is the most exciting material I’ve recently come across.  It’s the next modality I will be studying.  I won’t be able to share much from it right now because it is highly specialized.  However, if there is anyone who can distill and simplify material and make it user friendly, it’s me.  If you would like to get a taste of what the material is about, visit the website link above and consider signing up for the newsletter.  I believe she adds celebrity face readings to those.

First I’d like to blend two ideas, one from Louise the other from Jean the author.  Louise talked about living a life of making decisions.  She is 83, she began this decade deciding that her 80s would be the best decade of her life.  She looks and acts as if she is living it.  So the power is in the decision, simple and clear.  What Jean adds to this is the idea of making tiny decisions or tiny changes incrementally that add up to an eventual tipping point.

Let’s use an example: you feel stuck in your life, want new things to flow in.  Consider making a tiny decision to clear out a drawer or the top of a closet.  Next week or every other week clear out a little more clutter.  When we release things we no longer need, it frees up space to bring new energy into our life.  That’s just one example, apply this to anything you want to enhance or change in your life.  Do you love being around people but find yourself stuck indoors a lot, perhaps you even isolate yourself.  Go downtown or into town, where there are people around, make eye contact with them, pick up some friendly conversation with the store clerk, for instance.  Is your life busy, busy, busy, constantly on the go?  Are you exhausted as a result?  What tiny thing can you do to replenish yourself?  Could you go to bed 30 minutes earlier?  Could you knock off a few minutes on your workout routine just to sit and breathe mindfully?  Tiny decisions, tiny changes, incrementally add up to a tipping point.

The notes I took from Louise Hay’s short talk:

Make decisions about how your life will unfold.
Do mirror work – say in the mirror every day, no matter how uncomfortable it feels at first: I love you.  I really love you.
Affirmations:  All is well.  Only good lies before me.
What you put in your body in terms of choice of thoughts and choice of food determines the quality of your life.
When faced with a challenging situation, LH will say this 300x a day if necessary:

All is well.
Everything is working out for my highest good.
And out of this experience, only good will come.
I am safe.

She gave us a well being card with that last affirmation on it.  I have it autographed!  Goosebumps over here!

Those of you in Chicago and the West Coast are in for a treat because that’s where Jean Haner usually does her work.  Check out the website, if she’s at a bookstore near you doing a face reading, go, go, go!  I promise you if learning something new lights you up, you will not regret it.

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Praise should be the permanent pulsation of the soul.

An adventure is only an inconvenience rightly considered.  An inconvenience is only an adventure wrongly considered.

The way to love anything is to realize it may be lost.

Thanks are the highest form of thought.  Gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.

…we are made to be astonished.

A man in peril can only save his life by risking it.

The worshipper never feels taller than when he bows.

Poets have been mysteriously silent on the subject of cheese.  <smile>

The most astonishing thing about miracles is that they happen.

There is a road from the eye to heart that does not go through the intellect.

It is possible that God says every morning, “Do it again” to the sun, and every evening “Do it again” to the moon.

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Recently someone I consider to be a wise teacher in my life, Philip Golabuk, stated that we are too much with the world and not enough with the self.  I pondered what was the meaning of this statement.  What does it really mean?

I’ve come to see it means I am too much with trying to make things happen in the world.  Too much with believing there are an endless string of things to be worked through.  Too much with giving attention to what I don’t want.
Too much being reactive to the world.   Too much with shouldering burdens I am not meant to carry.
And too much with believing I am in control.

Too much with getting and not enough with letting.

Too much with reacting and not enough with Being.

Too much with the head and not enough with the heart

Stated another way, as Meister Eckhart said: The outward man is the swinging door; the inner man is the still hinge.

Who is this inner man and which self are we not enough with?

Perhaps it is the inner self that doesn’t die.  The inner self that lives in the deepest truth.  The inner self which, when unobstructed, freely finds its way to goodness and grace.  The inner self that rests in calm, still waters.

The self that reaches a turning point and lays down its arms, literally and figuratively.  Knowing now there are no more causes to be fought or won.  Our arms drop to our sides and then, perhaps only then, does the Field/Universe/God take up our cause.

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All God wants of man is a peaceful heart.

Do exactly what you would do if you felt most secure.

Every creature is a word of God.

God is at home, it’s we who have gone out for a walk.

He who would be serene and pure needs but one thing, detachment.

Grace is no stationary thing, it is ever becoming. It is flowing straight out of God’s heart. Grace does nothing but re-form and convey God.

If the only prayer you ever say in your whole life is “thank you,” that would suffice.

The outward man is the swinging door; the inner man is the still hinge.

There exists only the present instant… a Now which always and without end is itself new. There is no yesterday nor any tomorrow, but only Now, as it was a thousand years ago and as it will be a thousand years hence.

Truly, it is in darkness that one finds the light, so when we are in sorrow, then this light is nearest of all to us.

~Meister Eckhart~
German Writer and Theologian
1260-1328

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