In today’s culture, it seems many people lament not having spiritual experiences while others seek them in various ways by paying money for the privilege. The strange thing about our consumer culture is that everything we seek, from a spiritual perspective, is readily available in the Divine Nature that lives in us and the environments around us. When we take the time to sit deeply within this reality something wonderful is enlivened. A new beauty is discovered wherever we look and life becomes wonderful.
What is this wonder we’re speaking of and why don’t we see it more often? Why is it so difficult to see it in ourselves, our environments and in one another? How did we get it when we were children and lose it around age four or five? Where did it go? Do you remember the magic of being a young child? Can you recall delighting in the first flowers of Spring or being fascinated by the new buds that grew into leaves on what appeared to be dead trees? Are you still able to be awed by the wonder of Nature?
In my present day office I’m looking at a bare white wall with a stained glass rose hanging on it. On the desk is a small artificial tree, a lamp with three bronze birds and two miniature stone turtles sitting on the base of it along with an unpolished rock and a small feather. Why are these here? What prompted me to put them where I could see them everyday in this office? Could it be my need for wonder and my desire for awe that’s found in Nature? Could it be my need to remember the Essence of Life?
I’ve worked closely with people most of my life. I’ve also stayed close to Nature and it’s Essence most of my life. What I continue to recognize is that I’m more a part of Nature than apart from it. In fact, when I become aware that I’m too far apart from it, I have to engage it so I can remember how much I am a part of it even if it’s artificial icons on a wall or desk. It’s easy to get lost in the present day technologies and busy lifestyles that press us to do more, have more and want more. It’s also easy to be awed by Life!
The marvels of Nature in humans and all other beings continue to tug at my awareness for attention. I had to stop yesterday to see a fully flowered fruit tree, the first of the year. A few days ago I found myself sitting in awe with a young man in a coffee shop who was sharing epiphanies with me concerning his journey of awakening. Last week I met a young woman with three small children who was a victim of domestic violence yet was amazingly kind, gentle, caring and hopeful for what was to come.
The natural wonder of life is ever present. The secret is learning how to open ourselves to it. The call is to see through the veils that cloud our vision; to awaken to what grows trees, inspires bees, brings people to their knees, overcomes disease, prompts people to say please and thank you. Are we fearful of being overwhelmed by beauty, wonder and awe? Are we to busy to give attention to what brings life to life? Are we so cut off that we can no longer feel the energy of life beckoning us to New Life? Are we so blinded by the shiny objects of our own creation that we forget what is natural and free?
To be struck by the beauty and wonder of Nature, within and without, is to be touched by the Divine. It’s a gift that costs nothing but our attention and time. It touches the soul and fills the heart with reverence, understanding and peace. It’s the fire of Life that prompts us to relax, realign and release. This natural wonder is filled with wisdom and grace. It directs us to the depths of both outer and inner space. It invites us to begin again, to pursue truth and beauty; to remain childlike, to fulfill our sacred duty to love.
- Rethink what spirituality is for you. Ponder the reality of what we call God as being wherever you look, wherever you are, wherever you put your attention. Wonder at this loving companion presence and what it might mean if you’d give yourself to it. . . .
- When in conversations this week, focus on listening more than speaking. Remain within your inner Self while going out in thought, word and deed. Notice what happens.
- Meditate on the beauty that’s within and notice how it reflects the beauty around you. Become aware of how your perceptions color your perspectives and how your perspectives color your perceptions. What might this be saying to you? Hmm. . . .