I liked the solitude and the silence of the woods and the hills. I felt there the sense of a presence, something undefined and mysterious, which was reflected in the faces of the flowers and the movements of birds and animals, in the sunlight falling through the leaves and in the sound of running water, in the wind blowing on the hills and the wide expanse of earth and sky.
— Bede Griffiths (Source: Bede Griffiths: An Introduction to His Interspiritual Thought)
Just as God speaks to us through the words of scripture, so God speaks to us through the elements of creation. The cosmos is like a living sacred text that we can learn to read and interpret. Just as we prayerfully ponder the words of the Bible in Christian practice, and as other traditions study their sacred texts, so we are invited to listen to the life of creation as an ongoing, living utterance of God.
— J. Philip Newell from Christ of the Celts: The Healing of Creation
Words stand between silence and silence: between the silence of things and the silence of our own being. Between the silence of the world and the silence of God. When we have really met and known the world in silence, words do not separate us from the world nor from other men, nor from God, nor from ourselves because we no longer trust entirely in language to contain reality.
— Thomas Merton from Thoughts In Solitude
We depend on nature not only for our physical survival. We also need nature to show us the way home, the way out of the prison of our minds. We got lost in doing, thinking, remembering, anticipating; lost in a maze of complexity and a world of problems. We have forgotten what rocks, plants and animals still know. We have forgotten how to be – to be still, to be ourselves, to be where life is: here and now.
— Eckhart Tolle from Stillness Speaks
In Praise of Hands
It’s not just the people
who live in the city
who’ve lost the thread
that ties them to the woven
world of stones and earth,
fields alive with pollen and wings.
Who among us understands
how oceans rise and fall,
currents swirling around the planet
with messages in bottles
floating on the water.
When the tide is out
we can go to the shore
dig clay with our bare hands
and make something beautiful from it,
a vessel with thin walls
that holds a canyon.
In both hands, like an offering,
we can hold the memory
of eroded stones and earth,
eons contained in this empty bowl.
We can fill it with water
that reflects the sky that has
witnessed everything since
time began, we can drink and be blessed,
clouds gathering over us.
— Stuart Kestenbaum from Prayers & Run-on Sentences