Treasures of the Day – Choices of Focus

Blue Spot in Dark Sky with Dark TreesEach day has its treasures, each hour its wonders.  When I find myself in the mind swirl of things to do and stuff to worry about, I am choosing more often to find something wondrous to put into focus instead.

That wondrous thing/person/feeling is always there.

Always.

Refocusing is possible with….

-a long, sweet breath of thanks-giving, of gratitude for being here, alive, at this moment;

-absorption in naRaventure while saying thank you out loud.  Wait for it… The raven will grace you with a low fly-by, the trees will rustle and sing in the breeze, the sound of silence will illuminate the moment;

-a peek into a treasured book while watching for the uplifting words that will shine forward and then into your be-ing….

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These are tiny movements that create immersion into a calm and gratitude filled space.

Each day brings more learning in taking an active role in moment to moment happiness.

Deepening into the simple life.

 “In the attitude of silence the soul finds the path in a clearer light, and what is elusive and deceptive resolves itself into crystal clearness.”

-Mohandas K. Gandhi


“Smile, breathe and go slowly”

-Thich Nhat Hanh


Time out is a good thing. You can shift to Paradise in the next breath, and a sense of wellness and timelessness will be the wonderful result.

Cheryl Melody

Prism Over Trees

Dawn Comes After Night and Spring After Winter

 Nature’s peace and the knowing that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter, brings solace and serenity in all ways,

                        always…

 

“Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you Barn & Mountainas sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.”

-John Muir

Mountains with Driftwood“Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature – the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter.”

-Rachel Carson, Silent Spring

Swift Current at Sunset from Many Glacier

 

Holding on to Winter

It snowed all day today, March 10th.

This event was met with dismay by every other human that I know – but not by me!

Why can’t I get enough snow?  I’m not ready for winter to be over…

(I haven’t said this out loud to any other person).

Snow Caps in Pasture, MarchThe writer, Rick Bass
understands what snow can mean, does mean, to this human be-ing (me).  I was reading his Winter (notes from Montana) this afternoon as the big flakes fell steadily and silently down.

Continually. Rhythmically.  Silently. Magically.

Bass writes from his perspective as a native Texan of his first Montana winter and his immersion in snow:

“I’ll never get used to snow – how slowly it comes down, how the world seems to slow down, how time slows…                                       I don’t mind the cold. The beauty is worth it”.

“I watch individual flakes;  I peer up through the snow and see the blank infinity from which it comes;                                                    I listen to the special silence it creates.”

“I stand outside in the snow for long periods of time, in the middle of it, looking out:  I cannot believe I am so rich,              getting all this snow….                                                                        Everything’s so quiet.”

“It’s more like an afterlife.  I never dreamed I would live in a hard country away from people, with such quietness.”

Snow & Deck, March

Re-reading, then typing his words, helps me to understand why I’m hanging on to winter and to snow.  I crave more of that special silence, that feeling of richness, that comes in the sweetness of falling flakes and under the snow blanket they create.  Even with the slowing of time, the season went so quickly, too fast.

Spring will come and I will relish the unearthing and the rebirth all ‘round.  But not yet.  For a few more days let me feel all the depth, serenity and solitude of winter.

Exuberance (Joie de vivre!)

This precious life… can we live it with passion, fullness, exuberance, gratitude and grace?

and at transition’s time move forward with that same passion, fullness, exuberance, gratitude and grace?

“Exuberance is beauty.”

                                                                                      -William Blake

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“For all that has been,

Thank you.

For all that is to come,

Yes!”

-Dag Hammarskjold

January 6 Rainbow

“Oh Wow, Oh Wow, Oh Wow!”

-Steve Jobs (his last words)

Full Moon, Venus & Mars

 

For the Love of Bears – A Gallery of Photos

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*Click onto any single image for a full sized version – then navigate with arrows to see all in full size…

I am enamored of bears.  For as long as I can remember there’s been a love affair, a fetish, a respect, an honoring.

It’s a wondrous, humbling, mystical, and magical experience to see bears in the wild – living large and well, wild and free.

Berry Pickin' Bear
Berry Pickin’ Bear

“If you talk with the animals they will talk with you and you will know each other. If you do not talk to them, you will not know them, and what you do not know, you will fear. What one fears one destroys.”
– Chief Dan George

Bear Profile

“The grizzly is a symbol of what is right with the world.”
– Charles Jonkel

Grizzly Bear Running

“Bears are not companions of men, but children of God, and His charity is broad enough for both. Yet bears are made of the Shy Bearsame dust as we, and breathe the same winds and drink of the same waters. A bear’s days are warmed by the same sun, his dwellings are overdomed by the same blue sky, and his life turns and ebbs with heart-pulsings like ours and was poured from the same fountain…”
– John Muir

Bear Bottom

“Grizzly bears are the true monarchs of the wilderness. As a predator at the top of the food chain and an indicator species, they are a symbol of a healthy ecosystem. Where they roam undisturbed by humans, wilderness exists. By preserving grizzlies in the wild, we also preserve the habitat they need to survive. Grizzlies are ninety-nine percent gone from the lower forty-eight states as compared to populations from a century ago. Keeping these animals as a part of the natural ecosystem is healthy for all species, including humans.”
– Grizzly Discovery Center (www.grizzlydiscoveryctr.com)

Bear Peaking Through Fence, Polebridge

Juxtaposition

“Words are a pretext.

It is the inner bond that draws one person to another,

not words.”

Rumi

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“…as human beings we all need affection. 

Warm-heartedness gives rise to the self-confidence

and inner strength

that supports a calm mind.”

Dalai Lama

The timeless words from Rumi, along with the recent words from the Dalai Lama, create a word tapestry for the photo from Bhutan that is featured at the top of this blog post.  This spontaneous moment was caught in time as the foursome sat on the bench overlooking the peaceful valley below – two travelers and two young monks – not so far distant in heart – drawn to each other by the view and each other.

Ah…Bhutan, where “success” is tracked by virtue of happiness.
In thinking of a simpler life, Bhutan is ever present in memory from travels there.

Young Monks

Since, 1971 the country uses formal principles of GNH – that’s Gross National Happiness!  Encompassing the citizen’s health in spirit, in body, in their communities, in social interactions and in the health of the natural environment, gross national happiness is fundamental and foremost to all decision making – material growth is not the focus.

Well Be-ing.

The sweet embrace of the people, the green verdant valleys, the beautiful carved wood of the homes, the matriarchal way of life, the unabashed celebration of life and fertility, the music and temples, all combined to imbue in me a deep and abiding love for Bhutan that I will hold close forever.DSC_0464

Simple life indeed.

Deeply satisfying.

The gallery below holds a few more photos from Bhutan that I hope will bring you a sense of peace, beauty and simplicity…

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Calm So Deep

“Here is calm so deep, grasses cease waving. . . .

Wonderful how completely everything in wild nature

fits into us, as if truly part and parent of us.

The sun shines not on us but in us.

The rivers flow not past, but through us, thrilling, tingling,

vibrating every fiber and cell of the substance of our bodies,

making them glide and sing.

The trees wave and the flowers bloom in our bodies as well as

our souls, and every bird song, wind song, and tremendous

storm song of the rocks in the heart of the mountains is our

song, our very own, and sings our love.”

John Muir

Santa Rock

 

Winter Zen

“The quieter you become, the more you are able to hear”

Bare Treesfor Project

“No snowflake ever falls in the wrong place”

These are Zen proverbs that  I could endlessly revisit,  falling ever deeper into meaning.Leaf

 

Meditative absorption.

Direct understanding.

The Zen of Winter.

Branch on the Ground

“To the mind that is still the whole universe surrenders”

Lao Tzu

“Music in the soul can be heard by the universe”

Stones

“To attain knowledge,

add things every day. 

To attain wisdom,

remove things every day.” 

Lao Tzu

Wood in Fence

Reflections from the Mirror

“When you want only love

you will see nothing else”

Perfect Reflection Lake McDonald

I have this quote by my bedside (from A Course in Miracles).   When I use the love eyes this quote evokes my day is transformed – my eyes are seeing from my heart…

How much of what we “see” is a reflection of ourselves?

Lake-Reflections-Lake-McDonald

 “There are two ways of spreading light …
To be the candle, or the mirror that reflects it.”

Edith Wharton

“The experience of bliss will give you an insight into the very phenomenon of beauty. Not only does it make you beautiful, it suddenly transforms the whole world. The whole world becomes beautiful because the world reflects you, it is a mirror.”

-osho

…”beauty is life when life unveils her holy face.
  But you are life and you are the veil.
  Beauty is eternity gazing at itself in a mirror.
  But you are eternity and you are the mirror”

Kahlil Gibran

Lake McDonald Reflections, January