Wednesday, July 12, 2006

John Muir: Nature Mysticism

[Ray Rasmussen: Jasper National Park]

I found this quote here, a good collection of quotes and haiku on nature mysticism.

A few minutes ago every tree was excited, bowing to the roaring storm, waving, swirling, tossing their branches in glorious enthusiasm like worship. But though to the outer ear these trees are now silent, their songs never cease. Every hidden cell is throbbing with music and life, every fiber thrilling like harp strings, while incense is ever flowing from the balsam bells and leaves. No wonder the hills and groves were God's first temples, and the more they are cut down and hewn into cathedrals and churches, the farther off and dimmer seems the Lord himself.

~John Muir

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Mike said...

That's a beautiful quote, Bill. If only we still our minds and listen, truly listen, to the world around us, we might be blessed with an experience that the great naturalists like Muir and Thoreau had every day.

william harryman said...

Hi Mike,

Thanks for the comment. I've been thinking about exactly what you wrote since visiting Zion last week.

When Kira and I were up in the woods on a trail, or when I hiked into the Narrows, I could literally feel the sacredness of the land, feel it like energy radiating up through my body. It was amazing.

It made me realize how plugged into my daily life I get here. I don't make time to be in nature enough, to stay in touch with that divinity. The less I do get into nature, the more ungrounded I become, even with meditation practice and everything else.

The last week has been rough, trying to get back into my routine and resisting it every step of the way.

I need to rethink my routine.


Mike said...

I have to really thank you for this post, Bill. I've been a bit ungrounded as of late, my mind being too hyperactive for its own good, trying to keep solving interesting problems when it really needs to relax and rest, especially in meditation. I think you've hit on it - I've been away from nature for too long. Granted, I play beach volleyball 3-4 times per week, so I'm always facing large Lake Michigan, but it's not the same as being in a secluded wilderness, surrounded not by water, sand, sun, and sunbathers, but by water, sand, sun, trees, and animals. I have a vacation coming up in September that I'm really looking forward to. But I think I will have to make time in the meantime to take a few nice quiet walks by the beach, and sit and watch the water, and meditate in that environment. Thanks so much for reminding me of how much I have missed that. And you're right, as important as meditation is, it is no replacement for being in nature. The Buddha showed us the way, living in the forest. Now, if I could only hook up a dsl connection in my forest... :)

william harryman said...

Sounds like a great plan.

I'm a bit limited by my work schedule and the fact that you can't go outside while the sun is out without suffering heat stroke (108 today).

Still, on weekends I can go to the canyon near my house and get in a walk among saguaros, ocotillos, coyotes, rabbits, a nice creek (which smells great in the desert), and some amazing rock formations.

Take care,