by Sean M. Madden
Mindful Living Guide
January 1, 2007
(republished by United Press International's ReligionAndSpirituality.com on January 2, 2007)
The world, nature, is so precious.
We know this. But how often do we really stop and consider just how precious?
The myriad things we take for granted.
The deep blue sky and its subtle to total contrasts, from fleecy white to midnight black, a rainbow of possibilities in between.
The crescent moon, overhead, lighting our way. Its full orb rising over distant hills in the full light of afternoon, translucent against the blue.
The great pow of the sun bursting through the atmosphere. Onto the Earth and into our beings.
The photosynthesized green of the grass, the ten thousand other varieties of vegetation. The treetops. The mosses, and kaleidoscopic blossoms.
Rooks riding gusts of wind, like blackened debris sucked into a twister. A pair of seagulls gliding past and on high.
The bright-orange-breasted robin popping hither and thither within a hedgerow. The final flourish of the wren's upswept tail.
The wonder of the woodpecker at work. The hooting of sages unseen.
The very ground upon which we walk, and its infinite gradations. Huge, undulating waves. Flatlands. Craggy, snow-capped and high-desert mountains. Shifting desert sands. Sloshing fields wet with underfoot springs. Pine-needle-floored forests. Boot-high mudded pathways. Even winding, pot-holed and puddled farm tracks.
The clouds of winter midges. The solitary fox carving out its web of walkways, and the solitary New Year daisy bravely blossoming into treacherous times.
The celestial spiral and the movement of our very own bodies.
That feeling of being aware of every cell within, of each step we take, lifting, stepping, lowering.
The pastel setting of the sun, every hue a miracle.
The belly-breathing-in of the universe. The oxygen-enriched blood coursing through our veins. The cosmos literally becoming us, and we it. The macrocosm within the microcosm, and vice versa. The breathing out, the letting go, of our selves.
How very precious is this world.
Let us pause, stop and wonder. Let us recognize the environs entire within a square meter, a square foot, a thimble-sized bucket of earth. Let us take no moment, no thing, no creature, no fellow man, woman or child for granted.
This is, of course, a clichéd suggestion. Yet it is advice seldom practiced.
Let us, today, renew our commitment to our practice of living mindfully, wholly present to the magical world which we are so blessed to inhabit.
And let us exercise, fully, our powers to protect the ten thousand things on which life depends.
We have recently read that some bears have stopped hibernating. The icecap is melting. Species, even those we've yet to catalogue, are disappearing, no longer existing. Gone, today, the way of the dinosaur.
War is tearing us apart, our bodies, our lands, our homes, and our spirits. Our humanity is in tatters. The elements poisoned.
The world—we—are crying out for help, desperate to regain our footing, to be whole.
Sophia, wisdom, is softly whispering all we need to know. Let us, therefore, listen carefully. Let us look quietly, gently within. Let us stay ever-mindful of our breath, the source of life, self-awareness, compassion, and, thus, our salvation.
Is it so strange that that which sustains life should be life's greatest teacher?
Let us recognize that we are greater than our mindless chatter, much more than even our most profound thoughts.
Let us transcend the pairs of opposites; our dualities, concepts and false notions; and, our languages and the logic embedded within their strict structures.
Let us realize, finally, our interconnectedness, our inter-being, our integral oneness. Where differentiation dissipates, clarity and peace follow.
Let us embody peace. Be as one.
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Sean M. Madden is a UK-based American who guides himself and others in mindful living, meditation and writing. He blogs at Mindful Living Guide and iNoodle.com, and can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. © copyright 2007 by Sean M. Madden