You are not a stranger here…

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You didn’t come into this world, you came out of it, like a wave from the  ocean. You are not a stranger here.

Alan  Watts
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Arising and passing away…

last night's viewMay you enjoy the rainbows, or any pink clouds that come your way, even as they constantly change. May each bubble — the moments of life — arising and passing away, help open us to greater wisdom and love.

Sharon Salzberg

Fall in love with the earth…

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We need to wake up and fall in love with the earth.

Thich Nhat Hanh

We act like we have all the time in the world. But climate change is already showing its deadly effects. And it will only get worse.

Have a look at some of what we have done to the world so far.

“Without collective awakening the catastrophe will come,” warns Buddhist monk and Nobel Peace Prize winner Thich Nhat Hanh. “Civilisations have been destroyed many times and this civilisation is no different. It can be destroyed.”

But he is hopeful. “If we can produce a collective awakening we can solve the problem of global warming. Together we have to provoke that type of awakening.”

With the United Nations Conference on Climate Change in Paris meeting coming up (COP21), it’s  time to wake up, to fall in love with the earth and commit to doing everything we can to turn things around. We will have to make sacrifices — yes — and we need to make a leap.

Small steps will no longer get us to where we need to go. So we need to leap.

I, for one, have signed the Leap Manifesto. This is a vision for how Canada can tackle climate change in a way that changes our country for the better.

The Leap Manifesto is a non-partisan social and political initiative. Those who have signed include supporters of all parties, and some who support none. All share the belief that now is the moment for a transformative agenda to come from outside electoral politics. History tells us that this kind of outside pressure is the best gift any new government can receive.

Will you join us? Make your support your gift to your children, grandchildren and all future generations.

 

The essence of Thanksgiving…

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Gratitude is not a passive response to something given to us, gratitude is being awake in the presence of everything that lives within and without us. Gratitude is not something that is shown after the event, it is the deep, a priori state of attention that shows we understand and are equal to the gifted nature of life.

Gratitude is the understanding that many millions of things come together and live together and mesh together and breathe together in order for us to take even one more breath of air, that the underlying gift of life and incarnation as a living, participating human being is privilege, that we are part of something, rather than nothing. Even if that something is temporarily pain or despair, we inhabit a living world, with real faces, real voices, laughter, the color blue, the green of the fields, the freshness of a cold wind, or the tawny hue of a winter landscape.

To see the full miraculous essentiality of the color blue is to be grateful with no necessity for a word of thanks. To see fully, the beauty of a daughter’s face is to be fully grateful without having to seek a God to thank him. To sit among friends and strangers, hearing many voices, strange opinions; to intuit inner lives beneath surface lives, to inhabit many worlds at once in this world, to be a someone amongst all other someones, and therefore to make a conversation without saying a word, is to deepen our sense of presence and therefore our natural sense of thankfulness that everything happens both with us and without us, that we are participants and witness all at once.

Thankfulness finds its full measure in generosity of presence, both through participation and witness. We sit at the table part of every other person’s world while making our own world without will or effort, this is what is extraordinary and gifted, this is the essence of gratefulness, seeing to the heart of privilege.

Thanksgiving happens when our sense of presence meets all other presences. Being unappreciative means we are simply not paying attention.

David Whyte, 2013

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