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Archive for May, 2012

Some grownups tend to be obsessed with making a living rather than making a life. They become preoccupied with having a reason for doing whatever they do. Children need no reason. Life is the reason. Thus children can more easily live from the center, from the heart. It is a purer kind of living. It is living in the moment.

— Macrina Wiederkehr, The Circle of Life, p. 129

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Children teach us

The best teachers to help us enjoy summer are little children. They do not yet work in offices. They do not own calendars with tasks crying out to be done. I love to see the parks fill up with young life each summer. The children’s return to the earth is a good example for their elders. And so, when school is out, summer’s children swarm the streets, parks, pools, lakes, and campsites. I am joining them for a day, lest I grow old before my time.

– Macrina Wiederkehr, The Circle of Life, p. 128

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Today I’ve come out from behind my walls, away from my office. It is summer, and in spite of the heat I feel strangely happy. Instead of writing this in an air-conditioned office, I have chosen to be outside where summer’s breath insists that I drink from the cup of reality. As I sit here in this large earth sauna, in the shade of my favorite sycamore tree, I am suddenly aware of how I have distanced myself from nature. As I listen to summer’s call, I discover that I have lost a part of myself behind walls. I have been housed too well. Walls have made me a stranger to the earth. My office sometimes makes me feel more important than I am, and I lose sight of essentials. One of those essentials is touching the earth. Summer invites me to plant my feet upon it again.

— Macrina Wiederkehr, The Circle of Life, p. 128

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Living in peace

“We came to the forest to live a more real life, a more truthful life,” Grandmother Maria Alice explains. “That comes from working with the land and respecting nature. Planting seeds, harvesting, finding the wood for our fires is not easy and can create many hardships, but the struggle is what ultimately makes us happy. Being in this forest has finally made me happy to live on the Earth. I am so grateful to be able to live in harmony with all the creatures and talk with the plants and clouds and rivers. And then to share this with others and live in this healing process with all of nature; I feel blessed.”

— Carol Schaefer, Grandmothers Counsel the World, p. 73

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Everything is sacred, the Grandmothers remind us. And at the seed of everything is relations.

That anyone is really separate from anyone else or anything that is happening in the world is an illusion, they say. This is true for all the kingdoms of nature, as well as for humanity. Every time a tree is felled in the Amazon, a tree in Africa responds.

“It has taken scientists until the twentieth century to prove what we’ve known since time out of mind,” says Grandmother Agnes: “That we are all connected.”

— Carol Schaefer, Grandmothers Counsel the World, p. 145

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Solid education

Education, Grandmother Tsering reminds us, is not about acquiring some kind of talent or positive quality. It is about creating and educating a positive mind with good motivation. Education is about making good people. The core of education in the Tibetan culture is not about the outside, but about the inside of a person’s being.

— Carol Schaefer, Grandmothers Counsel the World, p. 150

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When a spiritual approach is taken toward an illness, even an insect bite that leads to malaria is an opportunity for a deeper spiritual awareness of the self. The illness becomes an opportunity for purification and a chance to learn more about our own spirit, our past, and transformations that are still needed. Illness can be an opportunity to learn who we are at the most profound levels, Grandmother Maria Alice explains, even to learn not to identify with our race or nationality or sex, but to know the meaning of “I Am,” our true essence. Ultimately, she says, all of humanity is trying to remember that.

— Carol Schaefer, Grandmothers Counsel the World, p. 199

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