Sunday, 20 April 2014

The Peace of Wild Things

I was walking through town earlier with a visiting friend when we passed under an enormous cherry blossom tree. 

We both stopped and looked up, smiling at the pink immensity of it, the heavy bunches of blossom all buzzing with life.

We had been catching up on each others lives, on the ups and downs of the past few months. There was a shared sense of facing difficulties and choosing to stay positive, knowing that our attitude determines how long difficulties stick around.

The cherry blossom tree felt like the reward for this attitude. It was the tree version of loving-kindness, the well-wishing for ourselves and others. It gave freely of it's beauty.

The truth is that love, peace, happiness and freedom cost nothing and are accessible in any moment. Just as nature never sends us an invoice, so all the wonderful states of mind are free and immediate. 

It is our bad habit of over-complicating things and fighting with reality that keeps us from this bounty. Yes, life is sometimes awful and cruel, but what are you going to do about it? Spin round with the chaos or stand still and see clearly that you can help there be more peace in the world. 

Every moment has this potential for change...

Sit still, become aware of your breath. Notice how body sensations and emotions come and go. Wish your self well. Wish others well, even people you don't like. 

Let yourself enter the peace of wild things.


The Peace of Wild Things
by Wendell Berry

When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children's lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

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