Tag Archives: awareness

The Clock Has Tocked

Exemplary – Word of the Day

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Rachel Carson (1907 – 64) (Photo: post-gazette.com) Carson was a marine scientist whose most known public work was “Silent Spring” (1962), a clarion call for humanity to address their impact on nature. In particular, Silent Spring is an investigation into pesticides. Carson wrote: “They should not be called “insecticides” but “biocides.” Rachel Carson, Silent Spring, p. 189.

“We stand now where two roads diverge. But unlike the roads in Robert Frost’s familiar poem , they are not equally fair. The road we have long been travelling is deceptively easy, a smooth superhighway on which we progress with great speed, but at its end lies disaster. The other fork of the road – the one less travelled by – offers our last, our only chance to reach a destination that assures the preservation of the earth.” Rachel Carson, Silent Spring p. 277.

Carson was an exemplar of both environmental awareness and activism as a scientist and writer.

 

The Clock Has Tocked

The old grandfather clock in the hallway is ticking,
but there’s no one to note the passing of the hour,
they’re everywhere else in this big old house,
in rooms of self,
halls of bustle,
where the carpets are dusty and threadbare,
the varnish no longer present to the wood,
and the paint so sallow.
Things should have been fixed long ago,
but our will wasn’t urgent to the task.
Grandad’s monocle popped when the quotes came in,
and we gave up,
preferring the pleasured, anaesthetised life.
Had we ventured to the hallway,
and listened closely,
we’d have known that the clock had tocked its last.
The eleventh hour cried to us,
but we mocked its melodrama,
and bargained that Chronos would let us slide,
and all the while our house is falling,
falling down upon us.

©Paul Vincent Cannon

Paul,

pvcann.com

19 Comments

Filed under chemicals, environment, history, life, Link, mindfulness, nature, poetry, quote, Science

Nature Rejuvenates

Rejuvenate – Word of the DayIMG_3048.jpg

Redbank Gorge, the beauty of carved rock and the body of water, life abundant.

When were you last on the trail? When did you last encounter nature? When did you last stroll a lake, the park, or the beach? When did you last smell a fresh blossom or admire the lush leaf cover of a tree? When did you last appreciate the movement of water or wind?

It may be that nature doesn’t do it for you, but I can say without a doubt that nature rejuvenates me, body, mind and soul. To smell the air, unlike urban air, unlike carbon infused air, is refreshing. To bask in the warth of the unimpeded glow of the sun is refreshing. To hear the sound of water lapping a shore or singing over rocks is refreshing. To hear and feel the sound of rain, wind, thunder, hail is refreshing. To hear the curlew, owl, honeyeater or magpie is refreshing. Somehow all these things stir my soul, open my eyes – the eyes of my heart. I live in awe of the beauty, but also the depth of nature to speak into my life differently to buildings, concrete, politics, conflict, ego, machinery, drudge, stress … Nature is unpredictable (in the main), uncontainable, it is its very own and no other. Nature is owned by no one, and speaks for itself without agenda. It is truly free to include me (if I am willing of course) and release me through its freshness, its beauty, its uncomplicated relational way of being, and its overwhelming gift of humilty and vulnerability are priceless.

Whether it be birdsong, crickets, cicadas, or the sight of fish in the water, a tortoise on a mission, a kangeroo escaping, or a dolpin in conversation, nature has an impact on my daily being. Nature can be my solace, my meditation, my prayer, my friend, my antibiotic, my next breath …

Nature is something that brings me youthfulness, breath, a sense of being, an awareness of the present moment, and understanding of otherness and a sense of self. Nature is where I refresh, recharge, reframe. In nature I rejuvenate, I am new, playful, differently aware. I hope you are too.

Old branches reach up
ravaged by wind and sun
birds sing me life

©Paul Cannon

Paul

pvcann.com

36 Comments

Filed under bush walking, Haiku, life, mindfulness, nature

Time Will Tell

Epiphany – Word of the Day

 

Gillian Welch: Time the Revelator

Aha!

That’s my simple explanation to anyone who wants to understand an epiphany, the moment something is revealed, when the penny drops or the dots are connected. The classic reference is, of course to the series of revelations of Jesus as Messiah in the gospel, and hence the liturgical season of Epiphany to celebrate these revelations.

It was taken and used in literature as personal revelation in matters from the mundane to the profound. The mystic Julian of Norwich, who wrote her “Revelations of Divine Love” in 1395 (reputedly the first known published work by a woman) reveals a series of spiritual epiphanies, perhaps the most often quoted being: “All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well.” A profound awareness.

James Joyce polularised the term in his autobiographical work Stephen Hero and in Portrait of the Arrtist as a Young Man, in which he would refer to times when he’d had a deep realisation, or when something manifested more clearly to him.

I really like how Gillian Welch plays with the idea of time as a revelator (see video), as the giver of epiphany, how living and engaging, reflecting and looking back, helps make sense of change and life now. Whereas for Dylan God is the revelator and judge, for Welch Time is. For Welch, time will tell!

I think my first epiphany was that I was part of the fabric of the universe. I freaked my parents out when I was four, I was regularly caught sitting on the window ledge of the second story window where my bedroom was. But I couldn’t help it, the moon and the stars captivated me and held me prisoner in wonderment. Going backwards, I later discovered the world when a maternal uncle gave me a large world wall map to gaze on and realised there was so much that constituted life. And incidentally, I think that order of learning has deeply affected me, because I go to the universe first and the world second.

More recently epiphany is related to my meditation and the contemplative. I never cease to be amazed, even by dew drops on grass! And I’m strangely warmed and satisfied by that.

The whole point of epiphany is that it comes to you, you can’t make it, but you can facilitate it – simply by taking time, time to observe, to engage, to listen, to feel, to receive, to attend.

Paul,

pvcann.com

30 Comments

Filed under life, Literature, meditation, mindfulness, music, Spirituality

You Give Me Fervour

Fervour – Word of the Day

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When the bush comes alive it is with fervour! The colour is rich and varied, the smell is glorious, the hum of insects and the sound of birds is divine. We are currently in winter here, this was taken a few years ago in spring in the eastern wheatbelt after the rains had been the best for a number of years. Hoping the rains are good this year so that we get a repeat of these wildflowers.

Seasons come and go, in order, and generally predictable. But our personal inner seasons are nothing like that. I’ve had long internal winters which have given rise to colourful, intense springs of growth. I’ve had long summers of basking in joy and contentment. I’ve had autumns where transition and change have prepared me body, mind and soul for new experiences. They never come in order, they are never fixed in duration, they are unpredictable. If they were, then life would be dull.

Our inner seasons are indicative of our lived reality, the stuff of relationships, love, joy, pain. It is the complexity of body, mind and soul as a receptor of a multiplicity of experiences. It is gift and loss. It is the giddyness of aspiration, and the sober nature of graft and heft. It is our senses open and engaged. None are negative. Winter is essential, a season of withdrawing, waiting, refreshing, washing, grieving gives way to spring. Winter waters spring. As we befriend our inner winters, we become wiser, integrated, stronger for the journey. Without rain there is no blossom, no juice. As we rejoice in our summers we store up memories that give back to us over a lifetime. Each season is lived and embodied, a respository of awareness. Nothing is lost. Each one gives me fervour, fervour for life, love and purpose.

Currently I’m in an autumnal time of reflection and revision and I’m seeking that next step into spring. I wonder where you are at?

dark clouds surround 
the rain falls inside of me
cherry blossom glows

©Paul Cannon

Paul,

pvcann.com

24 Comments

Filed under bush walking, Haiku, life, mindfulness, nature, seasons

Observe, Notice, Be Mindful

via Daily Prompt: Observe

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A tree growing from the rock at Billycatting nature reserve, perhaps a bird or the wind took the seed there? This was further along a side trail along the rock, and not immediately evident. I only noticed it when I stopped and really looked.

And that’s it really. Observation or noticing is one of the ways we become mindful of our immeditate environment, how we attend to living in the present moment. Observing or noticing is to stop and take note, to absorb our surrounds, to focus on what is immediately around us, to take in  and soak up what is there, in front of us.

Of course, that way of being mindful is applicable on the micro and well as the macro level. It can be externalities or internal to us. To be mindful of our feelings is to notice what is going on inside of us, and to work with those feelings non-judgmentally, but especially to know that feelings are just feelings and are not descriptive of who we actually are, and can be worked through, enough to change the negatives. Working with our feelings is crucuial to our growth and development, especially our mental health. We can get trapped in negative feelings and feel that we will never escape them, but sometimes this is simply a rut we have entered and which needs diverting. Mindmaps can be helpful and unhelpful, but we participate in their design and existence, we are not passive victims who are hostage to our feeelings or our circumstances. In essence, we can rewire the brain, we can train the the brain. It works by experiencing change and not in knowing about change. But it begins with awareness, observing, being mindful. As Einstein once said: “Nothing happens until something moves.”

Below: Dr. Dan Siegel on neuroplasiticity.

One of my ways of observing myself and my environ, my experiences, is through meditation. Meditation is a brain changer anyway. The deeper the engagement of meditation the deeper the latent observation that arises afterwards. But even sitting having coffee somewhere, to intentionally notice what is going on within and without oneself is powerful.

There is a problem at the moment with any discussion about mindfulness, different groups believe they have a truth or a way. Some have gone down a pure clinical mind path, others have developed exclusive spiritualities, others, a science only approach, as if they’re all mutually exclusive. Which is ironic, because binaries are hardly mindful! Mindfulness, true to itself, belongs to no one, and is for everyone, and is a mix of all those things, that’s what makes it so potent.

Paul,

pvcann.com

13 Comments

Filed under bush walking, life, mindfulness, nature, quote, self-development, Spirituality

Just Typical

via Daily Prompt: Typical

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A typical south coast scene, no whales to see though.

I wonder when you last refelcted on what is your typical pattern, your typical day, your typical behaviour (of which you’d best ask others opinion, as we’re a little blind to our quirks sometimes)? When was the last time you reviewed what is typical? The question is not aimed at getting you to change, just simply to become aware. On the other hand, who knows, maybe it’s time to change something(s). Could be anything, from social media habits, to one’s personal morning or evening regime, relationship patterns. It could be addressing blind spots, relationship black spots, or attending to awareness.

For me it has been to slow down my typical social media output and participation time, to set aside the news feeds (and the negativity) over the past two years.

Lyn and I participated in the Gottman Institute’s 30 day marriage challenge, a series of challenges to patterns and thinking and blind spots, a wonderful refreshment and conversation that has been deeply enriching for both of us. One of the outcomes has been to reorder our typical day which was in dire need of change. Not everyone can live in my chaos.

My intentional spiritual path is Christian (within the contemplative path) and for the great fast of Lent I chose to start simplifying my life by stripping out some of the collected detritus of life. I am a typical hoarder. I didn’t want to go hard core like the Minimalist Guys on a set scale, but to meander and ponder my way through it. So far so good, clothes, trinkets, books, have all been culled. Haven’t done that in years and felt great to lose some of that weight.

For me, reflecting on my typical patterns and processes has not only been productive and helpful, it has refreshed and invigorated my life, an, I have a new awareness of myself and those around me.

Paul,

pvcann.com

16 Comments

Filed under life, love, mindfulness, minimalism, nature, Philosophy/Theology, religion, self-development, Spirituality

Meditation: the static life

via Daily Prompt: Static

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I really like and need meditation, I like its many forms too. Static mediation, sitting and focussing on breathing and being faithful to my mantra is my main form, and brings me joy. But another way of mediation I love is, as I have written before, is the use of the labyrinth, which can take any form or way you like. But no matter the form, the walking clearly isn’t static, and yet, the movement of the body acts like a mantra, it enables focus through rhythm. And so stasis, or the slowing of the inner self is possible. For me it is one of the greatest forms of prayer. It is mentioned in all the great traditions, and not least non-religion, and including Christianity, which surprises some, and is a point of dialogue and connection across beliefs. For me it is a greater connection with being and spirit, a sense of wholeness. It is said that meditation is a form of maturity in prayer, it is the setting aside of agendas and attending to awareness.

In the christian tradition, the antecendents of modern meditation are found in the lives of the desert fathers and mothers, those who formed commnities in the deserts of North Africa, the Middle East, and Syria. Their emphasis was on silnece, and contemplative prayer forms. I love the following quote from one abba Arsenius: “Why, words, did I let you get out? I have often been sorry that I have spoken, never that I have been silent.” which reminds me of Monty Python and a scene from the Holy Grail where God rails against the noise of “all those miserable psalms.” The point being that endless repetition without mindfulness dulls us.

I’m not sure where you’re at, or what you think of meditation, but what I do know is that the world could do with a bit more silence each day, a little more thought for the other, a little more engagement with becoming rather than just doing. A little more stasis would be good all round.

Paul,

pvcann.com

24 Comments

Filed under Alt-Religion, community, kayaking, labyrinth, meditation, Spirituality

Cherish

Cherish

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There are so many things I cherish, I could be writing for weeks. But one in particular stands out (and which would be no surprise to readers of this blog), and that is the bush. The open road is always calling me, and I cherish the opporunity, time, and experiences that come with it. there is never a dull moment, and there is plenty of time to reflect and attend to what needs to be attended to. In fact, my experience of the bush is that it raises the things I need to atend to, it opens me up and enables me to be vulnerable, observant, and reflective. Awareness, that’s worth cherishing.

Paul,

pvcann.com

12 Comments

Filed under bush walking, Country, life, nature, Spirituality

Faint

via Daily Prompt: Faint

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There we were at Uluru, and in a part I hadn’t been to previously some years ago. There was, and not uncommonly, an overhang or shelter in the rock, and on the surface of the shelter there was this faint art work, which is ancient. I just cannot remember the meaning of this particular piece (others will remind me), but in every way it holds a significance and beauty I cannot put into words – you had to be there to experience it. What moves is the age, the simplicity (in my perception), the depth of meaning behind the simplicity, and just the simple fact that here I was, in 2017, close to this work which was ancient. Who had communicated this, what was it like, what did it say about them. However, the author of this work would probably ask no such questions. For me it was faint and faded but precious. And a faint call that turned to a roar,  of something about relationship, otherness, community, and life through time. Life in presence, attention and awareness. Strange how something faint, something beyond my experience, could be so profound and powerful.

Paul,

pvcann.com

6 Comments

Filed under art, Country, history, life, Philosophy/Theology, Spirituality, Uluru 17