Tag Archives: spiritual

The Thin Place

via Daily Prompt: Thin

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Photo: My thin places are the bush: A walk trail near Bridgetown.

The ancient Celts believed that there were places one could go where people and the spirit world could touch. The Celtic influence on Christianity was such that this belief carried over, that the veil between heaven and earth was thin or transparent. The barrier between human and the divine were almost non-existent. For the ancient Celts these places were mostly forrest groves, but in other cultures they are rivers, billabongs, monoliths, mountain-tops, caves and more.

Not the same, but related in some aspects, the Australian Indigenous peoples created songlines, which trace the creation of the land, the fauna and lore, by ancestral spirits. Indigenous Australians used the songlines as navigation paths, for social connection, cultural knowledge – especially coming to know the flora and fauna, the availability of water, the types of seasons, and how it all came to be. Songlines are places to touch the past and the present.

My thin places are in the bush, these are liminal, threshold places, where the mind transcends the ordinary, where the soul is restored, where the heart is lifted, and the eyes are filled.

Thin places might be Angkor Wat, Machu Picchu, Uluru, Chartres Cathedral, the Pyramids, the Himalayas, the stars, meditation, music, art, and more, places or experiences of place that awaken the soul to something more, something outside the self, something veiled but near. Whether or not this is a spiritual experience or a transcendence of some other kind, thin places are restorative, they are places of contemplation, places of beauty, awe, play, rest, and renewal. We all need thin places, we will know them differently, but we will know them. They are treasures to fill the soul.

John O’Donohue wrote: “When you begin to sense that your imagination is the place where you are most divine, you feel called to clean out of your mind all the worn and shabby furniture of thought. You wish to refurbish yourself with living thought so that you can begin to see.”

Paul,

pvcann.com

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Filed under bush walking, Country, history, life, mindfulness, nature, religion

Get a Perspective

via Daily Prompt: Above

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There’s something about being on top of a mountain, or even just a rise. The views can be eyecatching, if not stunning. There’s something even more about being high enough to be in the clouds, it’s an ethereal experience. The air is cooler, the mist turns to rain, the clouds swirl as the wind pushes against the mountain, apart from the birds, the wind and rain, there is no noise, no unnatural noise. And, if there’s a gap in the cloud, you can see for miles. It’s a totally different perspective to the ground level view.

The ancients liked to think that mountains were close to their deity, the mountains reached up to the heavens, so they must be sacred places of meeting between gods and people. The people of Israel had a special affinity with Mt. Sinai where Moses received the content of the ten commands. For the ancient Greeks Mt. Olympus was the home of the Greek Gods, and Mt. Athos was the holy mountain. In Tibet Mt. Kaillash is sacred, for the Incas it was Macchu Picchu, in Japan Koya-san is sacred, in Australia Uluru is sacred, and in New Zealand it is Mt. Taranaki. There are many more, and there isn’t a geographical region that doesn’t have a sacred mountain, such that it would suggest that the ancients felt a deep spiritual connection with certain mountains, and the fact that this crosses over every culture and continent is significant.

Mountains are places for reflection, meditation, you can also clear your head. So for me there is a mindfulness about being up a mountain, or a rock or a rise. And it speaks to perespective, how we see something in overview, as oposed to ground level view where everything is foreshortened and not so visisble. Being above ourselves in a mindful observing way, might give us perspective on our growth, our goals, behaviour and so on. Being above community in a mindful observing way might give us a better perspective on our relationships, what might be really happening, we might see potential, possibility, and gain a sense of hope.

There is also the opportunity to put ourselves in perspective simply by the sheer disparity in our own smallness in comparison to the height of the rise, and the vast plains below. So in that sense, we can prevent ourselves from literally getting above ourselves in a negative sense, and maintain a balanced perspective of self and life. Take an overview from above, and get a different perspective.

Paul,

pvcann.com

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Filed under bush walking, environment, life, nature, religion, Spirituality

The Great Sparse Land

via Daily Prompt: Meager

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North-east of Leonora, and skirting the western edge of the Great Victoria Desert, one gets a clear visual of this great sparse land. Some people think of deserts as just sand dunes, which means they have watched too many old movies. Deserts may be sparse in places, and survive on meager annual rainfall, but they are not just a vast expanse of sand dunes. We’re a rugged country, and our deserts are indeed sparse in places, but they are also alive with life, rugged flora and fauna. One good downpour before spring and the whole place erupts in colour and life. Tadpoles appear in isolated rock pools, flocks of birds appear, Kangaroos breed up, plants seed new plants, insects multiply. For some this is too rugged, too isolated, but for me it is a place of renewal, and the rugged nature of the bush is a helpful challenge to my anthropocentric ways, a blunt confrontation with ego. It is also deeply spiritual, this is a liminal and numinous place.

Paul,

pvcann.com

 

 

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

Penchant for the Bush

via Daily Prompt: Penchant

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Music,chocolate, red wine, a definite penchant for these and more, but my real penchant is the bush. It’s where I’m most whole, where I’m most centered, where I feel I can breathe, body, mind and spirit. I find the bush deeply moving and deeply spiritual. For me it is a relational thing, this living breathing stuff is part of me and I am part of it. It is also one of my muses, and it gets my creative juice flowing. A day in the bush, a week on a trail, camping, bush walking, whatever, restorative and energising.

Paul

pvcann.com

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Visceral

via Daily Prompt: Visceral

 

What moves you? The gut is where we feel it, hence the connection of viscera or gut tissue with feelings. Injustice, grief, injury, insult, passion, joy, love. Music, art, poetry. Nature. All visceral because we have a gut response. The Greeks had a wonderfully expressive word for it splanchna (σπλαγχνα), which to my ear sounds like a word for guts. Say it a few times and you’ll get the same feeling I’m sure.

Many things move me. I have music that transports me to other dimensions, art that evokes many responses, poetry that I dearly love, photos that help me re-member (to member back together the body of knowledge), relationships that speak love without actually speaking.

I am also deeply saddened by pain and hurt in  my life and in the world. The plight of refugees, the ever abiding issue of debilitating and alienating poverty, racism, sexism, classism, and ismism. The many stories of brutalised people bring tears.

One of the more visceral joys for me is to spend time with Lyn and friends taking in the Australian bush. I wonder how many of you find the bush somehow, perhaps difficult to put into words, spiritual or life-giving?

The bush for me is smells, colours, textures, even visceral in its own gutsyness, yet also its fragility. It is place to recover, refresh, rediscover and reframe. I feel healthier, more aware, more myself, after days in the bush.

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The Photo shows part of Jindalee (Giles Breakaway), it was a wonderful time there, and one to revisit. I hope you have a favourite place to go to.

pvcann.com

 

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Filed under Alt-Religion, life, nature