Quotes Bibliography Links
Spirituality Walking Gardening Druids Cloud Hands Blog
Research by Michael P. Garofalo
"The road enters green mountains near evening's dark;
Beneath the white cherry trees, a Buddhist temple
Whose priest doesn't know what regret for spring's passing means-
Each stroke of his bell startles more blossoms into falling."
- Keijo Shurin
"Experiencing the present purely is
being empty and hollow;
you catch grace as a man fills his cup under a waterfall."
- Annie Dillard
"When we touch this domain, we are
filled with the cosmic force of life itself, we sink our roots
deep into the black soil and draw power and being up into ourselves. We know the energy of the
numen and are saturated with power and being. We feel grounded, centered, in touch with the
ancient and eternal rhythms of life. Power and passion well up like an artesian spring and
creativity dances in celebration of life."
- David N. Elkins, The Sacred as Source of Personal Passion and Power
Mysticism - Quotes and Poems for Gardeners and Lovers of the Green Way
"There are sacred moments in life when we
experience in rational and
very direct ways that separation,
the boundary between ourselves and other people and between ourselves and Nature, is illusion. Oneness
is reality. We can experience that stasis is illusory and that reality is continual flux and change on very
subtle and also on gross levels of perception.
- Charlene Spretnak
"And every stone and every star a
And every gale of wind a curious song.
The Heavens were an oracle, and spoke
Divinity: the Earth did undertake
The office of a priest; and I being dumb
(Nothing besides was dumb) all things did come
With voices and instructions..."
- Thomas Traherne, Dumbness, 17th Century
"If not ignored, nature will cultivate
in the gardener a sense of
well-being and peace. The gardener may
find deeper meaning in life by paying attention to the parables of the garden. Nature teaches quiet lessons to the gardener who chooses to live within the paradigm of the garden."
- Norman H. Hansen, The Worth of Gardening
mountains are so compactly filled with God's beauty, no petty personal hope or experience
has room to be . . . . the whole body seems to feel beauty when exposed to it as it feels the campfire or
sunshine, entering not by the eyes alone, but equally through all one's flesh like radiant heat, making a
passionate ecstatic pleasure glow not explainable. One's body then seems homogeneous throughout,
sound as a crystal."
- John Muir
Quotes and Poems for Gardeners and Lovers of the Green Way
"A monk asked Zhaozhou, "What is the living meaning of
Zhaozhou said, "The oak tree in the courtyard."
- Case 37 from the Mumonkan (Wumenguan) Collection of Zen Koans
The Oak Tree in the Courtyard
"Beyond its practical aspects, gardening -
be it of the soil or soul - can lead us on a
philosophical and spiritual
exploration that is nothing less than a journey into the
depths of our own sacredness and the sacredness of all
beings. After all, there must be something more mystical beyond the garden gate, something that
soul's attraction to beauty, peace, solace, and celebration."
- Christopher and Tricia McDowell, The Sanctuary Garden, 1998, p.13
Cortesia Sanctuary and Center
"When I would re-create myself, I seek
the darkest wood, the thickest and most interminable and to the citizen,
most dismal, swamp. I enter as a sacred place, a Sanctum sanctorum. There is the strength, the marrow, of Nature."
- Henry David Thoreau, Walking, 1851
Religion - Quotes and Poems for Gardeners and Lovers of the Green Way
"We invent nothing, truly. We borrow
and re-create. We uncover and discover. All has been given, as the
mystics say. We have only to open our eyes and hearts, to become one with that which is."
- Henry Miller
"God does not die on that day
when we cease to believe in a personal deity, but we die when our lives cease to
be illuminated by the steady radiance, renewed daily, of a wonder, the source of which is beyond all reasoning....
When the sense of the earth unites with the
sense of one's body, one becomes earth of the earth, a plant among
plants, an animal born from the soil and fertilizing it. In this union, the
body is confirmed in its pantheism."
- Dag Hammarskjold (1905-1961)
Spirituality - Quotes and Poems for Gardeners and Lovers of the Green Way
"Of course the Dharma-body of the
Buddha was the hedge at the bottom of the garden. At the same time, and no less obviously, it was these flowers, it was anything that I - or rather the blessed Not-I - cared to look at."
- Aldous Huxley
"We will endeavour to shew how the
aire and genious of Gardens operat upon humane spirits towards virtue and
sancitie, I meane in a remote, preparatory and instrumentall working. How Caves, Grotts, Mounts, and irregular
ornaments of Gardens do contribute to contemplative and philosophicall Enthusiasms; how Elysium, Antrum,
Nemus, Paradysus, Hortus, Lucus, &c., signifie all of them rem sacram et divinam; for these expedients do
influence the soule
and spirits of man, and prepare them for converse with good Angells; besides which, they contribute to the lesse
abstracted pleasures, phylosophy naturall and longevitie."
- John Evelyn in a letter to Sir Thomas Browne, 1657
"Sure as the most
certain sure .... plumb in the uprights,
well entreated, braced in the beams,
Stout as a horse, affectionate, haughty, electrical,
I and this mystery we stand.
Clear and sweet is my soul .... and clear and
sweet is all
that is not my soul,
Lack one lacks both .... and the unseen is
proved by the seen
Till that becomes unseen and receives proof in its turn.
To elaborate is no avail .... Learned and
unlearned feel that it is so."
- Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass, 1855, Line 40-
"Flower in the crannied wall
I pluck you out of the crannies
I hold you here, root and all, in my hand.
Little flower, but if I could understand,
What you are, root and all, and all in all,
I should know what God and man is."
- Alred Tennyson, Flower in the Crannied Wall
"What I know in my bones is
that I forgot to take time to remember
what I know. The world is holy. We are holy.
All life is holy.
Daily prayers are delivered on the lips of breaking waves, the whisperings of grasses, the shimmering
- Terry Tempest Williams
Trees - Quotes and Poems for Gardeners and Lovers of the Green Way
"The Tao exists in the crickets ... in
the grasses ...
in tiles and bricks ... and in shit and piss."
- Chuang-tzu, The Roaring Stream: A New Zen Reader, p. 117
"In the assemblies of the enlightened ones there have been many
cases of mastering the Way bringing forth the
heart of plants and trees; this is what
awakening the mind for enlightenment is like. The fifth patriarch of Zen
was once a pine-planting
wayfarer; Rinzai worked on planting cedars and pines on Mount Obaku.
with plants, trees, fences and walls, if they practice sincerely they will attain
- Dogen Zenji, Japanese Zen Buddhist Grand Master, Awakening the Unsurpassed Mind, #31
"A callused palm and dirty fingernails
precede a Green Thumb.
Complexity is closer to the Truth.
Sitting in a garden and doing nothing is high art everywhere.
Does a plum tree with no fruit have Buddha Nature? Whack!!
The only Zen you'll find flowering in the garden is the Zen you bring there each day.
Dearly respect the lifestyle of worms.
All enlightened beings are enchanted by water.
Becoming invisible to oneself is one pure act of gardening.
Priapus, lively and naughty, aroused and outlandish, is the Duende de el Jardin.
Inside the gardener is the spirit of the garden outside.
Gardening is a kind of deadheading - keeping us from going to seed.
The joyful gardener is evidence of an incarnation.
One purpose of a garden is to stop time.
Leafing is the practice of seeds.
Good weather all the week, but come the weekend the weather stinks.
Springtime for birth, Summertime for growth; and all Seasons for dying.
Ripening grapes in the summer sun - reason enough to plod ahead.
Springtime flows in our veins.
Beauty is the Mistress, the gardener Her salve.
A soul is colored Spring green.
When the Divine knocks, don't send a prophet to the door.
Winter does not turn into Summer; ash does not turn into firewood - on the chopping block of time.
Fresh fruit from the tree - sweet summertime!
Gardens are demanding pets.
Shade was the first shelter.
One spring and one summer to know life's hope; one autumn and one winter to know life's fate.
Somehow, someway, everything gets eaten up, someday.
Relax and be still around the bees.
Paradise and shade are close relatives on a summer day.
Absolutes squirm beneath realities.
The spiders, grasshoppers, mantis, and moth larva are all back: the summer crowd has returned!
To garden is to open your heart to the sky."
- Michael P. Garofalo, Pulling Onions
"I, the fiery life of divine
essence, am aflame beyond the beauty of the meadows, I gleam in the waters, and
I burn in the sun, moon, and stars .... I awaken everything to life."
- Hildergard of Bingen
came to me a delicate, but at the same time a deep, strong and sensuous enjoyment of the beautiful green
earth, the beautiful sky and sun; I felt them, they gave me inexpressible delight, as if they embraced and poured
out their love upon me. It was I who loved them, for my
heart was broader than the earth; it is broader now than
even then, more thirsty and desirous. After the sensuous enjoyment always come the thought, the desire: That I
might be like this; that I might have the inner meaning of
the sun, the light, the earth, the trees and grass, translated
growth of excellence in myself, both of the body and of mind; greater perfection of physique, greater
perfection of mind and soul; that I might be higher in myself."
- Richard Jefferies, The Story of My Heart
"And I have felt
A presence that disturbs me with the joy of elevated thoughts;
a sense sublime
Of something far more deeply interfused,
Whose dwelling is the light of setting suns,
And the round ocean, and the living air,
And the blue sky, and in the Mind of man;
A motion and a spirit, that impels
All thinking things, all objects of all thought,
And rolls through all things."
- William Wordsworth, Tintern Abbey
Seasons - Quotes and Poems for Gardeners and Lovers of the Green Way
"The best remedy for
those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quiet,
alone with the heavens, nature and God.
Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be and that God
wishes to see people happy, amidst the simple beauty of nature. As long as this
exists, and it certainly always will,
I know that then there will always be comfort
for every sorrow, whatever the circumstances may be. And I firmly
believe that nature brings solace in all troubles.
- Diary of Anne Frank
"The first act of awe, when
man was struck with the beauty or wonder of Nature, was the first spiritual experience."
- Henryk Skolimowski
"Whenever learners or those beyond learning awaken the mind, for the
first time they plant one buddha-nature.
Working with the four elements and five
clusters, if they practice sincerely they attain enlightenment. Working
trees, fences and walls, if they practice sincerely they will attain enlightenment.
This is because the
four elements and five clusters and plants, trees, fences and walls
are fellow students; because they are of the
same essence, because they are the same mind
and the same life, because they are the same body and the same
- Dogen Zenji, Japanese Zen Buddhist Grand Master, Awakening the Unsurpassed Mind, #31;
Translated by Thomas Cleary, Rational Zen: The Mind of Dogen Zenji
"I circle around God, the primordial
and I circle ten thousand years long;
and I still don't know if I'm
a falcon, a storm,
or an unfinished song."
- Rainer Maria Rilke
"Some keep the Sabbath going to Church,
I keep it staying at Home–
With a bobolink for a Chorister,
And an Orchard, for a Dome."
- Emily Dickinson, No. 324, St. 1, 1862
"In wilderness people can
find the silence and the solitude
and the noncivilized surroundings that can connect them
once again to their evolutionary heritage, and through an
experience of the eternal mystery, can give them a sense
of the sacredness of all creation."
- Sigurd Olson (1899-1982)
Simplicity - Quotes and Poems for Gardeners and Lovers of the Green Way
"Man becomes aware of the Sacred
because it manifests itself, shows itself, as something wholly different from
the Profane ... In his encounters with the Sacred, man experiences a reality that does not belong to our world
yet is encountered in and through objects or events
that are part of the world.
- Mircea Eliade
"The deeper we look into
nature, the more we recognize that it is
full of life, and the more profoundly we know
that all life is a secret
and that we are united with all life that is in nature. Man can no
longer live his life for himself
alone. We realize that all life is
valuable and that we are united to all this life. From this
knowledge comes our
spiritual relationship with the universe."
- Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965)
ears were made, not for such trivial uses as men
are wont to suppose, but to hear celestial sounds.
were not made for such groveling uses as
they are now put to and worn out by, but to behold
beauty now invisible.
May we not see God? ...
When the common man looks into the sky, which
he has not so much profaned, he thinks
it less gross
than the earth, and with reverence speaks of "the
heavens," but the seer will in the same sense speak of
"the Earths," and his Father who is in them."
- Henry David Thoreau, A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers
"A few minutes
ago every tree was excited, bowing to the roaring storm, waving, swirling, tossing their branches in glorious enthusiasm like worship. But
though to the outer ear these trees are now silent, their songs never cease. Every
hidden cell is throbbing with music and life, every fiber thrilling like harp strings,
while incense is ever flowing from the balsam bells and leaves. No wonder the hills
and groves were God's first temples, and the more they are cut down and hewn
into cathedrals and churches, the farther off and dimmer seems the Lord himself."
- John Muir
Common Characteristics of Extrovertive
From Mysticism and Philosophy, W. T. Stace (Jeremy P. Tarcher, Inc., 1960), p. 79
"1. The unifying vision, expressed
abstractly by the formula "All is One." The One is, in
mysticism, perceived through the physical senses, in or through the multiciplicity of objects.
2. The more concrete apprehension of the One as being an inner subjectivity in all things, described
variously as life, or consciousness, or a living Presence. The discovery that nothing is "really" dead.
3. Sense of objectivity or reality.
4. Feeling of blessedness, joy, happiness, satisfaction, etc.
5. Feeling that what is apprehended is holy, or sacred, or divine. This is the quality that gives rise
to the interpretation of the experience as being an experience of "God." It is the specifically religious
element in the experience. It is closely intertwined with, but not identical with, the previously listed
characteristic of blessedness and joy.
7. Alleged by mystics to be ineffable, incapable of being described in words, etc."
Flowers - Quotes and Poems for Gardeners and Lovers of the Green Way
"Crape myrtle, brilliant red, bursting forth;
Hiding the garden.
Some days, only the Garden, entire, serene;
Yet, hiding from sight, shy, single plants.
Seeing Both, seldom, but as One:
Sweat poured from my startled brow,
Dripping on the dry earth,
And all became Sunshine
And shadows of surprise unraveling."
- Michael P. Garofalo, Above the Fog
"Via positiva has been outlined so far with no reference to spiritual teachers or traditions. We will come to some of the older spiritual traditions before long, but in this section we will look at Nature Mysticism and how it illuminates the via positiva. The term Nature Mysticism was coined by scholars of religion when attempting to account for the mysticism of 19th century writers like Walt Whitman, Henry Thoreau and Richard Jefferies.
Nature Mysticism starts from the premise that Nature is not just good, but can be a spiritual teacher. The Nature Mystic does not agree with Tennyson's characterization of Nature as 'red in tooth and claw', but, by patient observation and contemplation of the natural world sees predation and death as a small but vital element in the whole pattern. This pattern is joyous and benign, despite the presence of suffering. Again, it is a question of proportion. Most living entities are free of pain up to the moment of death, which is of a very sort duration in compared with the life-span. We can say that while all living entities are food eventually for other living entities, Nature arranges this in such a way that minimizes suffering, a view that does however require a maturity and an ability to accommodate the act of predation without flinching.
In jnani terms, the Nature Mystic loses the narrow sense of self by identifying with Nature as a whole. This means that the quality of eternity that the jnani aspires to is found in Nature as a self-renewing principle. Individual life-forms of necessity flourish and die, and the eternal creativity of Nature in fact depends on it. (A world where nothing died could contain no creativity — remember also that 'creature' has the same root as 'creative').
Nature Mysticism and via positiva
both require an aesthetic sense, which is no means universally present in people
of any period in history. If one finds no beauty in Nature, or in human beings,
then there is nothing to counterbalance the undeniable suffering that is woven
into the fabric of existence, and the argument put forward here that suffering
represents a small fraction of human experience carries little weight."
- Nature Mysticism
"Although the place of nature mysticism
in existing taxonomies of mysticism will be explored later on, it is worth
introducing at this point the distinction, widely held to be useful, between
via positiva and via negativa. Via negativa is the more easily
defined of the two: it is the path to mystical union via the denying of all
manifest things. The work of Dyonisius the Areopagite is perhaps the best
example in a Western context, but the same principles are found as far afield as
in branches of Hinduism ('neti, neti' meaning 'not this, not that' is its Indian
formulation); in Buddhism (in the very concept of nirvana or
nothingness); and in modern sages like Krishnamurti and Douglas Harding. Via
negativa carries with it associations of withdrawal, solitude,
contemplation, silence, simplicity, and renunciation, though these are often
caricatured, as in the supposed Christian 'heresy' of quietism.
Via positiva is the path of expansion, a growing capacity to lose boundaries and temporality until one becomes the Whole. Perhaps the best exponent of this path is Whitman (though as this may be an unfamiliar proposition, it will be defended in more detail below). One might more readily recognise via positiva in an ecstatic like Rumi or Kabir. Clearly nature mysticism will be more readily associated with via positiva than via negativa, but it does not in the least require one aspect common in via positiva: the devotional orientation, or at least not a theistic devotion.
The distinction between via positiva and via negativa is a difficult one, and even more so the relationship between this distinction and those between bhakti and jnani, heart and intellect, love and awareness, and theistic and monistic mysticism, and so on. All of these are useful signposts however."
- Mike King, Nature Mysticism
"I did however used to think,
you know, in the woods walking, and as a kid playing the the woods, that there was a kind of
immanence there - that woods, a places of that order, had a sense, a kind of presence, that you could feel; that there was something peculiarly, physically present, a feeling of place almost conscious ... like God. It evoked that."
- Robert Creely, Robert Creely and the Genius of the American Common Place (Tom Clark), p. 40
"What is divinity if it can come
Only in silent shadows and in dreams?
Shall she not find in comforts of the sun,
In pungent fruit and bright, green wings, or else
In any balm or beauty of the earth,
Things to be cherished like the thought of heaven?
Divinity must live within herself:
Passions of rain, or moods in falling snow;
Grievings in loneliness, or unsubdued
Elations when the forest blooms; gusty
Emotions on wet roads on autumn nights;
All pleasures and all pains, remembering
The bough of summer and the winter branch,
These are the measures destined for her soul."
- Wallace Stevens, Sunday Morning, 1915
"Speaking of today, I do not consider it
intellectually respectable to be a partisan in matters of religion.
I see religion as I see other basic fascinations as art and science, in which
there is room for many
different approaches, styles, techniques, and opinions. Thus I am not
formally a committed member
of any creed or sect and hold no particular religious view or doctrine as
absolute. I deplore missionary
zeal, and consider exclusive dedication to and advocacy of any particular
religion, as either the best or
the only true way, as almost irreligious arrogance. Yet my work and life
are fully concerned with
religion, and the mystery of being is my supreme fascination, though, as a
shameless mystic, I am
more interested in religion as feeling and experience that as conception and
- Alan Watts, In My Own Way, p. 61, 1972
beginning this journey inward, we must clarify its nature. There is a frequent
misunderstanding of the journey inward or the spiritual path, which suggests to
most people a rejection of the natural world, the mundane, the practical, the
pleasurable. On the contrary, to a yogi (or indeed a Taoist master or Zen monk)
the path toward spirit lies entirely in the domain of nature. It is the
exploration of nature from the world of appearances, or surface, into the
subtlest heart of living matter. Spirituality is not some external goal that
one must seek be a part of the divine core of each of us, which we must reveal.
For the yogi, spirit is not separate from the body. Spirituality, as I have
tried to make clear, is not ethereal and outside nature but accessible and
palpable in our very own bodies."
- B.K.S. Iyengar, Light on Life, 2005, p. 18
"All finite things reveal infinitude:
The mountain with its singular bright shade
Like the blue shine on freshly frozen snow,
The after-light upon ice-burdened pines;
Odor of basswood upon a mountain slope,
A scene beloved of bees;
Silence of water above a sunken tree:
The pure serene of memory of one man,--
A ripple widening from a single stone
Winding around the waters of the world."
- Theodore Roethke
"I believe that the universe is one being,
all its parts are different expressions of the same energy, and they
in communication with each other, therefore parts of one organic whole.
(This is physics, I believe,
as well as
religion.) The parts change and pass, or die, people and races and rocks
and stars; none of
them seems to me
important it itself, but only the whole. The whole is in all its
parts so beautiful, and is
felt by me to be so
intensely in earnest, that I am compelled to love it, and to think of
it as divine. It seems
to me that this whole
alone is worthy of the deeper sort of love; and that there is peace,
freedom, I might
say a kind of salvation, in
turning one's affections outward toward this one God, rather
than inwards on
one's self, or on humanity, or
on human imaginations and abstractions - the world of the
- Robinson Jeffers, 1934
"So will I build my altar in the
And the blue sky my fretted dome shall be,
And the sweet fragrance that the wild flower yields
Shall be the incense I will yield to thee."
- Samuel Taylor Coleridge
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Spirituality and Gardening
"The supernatural is the natural not
- Elbert Hubbard
"Everything is fruit to
me which thy seasons bring, O Nature,
from thee are all things, in thee are all things, to thee all things return."
- Marcus Aurelius
"What a difference! What a difference!
Raise the blind, and see the world!
If someone asks me to tell him what my religion is
I raise my hossu and strike his mouth."
- Chokei, 853 - 932
"There is religion in everything around us, a calm and holy religion in the unbreathing things in Nature. It is a meek and blessed influence, stealing in as it were unaware upon the heart. It comes quickly, and without excitement; it has no terror, no gloom. It does not rouse up the passions. It is untrammeled by creeds. It is written on the arched sky. It looks out from every star. It is on the sailing cloud and in the invisible wind. It is among the hills and valleys of the earth where the shrubless mountain-top pierces the thin atmosphere of eternal winter, or where the mighty forest fluctuates before the strong wind, with its dark waves of green foliage. It is spread out like a legible language upon the broad face of an unsleeping ocean. It is the poetry of Nature; it is that which uplifts the spirit within us and which opens to our imagination of world of spiritual beauty and holiness."
"The summer breeze was blowin' on your
Within your violet you treasure your summery words
And as the shiver from my neck down to my spine
Ignited me in daylight and nature in the garden
And you went into a trance
Your childlike vision became so fine
And we heard the bells inside the church
We loved so much
And felt the presence of the youth of
Eternal summers in the garden."
- Van Morrison, Album: No Guru, No Method, No Teacher,
Song: In the Garden
"Even before I could speak, I
remember crawling through blueberry patches in the wild meadows on our
I quickly discovered Nature was filled with Spirit; I never saw any separation
between Spirit and Nature.
Much later I discovered our culture taught there was supposed to be some kind of
that God, Spirit and Nature were supposed to be divided and different. However, at my early age it
seemed absolutely obvious that the church of the Earth was the greatest church of all; that the temple
of the forest was the supreme temple. When I went to the sanctuary of the mountain, I found Earth's
natural altar - Great Spirit's real shrine. Years later I discovered that this path of going into Nature,
bonding deeply with it, and seeing Spirit within Nature - God, Goddess, and Great Spirit - was
humanity's most ancient, most primordial path of spiritual cultivation and realization."
- John P. Milton, Sky Above, Earth Below
Lakota was a true Naturist-a lover of Nature. He loved the earth and all things
of the earth, the attachment growing with age. The old people came literally to
love the soil and they sat or reclined on the ground with a feeling of being
close to a mothering power. It was good for the skin to touch the earth and the
old people liked to remove their moccasins and walk with bare feet on the sacred
earth. Their tipis were built upon the earth and their altars were made of
earth. The birds that flew in the air came to rest on the earth and it was the
final abiding place of all things that lived and grew. The soil was soothing,
strengthening, cleansing and healing."That is why the old Indian still sits upon
the earth instead of propping himself up and away from its life-giving forces.
For him, to sit or lie upon the ground is to be able to think more deeply and to
feel more keenly; he can see more clearly into the mysteries of life and come
closer in kinship to other lives about him..."Kinship with all creatures of the
earth, sky and water was a real and active principle. For the animal and bird
world there existed a brotherly feeling that kept the Lakota safe among them and
so close did some of the Lakotas come to, their feathered and furred friends
that in true brotherhood they spoke a common tongue. . The old Lakota was
wise. He knew that a man' s heart away from Nature becomes hard; he knew that
lack of respect for growing, living things soon led to lack of respect for
humans too. So he kept his youth close to its softening influence."
- Chief Luther Standing Bear, Lakota Sioux (born 1868)
"Thanks to a severely under-funded and poorly planned skiing trip, I was sleep-deprived and probably hypoglycemic that morning in 1959 when I stepped out alone, walked into the streets of Lone Pine, Calif., and saw the world — the mountains, the sky, the low scattered buildings — suddenly flame into life. There were no visions, no prophetic voices or visits by totemic animals, just this blazing everywhere. Something poured into me and I poured out into it. This was not the passive beatific merger with “the All,” as promised by the Eastern mystics. It was a furious encounter with a living substance that was coming at me through all things at once, too vast and violent to hold on to, too heartbreakingly beautiful to let go of. It seemed to me that whether you start as a twig or a gorgeous tapestry, you will be recruited into the flame and made indistinguishable from the rest of the blaze. I felt ecstatic and somehow completed, but also shattered. Of course I said nothing about this to anyone. Since I recognized no deities, and even the notion of an “altered state of consciousness” was unavailable at the time, I was left with only one explanation: I had had a mental breakdown, ultimately explainable as a matter of chemical imbalances, overloaded circuits or identifiable psychological forces. There had been some sort of brief equipment failure, that was all, and I determined to pull myself together and put it behind me, going on to finish my formal education as a cellular immunologist and become a responsible, productive citizen. It took an inexcusably long time for me to figure out that what had happened to me was part of a widespread category of human experience. Some surveys find that nearly half of Americans report having had a mystical experience."
"1. Ineffability (inability to capture the experience in
2. Noetic quality (the notion that mystical experiences reveal an otherwise hidden or inaccessible knowledge).
3. Transiency (the simple fact that mystical experiences last for a relatively brief period of time).
4. Passivity (the sense that mystical experiences happen to someone; that they are somehow beyond the range of human volition and control).
5. Unity of opposites (a sense of Oneness, Wholeness or Completeness).
6. Timelessness (a sense that mystical experiences transcend time).
7. A feeling that one has somehow encountered “the true self” (a sense that mystical experiences reveal the nature of our true, cosmic self: one that is beyond life and death, beyond difference and duality, and beyond ego and selfishness)."
- Drawing on his personal experiences and research into mysticism, Douglas W. Shrader writes in 2008 about the "Seven Characteriestis of Mystical Experiences."
"1. Sleep Deprivation
2. Binaural Beats [Drumming, Synthesized Sound Tracks, New Age Music]
3. Hypnagagic Induction
5. Isolation Tanks
8. Clary Sage Bath
9. Staring at a Candle
10. Inversions - Legs Above Head"
- Ten Ways to Alter Your Consciousness Without Drugs by Randofo
Alchemy and Mysticism: The Hermetic Museum. By Alexander Robb. Taschen, 25th Edition, 2006. 575 pages. ISBN: 3822850381.
An Integral Theory of Consciousness By Ken Wilbur. 81K+. A summary of the "the four quadrants' of existence: intentional, behavioural, cultural and social."
Cloud Hands Blog
Corpus Epochalis: Mysticism, Body, and History By Calin Mihailescu. A historical review of the role of the body in Western mystical, religious, and philosophical writings. 79k+.
One Old Druid's Final Journey
Earthy Mysticism: Spirituality for Unspiritual People. By Tex Sample. Abingdon Press, 2008. 104 pages. ISBN: 0687649897.
Emily Dickinson's Nature Mysticism: A Photo Poetic Labyrinth
Google Mysticism Links
A Guide to Nature Spirituality Terms By Selena Fox
In Nature's Honor: Myths and Rituals Celebrating the Earth. By Patricia Montley. Boston, Skinner House Books, 2005. Index, 379 pages. ISBN: 155896486X. VSCLC.
Journey Into Nature: A Spiritual Adventure. By Michael J. Roads. H. J. Kramer, 1990. 216 pages. ISBN: 0915811197.
Life and Works of Richard Jefferies (1848-1887) Biography, Quotations, Links
Months and Seasons
Quotes, Poems, Sayings, Verses, Lore, Myths, Holidays
Celebrations, Folklore, Reading, Links, Quotations
Information, Weather, Gardening Chores
Compiled by Mike Garofalo
Listening to Nature: How to Deepen Your Awareness of Nature. By Joseph Bharat Cornell. Photographs by John Hendrickson. Dawn Publications, 1995. 95 pages. ISBN: 0916124355.
Months, Seasons: Quotes, Poems, Sayings, Lore, Myths
Mysticism: The Nature and Development of Spiritual Consciousness. By Evelyn Underhill. One World Pubs, 1999. 544 pages. ISBN: 1851681965.
Mysticism in World Religions "Mysticism is concerned with the nature of reality, the individual's struggle to attain a clear vision of reality, and the transformation of consciousness that accompanies such vision. This web site site explores the mystical traditions of six religions by comparing and contrasting quotations drawn from their respective literatures." Provides a good phenomeno-logical approach to mysticism by organizing quotes under the following topics: "Distinguishing ego from true self, understanding the nature of desire, becoming unattached, forgetting about preferences, not working for personal gain, letting go of thoughts, redirecting your attention, being devoted, being humble, invoking that reality, and surrendering." A well organized, broad minded, and content rich web site produced by Deb Platt.
The Mysticism of Annie Dillard's "Pilgrim at Tinker Creek." 35K
Mysticism Resources Page A meta-guide of links and references to philosophers and religious mystics. Pointers to web sites and an excellent list of tools for scholarship in the subject. Informative annotations for selected links. Excellent resource!! Prepared by Gene R. Thursby, Ph.D.
Mysticism Texts A fine collection of e-texts of important mystical writings in many religious traditions.
Nature Mysticism An essay on the writings of Henry David Thoreau. 56K. Part VI of a longer essay presented by The Thoreau Society and Walden Woods.
Nature Mysticism By Larry Gates. 31K. Good basic introductory essay with many good quotes.
Nature Mysticism. An fine essay by Mike King. Nature mysticism in the writings of Thomas Traherne, Walt Whitman, Richard Jefferies and Krishnamurti. The essay provides an excellent overview of the thoughts of Evelyn Underhill, Richard Zaehner, William James, and others about nature mysticism. A well researched and very insightful three part essay. Very good notes, references, and bibliographic work. 150K+.
Nature Mysticism. By John Edward Mercer (1857-1922), Bishop of Tasmania. 353KB, Text.
Nature Mysticism By Michael P. Garofalo. Quotations, poems, sayings, links and bibliography.
Nature Mysticism: Google Search
The Nature Mysticism of John Muir A short article by Larry Gates. 10K
Nature Mysticism in Tradition, Scripture and the World Christian ecology. 20K.
Nature Spirituality: Google Search
Nature Spirituality: Native American
One Old Druid's Final Journey: Notebooks of the Green Wizard
Pantheism - Wikipedia
Pantheist Association for Nature Definitons, bibliography, quotes, links.
Pilgrim at Tinker Creek By Annie Dillard. Harper Perennial Modern Classics, Reissue Edition, 2007. 304 pages. ISBN: 0061233323.
Places of Peace and Power The Sacred Site Pilgrimage of Martin Gray. A very interesting Links section, outstanding bibliography, and fine photographs.
Rational Mysticism: Spirituality Meets Science in the Search for Enlightenment. By John Horgan. Mariner Books, 2004. 204 pages. ISBN: 061844663X.
Reading to Uplift a Gardener's Spirits. The Spiritual and Psychological Aspects of Gardening. A Bibliography. By Michael P. Garofalo. 66Kb+.
Religion and Gardening By Michael P. Garofalo. 100Kb+. Quotes, sayings, poems, and many links.
The Sacred Circle. By Michael P. Garofalo. Quotes, poems, links, bibliography, photographs, and notes on creating a sacred circle at the Valley Spirit Center in Red Bluff, California. 140Kb+.
Sacred Earth Network
The Sacred Garden: Soil for Growing the Soul. By Patricia R. Barrett. Morehouse Publishing Company, 2000. 144 pages.
The Sanctuary Garden: Creating a Place of Refuge in Your Yard or Garden By Christopher Forrest McDowell and Tricia Clark-McDowell. Line illustrations by Tricia Clark-McDowell. Watercolors by Hanna Yoshimura. New York, Simon and Schuster, A Fireside Book, 1998. 188 pages, suggested readings. A beautiful, inspirational, and delightful book!
Seasons: Quotes, Poems, Sayings, Lore, Myths
Silvan's Glade: Mysticism and Nature A variety of useful links.
The Simultaneous Mountain: Essays on Mysticism and Poetry. By Victor M. Depta. Blair Mountain Press, 2005. 270 pages. ISBN: 0976881705.
Spinoza Spinoza's Writings Baruch Spinoza (1632--1677)
The Spirit of Gardening Over 3,400 quotes, poems, quips and sayings for lovers of the gardening, gardens, and the Green Way. Arranged by over 140 topics. Over 6 MB of text. Religion, Spirituality, Time, Trees.
The Spiritual Naturalist An extensive website presented by Larry Gates. Honoring traditions that encourage a soulful relationship with nature.
Spirituality and Gardening By Michael P. Garofalo. 120K+. Quotes, sayings, poems, and many links. Part I (Quotes). Part II (Quotes + Links).
Stages and States By Ken Wilbur. A long essay on mystical states of consciousness.
The Story of My Heart By Richard Jefferies. London, MacMillan St Martin's Press, 1968. Originally published in 1883. (e-book format)
Taoism Links, Bibliography, Resources, Quotes. By Michael Garofalo. 110Kb.
Edward Thomas (1878 - 1917)
Three Mystical States Dr. H. 9Kb.
Universal Pantheist Society
Valley Spirit Center Red Bluff, California
Who's Who in the History of Western Mysticism. By Bruce B. Janz. 68Kb.
The Woman at Otowi Crossing By Frank Waters. Revised Edition. Athens, Ohio, Swallow Press, Ohio University Press, 1966, 1987, 1997. Foreward by Barbara Waters. Introduction by Thomas J. Lyon. xvi, 314 pages. ISBN: 0804008930. Ms. Helen Chalmers operates a small restaurant at Otowi Crossing, near Los Alamos, New Mexico, during the 1940's and 1950's. She lives a simple life, works hard, and is profoundly influenced by her mystical experiences, visions, and frightening premonitions. Her day to day economic and social life is affected by the scientists and support teams working on secret nuclear research and the development of atomic weapons at Los Alamos. Her lifestyle is greatly influenced by the local native Indians and their ancient culture and beliefs, Hispanics, and the dramatic landscape of New Mexico. Ultimately, her mysical visions dramatically revise her sense of self, her values, and her sense of being in a sacred place. This novel is based some of the real life experiences of Edith Warner.
Yahoo Mysticism Index
More Quotes for Gardeners
Green Way Blog
Pulling Onions: Observations of a Gardener
By Michael P. Garofalo
The History of Gardening Timeline From Ancient Times to the 20th Century
Quotes, Sayings, Proverbs, Poetry, Maxims, Quips, Clichés, Adages, Wisdom
A Collection Growing to Over 3,500 Quotes, Arranged by 140 Topics
Many of the Documents Include Recommended Readings and Internet Links.
Over 6 MB of Text.
Compiled by Michael P. Garofalo
Distributed on the Internet by Michael P. Garofalo, 2004-2013
I Welcome Your Comments, Ideas, Contributions, and Suggestions
E-mail Mike Garofalo in Red Bluff, California
A Short Biography of Mike
Last updated on May 8, 2015
This document was first published on the Internet WWW on January, 2004.