Essays and Other Writing
You are not the self you know. Look at your
The self you know is smoke. You are the living flame of life.
In addition to the essays here, you can read The
Natural Contemplative Blog. Podcast
versions of some of these essays are also available as well
as some older essays.
"Contemplative ecology reunites these two domains, which
are really one domain in the first place: the inner and the
outer, the psychological and the social, the spirit and the
body, the human and the natural, the self and the world, desire
and economics, cognitive bias and politics, the way the mind
works and the way all natural systems work. "
"Contemplative ecology is a nonviolent revolution: inner and outer, psychological and societal, spiritual and material."
"This is the contemplative revolution, a fundamental change
of perspective, a complete reorientation, giving up the illusion
of control and allowing the inexplicably real to live and breathe
within us and around us."
"That is what repentance meant to me: a fundamental change of orientation, in which everything that was false was thrown away."
"Remembering the stillness at the heart of our own lives
reunites us with everything."
"Who am I in reality, as opposed to who or what I think
I am or think I should be?"
"Which will win your heart: the predictable and rather
shabby entertainments of the mind, or life itself in all its
wild, dancing, utterly mysterious actuality?"
"They call us to lay hold of what really matters..."
"For the body is one, and has many members."
" I think the most critical thing, and it can and must
happen right alongside all the practical things that need to
be done, is to turn and face yourself very honestly."
"Most books about seals say nothing about their singing
abilities. And I think scientists have been a little slow to
accept the fact that seals sing beautiful tunes in the air.
That is because the seals seem to be a little choosy about their
"Love knows how to surround hate in a way that neither
frightens it back into the depths, nor adds to its force. But
this love arises of its own accord."
"I lose track of myself again, and a way that feels like
no way clears before me, and I return to a home I never knew
I had left. I come home to love. And nothing else matters."
"Outside the sky is blue, the children are playing, and
here you are in the depths of the mountain."
These older essays do not necessarily represent my current
orientation and understanding, but they were the best I could
do at the time, just as what I write now is the best I can do,
all wholly inadequate for describing my experience of the world.