Monday, August 27, 2007


For some time I have been curious about the open question of... "What is it that walks with us from the experience of wild nature into our other lives?" Each of us answers this question in their unique way. The following insight is from a recent workshop participant.

The Abiding Spirit of Hospitality
by Martha Dahlen

What if, when visiting the woods, I think of the forest as my host, and of me as a simple guest?

Well, then: Before entering, I naturally pause. Gathering my wits about me, or perhaps letting my heart catch up, as nomadic Indians were said to do. I announce my presence: two claps! and a bow. “I am here; may I be welcome!” I walk. Attentive, observant, appreciative. But then mind slips, like eyes at a cocktail party, roaming for something more interesting than what is around me. I smile, refocus, walk. The ground is resilient, dainty leaves of understory herbs coyly brush rugged trunks. Ah! What can I take back of this deep experience? I stop abruptly. Take back? As in grasp, snatch, steal? Oh! Not that! But what else is there? A response comes from nowhere, or everywhere: “Just be with us.” Just BE? Is it enough? What a relief. But if I am to just be, then I should just be my best, whatever that is. I consider. I walk. It occurs to me that any good guest brings a gift. What can I give the forest? Ah! I pour a libation from my water bottle, and hope the chlorine is not offensive. Another smile. Upon leaving, I give thanks for impeccable hospitality. Two claps! And a bow.

But the memory of that experience lingers. When I see city plants--shrubs, grass, flowers, in pots and yards and highway meridians, I know all of them come from some plant community somewhere else, some close-knit ecosystem where they feel at home and thrive in splendor. Now, here in the city, they are my guests, and I must remember to host them well.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Nature and Contemplation: August 2007

photo by Flowers
For more photos click here: Workshop Photo
Sacred Bird Bath
by Molly Rockey

Under the sun of a hot day,
We take the long flight down the mountain
Soaring back and forth
Circling down
We fly into the trees, down
Through the branches
Owl, hawk, hummer, quail, eagle, together
We descend
Until we reach the sacred waters.
Some of our flock stay up in the branches
Observing, singing, watching out for the others.
Some birds, stripped of their hot outer feathers
Dip into the sacred bird bath
Slowly, then fully
Playfully, joyfully
Splashing, floating, being.
All of us together, above and below
Entering this healing, sacred place
Each in our own special way.
Thank you for the poem Molly! Grateful to to you all for your willingness to step on the path of doing and being.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Adventures in the Wilds of Alaska

For more photos click here: Alaska Photo Journal

I took my family up to the wilds of Alaska. We had many great adventures. To see more check out the photos of our trip at the above link.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Big Sur Wilderness Experience July 2007

For more photos of the group click here: Workshop Photos

Life should NOT be a journey to the grave
with the intention of arriving safely
in an attractive and well preserved body,
but rather to skid in sideways,
Champagne in one hand –
strawberries in the other,
body thoroughly used up,
totally worn out and screaming
"WAA HOO - What a ride!"
(author unknown)

Grateful to you all for the many special moments on the trail and at Esalen. What a blessing. Wishing us all well growing our essential "seed" qualities all the way to fruition in our "other" lives. May your paths be filled with beauty. Warmly, Steven