Quotes

 For Contemplation:  Quotes extracted from book

 

  “Mystical experience of nature can be of particular relevance to our troubled age, bringing deeper into our consciousness and emotions the logic that nature sustains humanity as humanity must, in turn, sustain nature. Rationality alone, however, cannot be our guide in the task of restoring our environment. A spiritual connection to nature must inspire the emotional commitment that is the yin, complementing the yang of intellectual understanding.” Carl von Essen

 “Trees are extraordinary revelations of the spirit in nature. And, given the multitude of ways that trees and their products benefit and enrich human culture, they are an especially appropriate symbol of the interdependence of spirit and nature.” Steven C. Rockefeller and John Elder

  “If we reconstructed human spirituality painstakingly, we would end up with a mangnificent tree whose branches go in so many directions, yet all trying to touch the heavens.” Henryk Skolimowski

 “Animists are people who recognize that the world is full of persons, only some of whom are human, and that life is always loved in relationship with others. Animism is lived out in various ways that are all about learning to act respectfully (carefully and constructively) toward and among other persons.” Graham Harvey

 “For Indigenous peoples, land cannot be owned, bought, or sold. She does not belong to us, we belong to her. We are born out of this land; we spend our lives on this land as her guests; and after death we go back to that same land. . . .  Although Indigenous peoples around the world vary widely in their customs, traditions, rituals, languages, and so on, land is considered by all as the center of their universe, a parent, a giver of life, the core of our cultures, rituals, and traditions.”  Nomalungelo I. Goduka

 “Nature is seen by humans through a screen of beliefs, knowledge, and purposes, and it is in terms of their images of nature, rather than of the actual structure of nature, that they act. Yet, it is upon nature itself that they do act, and it is nature itself that acts upon them, nurturing or destroying them.” Roy A. Rappaport

 “With its philosophical insight into the interconnectedness and thoroughgoing interdependence of all conditioned things, with its thesis that happiness is to be found through the restraint of desire in a life of contentment rather than through the proliferation of desire, with its goal of enlightenment through renunciation and contemplation and its ethic of non-injury and boundless loving-kindness for all beings, Buddhism provides all the essential elements for a relationship to the natural world characterized by respect, care, and compassion.”  Bhikkhu Bodi

 “May all be well and secure,

May all beings be happy!

Whatever living creatures there be,

Without exception, weak or strong,

Long, huge or middle-sized,

Or short, minute or bulky,

Whether visible or invisible,

And those living far or near,

The born and those seeking birth,

May all beings be happy!”  Metta Sutta

 

 “Scientists tell us that we have enough technology to save our planet. . . . Yet we don’t take advantage of this new technology. . . . The technological has to work hand-in-hand with the spiritual. Our spiritual life is the element that can bring about the energies of peace, calm, brotherhood, understanding, and compassion. Without that, our planet doesn’t stand a chance.” Thich Nhat Hahn

 “There is no question that Francis was in advance of his age, as he anticipated all that is liberal and sympathetic in modern times: the love of nature, the love of animals, the sense of social compassion, the sense of the spiritual dangers of affluence.” Henryk Skolimowski

 “. . . the wellspring for the passion that drove public speech and action in behalf of the environment was in large part religious and ethical. Environmentalism, in short, had become one version of nature religion in the lingering shadow of American transcendentalism.” Catherine L. Albanese

 “Few are altogether deaf to the preaching of pine trees. Their sermons on the mountains go to our hearts; and if people in general could be got into the woods, even for once, to hear the trees speak for themselves, all difficulties in the way of forest preservation would vanish.”  John Muir

 “For what lies inside the human being is the whole spiritual cosmos in condensed form. In our inner organism we have an image of the entire cosmos.”  Rudolf Steiner

 “But it can also happen, if will and grace are joined, that as I contemplate the tree I am drawn into a relation, and the tree ceases to be an It. . . . Does the tree then have consciousness, similar to our own? I have no experience of that. But thinking that you have brought this off in your own case, must you again divide the indivisible? What I encounter is neither the soul of a tree nor a dryad, but the tree itself.”  Martin Buber

 “ . . . the upsurge of Spirit is the only plausible way to stop the ecological destruction of our planet. Even people who have no interest in a communal solution to the distortions in our lives will have to face up [to] this ecological reality. Unless we transform our relationship with nature, we will destroy the preconditions for human life on this planet.”  Rabbi Michael Lerner

 “Both our present science and our present technology are so tinctured with orthodox Christian arrogance toward nature that no solution for our ecologic crisis can be expected from them alone. Since the roots of our trouble are so largely religious, the remedy must also be essentially religious, whether we call it that or not. We must rethink and refeel our nature and destiny.”  Lynn White, Jr.

  “… how to view man’s relationship to the environment is one of the great moral problems of our time.” K. S. Shrader-Frechete

 “Humanity may destroy the possibilities for life on earth unless the freedom and power that we have acquired are channeled in new creative directions by a spiritual awareness and moral commitment that transcend nationalism, racism, sexism, religious sectarianism, anthropocentrism, and the dualism between human culture and nature. This is the great issue for the 1990s and the twenty-first century.”  Steven C. Rockefeller and John C. Elder

 “The present urgency is to begin thinking within the context of the whole planet, the integral earth community with all its human and other-than-human components.”  Thomas Berry

 “What I really believe is the only hopeful relation between our life and the whole of life is one of reverence and respect and of feeling at one with it. The other attitude which is the one our society is based on is devastating and it is killing the earth and it is killing us too.”  William Stanley Merwin

 “On the last day of the world I would want to plant a tree.”  William Stanley Merwin

 “The central purpose of the Work that Reconnects is to help people uncover and experience their innate connections with each other and with the systemic, self-healing powers of the web of life, so that they may be enlivened and motivated to play their part in creating a sustainable civilization.”  Joanna Macy

 “… the ecological problem of our times demands a radical reevaluation of how we see the entire world; it demands a different interpretation of matter and the world, a new attitude of humankind toward nature, and a new understanding of how we acquire and make use of our material goods.”  His All Holiness, Bartholomew I, Ecumenical Patriarch.

 “It gradually became clear that the Green Belt Movement’s work with communities to repair the degraded environment could not be done effectively without participants embracing a set of core spiritual values.” Wangari Maathai

 “We still have time to fix this [ecocrisis] and we still have time to make it better, but really what is needed here is that the human race needs to wake up and look forward with the sense that we’ve got to change the way we live. . . . . What we have to do is to transform ourselves yet again into something that has never existed on this planet before, which is a kind of techno-indigenous people. . . . . We will use high technology and science to provide us with the energy we need, but they’ll be sustainable solutions. Nature is not our enemy, it is our sustenance and we need it, and we need nature healthy for us to be healthy and to survive long-term, and that’s the realization we have to come to and that’s the next stage in evolution that we have to reach.”  James Cameron of Avatar film

 “Learn well, then we will see if your insanity can be cured.” Neytiri’s mother admonishes Jake in the film Avatar

 “We must learn to reverence and hold in awe the sacredness of the earth as our beloved community and household rather than view it merely as the backdrop or setting for self-contained, self-regarding human enterprises. Deeply rooted religious sensibilities and commitment are required.”  Donald A. Crosby

 The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed. This insight into the mystery of life, coupled though it be with fear, has also given rise to religion. To know that what is impenetrable to us really exists, manifesting itself as the highest wisdom and the most radiant beauty which our dull faculties can comprehend only in their most primitive forms—this knowledge, this feeling, is at the center of true religiousness. In this sense, and in this sense only, I belong in the ranks of devoutly religious men.” Albert Einstein

 “To reenchant nature is not merely to gain a new perspective for its integrity and well-being; it is to throw open the doors to a deeper level of existence.” Alister E. McGrath

 “It is my dream that the entire Tibetan plateau should become a free refuge where humanity and nature can live in peace and in harmonious balance. It would be a place where people from all over the world could come to seek the true meaning of peace within themselves, away from the tensions and pressures of much of the rest of the world.”  His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama ofTibet

 “No important change in ethics was ever accomplished without an internal chage in our intellectual emphasis, loyalties, affections, and convictions.” Aldo Leopold

  “We live in all things. All things live in us. . . . We are grateful. We rejoice in all life.” excerpt from “A Prayer of Gratitude” of Earth Ministry

 

Sacred tree and spirit house in Southern Thailand

 

 Spirit house at base of sacred tree inSouthern Thailand

 

Suan MokkhForest Monastery of Buddhadasa Bhikku,

Surat Thani, Southern Thailand