Meditation Focus #32
Awakening to the Sacredness of Nature
Web posted on February 2, 2001 for the 2 consecutive weeks
beginning Sunday, February 4, 2001
What follows is the 32nd Meditation Focus suggested for the 2 consecutive weeks beginning Sunday, February 4, 2001.
AWAKENING TO THE SACREDNESS OF NATURE
2. Meditation times
3. Updates on some of the latest developments in Africa
4. The earthquake in India
5. More information on this Meditation Focus
When considering the multitude of environmental problems we are faced with and the constant abuse our planet as a whole is taking at the hands of our species, there is a common denominator that eventually emerges as an overriding fact that may help explain why it is so. The vast majority of humans seem to have lost the sense of wonderment and deep appreciation stemming from the realization that all Life, all that we call Nature, is sacred and holy. Spiritually disconnected from the Web of Life sustaining us and engulfed in a mindless pursuit of material, emotional and psychological comfort to fill the rift separating us from our real and only Life-giving matrix, we often pay very little attention to the consequences of our way of life and feel no remorse as we fail to make the connection between our individual choices and decisions as consumers and the unrelenting erosion of all that makes our planet so beautiful and vibrant with millions of exquisitely interdependent lifeforms.
Yet as a result of a growing awareness that greed-driven motives, whether governmental, corporate or individual, are wreaking havoc with our global environment and profoundly disrupting the delicate balance on which our very survival depends, more and more people are beginning to shift their priorities and actions towards protecting Nature, enjoying a more sustainable way of life and striving to get back in touch with our living Mother Earth. There is a global awakening to the sacredness of Nature that is now taking shape as a result of the cumulative individual awakenings occurring everywhere around the world. The intent of this suggested Meditation Focus is to both celebrate this awakening and hasten its emergence in the minds and hearts of every human being on Earth.
Please dedicate your prayers and meditations, as guided by Spirit, in the coming two weeks to help foster the realization in everyone that every single Life form is sacred and that everything is intricately intertwined together to form a glorious symphony of magnificent beauty and grace to which every single human being is a vital and integral part. Let the Light of this inner realization spread from the center of your heart to connect with and awaken in every other human being on Earth the flame of Unity with All That Is, for the highest good of all.
2. MEDITATION TIMES
i) Global Meditation Day: Sunday at 16:00 Universal Time (GMT) or at noon local time. Suggested duration: 30 minutes.
ii) Golden Moment of At-Onement: Daily, at the top of any hour, or whenever it better suits you.
These times below are currently corresponding to 16:00 Universal Time/GMT:
Honolulu 6:00 AM -- Anchorage 7:00 AM -- Los Angeles 8:00 AM -- Denver 9:00 AM -- San Salvador, Mexico City, Houston & Chicago 10:00 AM -- New York, Toronto & Montreal 11:00 AM -- Halifax, Santo Domingo, La Paz & Caracas 12:00 PM -- Montevideo, Asuncion * & Santiago * 1:00 PM -- Rio de Janeiro * 2:00 PM -- London, Dublin, Lisbon, Reykjavik & Casablanca 4:00 PM -- Lagos, Algiers, Geneva, Rome, Berlin, Paris & Madrid 5:00 PM -- Ankara, Jerusalem, Johannesburg, Athens, Helsinki & Istanbul 6:00 PM -- Baghdad, Moscow & Nairobi 7:00 PM -- Tehran 7:30 PM -- Islamabad 9:00 PM -- Calcutta & New Delhi 9:30 PM -- Dhaka 10:00 PM -- Rangoon 10:30 PM -- Hanoi, Bangkok & Jakarta 11:00 PM -- Hong Kong, Perth, Beijing & Kuala Lumpur +12:00 AM -- Seoul & Tokyo +1:00 AM -- Brisbane, Canberra & Melbourne +2:00 AM -- Wellington * +5:00 AM
+ means the place is one day ahead of Universal Time/Greenwich Mean Time.
* means the place is observing daylight saving time(DST) at the moment.
3. UPDATES ON SOME OF THE LATEST DEVELOPMENTS IN AFRICA
Congo President Appeals for Peace
Pledging to help end what has been called Africa's first world war, Congo's new president appealed Friday for speedy deployment of U.N. military observers to oversee a cease-fire and for assistance in preparing for presidential elections. CLIP
Project Targets AIDS in S.Africa
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa (AP) - A new South African project to provide free AIDS medication to
some HIV-positive pregnant women has given activists hope the government is abandoning its controversial approach to the disease and beginning to fight the threat in earnest....
Tougher Sanctions Sought for Sudan (Associated Press)
A federal advisory panel on religious freedom overseas is hoping its findings of mass murder and rape of black Christians in Sudan will prompt the Bush administration to impose tougher sanctions on the East African nation.
Flooding in Mozambique Kills Four
Flooding in Mozambique has killed four people, left thousands more homeless and destroyed large areas of farmland, media reports said Sunday. CLIP Mozambique is still recovering from floods early last year which devastated the southern and central regions of the country, killing 700 people and causing damage estimated at $600 million.
Angola UNITA Rebel Attack Kills Five
LISBON (Reuters) - Angolan rebels killed at least eight people and wounded another 38 in a dawn raid in the war-torn African country on Thursday, news agency Lusa reported. CLIP Oil- and diamond-rich Angola has known little but war since winning independence from Portugal in 1975. An estimated one million people have been killed and millions more displaced in that period.
Full Coverage on Angola at http://dailynews.yahoo.com/fc/World/Angola/
4. EARTHQUAKE IN INDIA
India Struggles With Earthquake Aftermath - Full Coverage
Indian, Pakistani Leaders Speak (Friday February 2)
TIKER, India (AP) - With a telephone call between their leaders Friday, India and Pakistan came together as neighbors, not rivals, in the wake of an earthquake that killed thousands of Indians and left many more desperate for food, housing and help rebuilding.
Aid from around the world was on the way, but there were complaints that lack of coordination was hampering distribution and that remote villages were stranded while population centers got attention. More than 15,000 bodies had been pulled from the rubble of the 7.7-magnitude quake by Frida afternoon, and officials estimate the final toll could reach 35,000.
In the first reported conversation between Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Pakistani military ruler Gen. Pervez Musharraf, Vajpayee thanked Musharraf for two planeloads of relief sent to the western state of Gujarat, where the epicenter of the Jan. 26 quake was located.
Musharraf initiated the call ``to convey his sympathy at the great loss of life caused by the earthquake,'' said Mohammed Bashir, an official in Vajpayee's office. Gujarat borders Pakistan, where at least 18 people were killed in the quake.
Indian, Pakistan Leaders Talk for First Time
5. MORE INFORMATION ON THIS WEEK'S FOCUS
This section is for those who wish to understand in more detail the situation of this week's Meditation Focus. For those who wish to read on, we would encourage you to view the following information from a positive perspective, and not allow the details to tinge the positive vision you wish to hold in meditation. Since what we focus on grows, the more positive our mindset, the more successful we will be in manifesting a vision of healing. We provide the details below because we recognise that the knowledge of what needs healing can assist us to structure our awareness to maximise our healing effect.
For a review of some of the many environmental crises facing our world, the following URLs will provide you with nearly endless hours of facts-filled and often sobering information and warnings about the dire situation we are facing.
Crisis of the Amazon: An Overview by a Visiting Scientist
Protecting all Marine Life on Earth
The Green Files series posted at:
Etc. (you just need to change the number at the end to access it)
up to Green Files #17 at:
"Healing Our World" on the Environment News Service at http://www.ens.lycos.com/ens/features/healing/index.html
The following is also of great interest and relevance to the theme of this Meditation Focus:
Sacredness & Sustainability: A Reflection on the 2000 Century
The Prince of Wales
BBC Reith Lectures, May 2000
In a lecture that stirred controversy throughout Britain, Prince Charles argues that we will never achieve sustainable development without a rediscovery of the sacred.
In this technology-driven age it is all too easy for us to forget that mankind is a part of nature, and not apart from it, and that this is why we should seek to work with the grain of nature in everything we do. For the natural world is, as the economist Herman Daly puts it, "the envelope that contains, sustains and provisions the economy" - not the other way round. So which argument do you think will win - the living world as one, or the world made up of random parts, the product of mere chance, thereby providing the justification for any kind of development?
This, to my mind, lies at the heart of what we call sustainable development. We need, therefore, to rediscover a reverence for the natural world, irrespective of its usefulness to ourselves - to become more aware, in Philip Sherrard's words, of the "relationship of interdependence, interpenetration and reciprocity between God, Man and Creation." Above all, we should show greater respect for the genius of nature's designs - rigorously tested and refined over millions of years.
Our most eminent scientists accept that there is still a vast amount that we don't know about our world and the life forms that inhabit it. As Sir Martin Rees, the Astronomer Royal, points out, it is complexity that makes things hard to understand, not size. In a comment which only an astronomer could make, he describes a butterfly as a more daunting intellectual challenge than the cosmos! Others, like Rachel Carson, have eloquently reminded us that we don't know how to make a single blade of grass. And St. Matthew, in his wisdom, emphasized that not even Solomon in all his glory was arrayed as the lilies of the field
Faced with such unknowns it is hard not to feel a sense of humility, wonder, and awe about our place in the natural order. And to feel this at all stems from that inner, heartfelt reason which, sometimes despite ourselves, is telling us that we are intimately bound up in the mysteries of life and that we don't have all the answers. Perhaps, even, that we don't have to have all the answers before knowing what we should do in certain circumstances. As Blaise Pascal wrote in the seventeenth century, "it is the heart that experiences God, not the reason."
So do you not feel that, buried deep within each and every one of us, there is an instinctive, heartfelt awareness that provides - if we will allow it to - the most reliable guide as to whether or not our actions are really in the long-term interests of our planet and all the life it supports? This awareness, this wisdom of the heart, may be no more than a faint memory of a distant harmony rustling like a breeze through the leaves, yet sufficient to remind us that the earth is unique and that we have a duty to care for it.
Wisdom, empathy, and compassion have no place in the empirical world, yet traditional wisdoms would ask, "Without them, are we truly human?" And it would be a good question. It was Socrates who, when asked for his definition of wisdom, gave as his conclusion, "knowing that you don't know."
In suggesting that we will need to listen rather more to the common sense emanating from our hearts if we are to achieve sustainable development, I am not suggesting that information gained through scientific investigation is anything other than essential. Far from it. But I believe that we need to restore the balance between the heartfelt reason of instinctive wisdom and the rational insights of scientific analysis. Neither, I believe, is much use on its own. So it is only by employing both the intuitive and the rational halves of our own nature - our hearts and our minds - that we will live up to the sacred trust that has been placed in us by our Creator or our "Sustainer," as ancient wisdom referred to the Creator.
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