Quotes about nature as vital part of spirituality
Live in accord with nature and if you are detached there will be no wanting in your life. This will give you liberation.
Live in accord with nature and follow a proper life, and you will want for nothing.
The tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the eyes of others only a green thing that stands in the way.
(William Blake – poet, artist, mystic)
What I know of the divine sciences and Holy Scriptures, I learned in woods and fields. I have no other masters than the beeches and the oaks.
(Saint Bernard of Clairvaux)
If we could see the miracle of a single flower clearly, our whole life would change.
(The Buddha, Dhammapada)
Pollution, defilement, squalor are words that never would have been created had man lived conformably to Nature. Birds, insects, bears die as cleanly and are disposed of as beautifully as flies. The woods are full of dead and dying trees, yet needed for their beauty to complete the beauty of the living…. How beautiful is all Death.
Keep close to Nature’s heart… and break clear away once in awhile, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean.
To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,
An eternity in an hour.
(William Blake – poet, artist, mystic)
Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts.
If your heart is straight with God, then every creature will appear to you as a mirror of life and a sacred scripture. No creature is so small and insignificant so as not to express and demonstrate the goodness of God.
(Thomas A. Kempis, mystic; from Wisdom of the Christian Mystics by Timothy Freke)
The earth is our mother. Whatever befalls the earth befalls the sons and daughters of the earth. This we know. All things are connected like the blood which unites one family. All things are connected… We did not weave the web of life, we are merely a strand in it. Whatever we do the web we do to ourselves.
(Chief Seattle, on the surrender of Washington to the United States)
The earth does not belong to the people; the people belong to the earth. . . This earth is precious to the Creator, and to harm the earth is to heap contempt upon its Creator. . . . Our dead never forget this beautiful earth, for it is the mother of the red people. We are part of the earth and it is part of us.
Only after the last tree has been cut down,
Only after the last river has been polluted,
Only after the last fish has been caught,
Only then will you find that money cannot be eaten.
(A prophecy of the Cree people)
Source: Thorson’s Principles of Native American Spirituality, by Dennis Renault, Timothy Freke
In the last analysis, we must be judged by what we do and not what we believe. We are as we behave – with a very small margin of credit for our unmanifested vision of how we might behave if we could take the trouble.
(Gregory L. Rudd, The British Vegetarian, Sept/Oct 1962)
The human spirit is not dead. It lives on in secret…it has come to believe that compassion, in which all ethics must take root, can only attain its full breadth and depth if it embraces all living creatures and does not limit itself to mankind.
(Albert Schweitzer, Nobel Peace Prize address “The Problem of Peace in the World Today”)
The value of life to its possessor is the same, whether it be the life of a clam, a crayfish, a carp, a cow, a chicken, or a child. [Respect ALL life, not just mankind.]
(Stanley Sapon, VeganValues.org)
In our progress toward mysticism, a relationship with the natural world is essential, for the mysterious life is your matrix and represents the world beyond you. Here, you learn about life outside your ego, and through identification and profound empathy you find what it means to transcend the self.
(Theology and Ecology, T. Moore: Care of the Soul, a monthly column in Spirituality & Health Magazine, Feb 2006)
We need access to clean rivers to remember that our lives continually flow on. We need a virgin forest to remember that in a deep place our souls are untouched and untutored. We need a beautiful lake to remember that the spirit thrives in nature’s beauty. If we continue to interfere with nature’s job to teach us how to be spiritual, all of our labyrinths and zendos and yoga studios and Bible classes will become hollow and ungrounded. We will be going to church in a strip mall, wondering why the Psalms say:
In his hands are the low areas of the earth, and the mountain peaks, too, belong to him. The sea is his: he made it; and his fingers sculpted the dry land. (Psalm 95)
(Thomas Moore, Care of the Soul, Spirituality & Health Magazine, Feb 2006)