Nature Mysticism

Quotes     Bibliography     Links     Notes 


Research by Michael P. Garofalo



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"The road enters green mountains near evening's dark;
Beneath the white cherry trees, a Buddhist temple
Whose priest doesn't know what regret for spring's passing means-
Each stroke of his bell startles more blossoms into falling.
-   Keijo Shurin



"Experiencing the present purely is being empty and hollow;
you catch grace as a man fills his cup under a waterfall."
-   Annie Dillard



"When we touch this domain, we are filled with the cosmic force of life itself, we sink our roots
deep into the black soil and draw power and being up into ourselves. We know the energy of the
numen and are saturated with power and being. We feel grounded, centered, in touch with the
ancient and eternal rhythms of life.  Power and passion well up like an artesian spring and
creativity dances in celebration of life."
-   David N. Elkins,  The Sacred as Source of Personal Passion and Power



"To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a heaven in a Wild Flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour."

-  William Blake,  Auguries of Innocence, 1863



Mysticism  -  Quotes and Poems for Gardeners and Lovers of the Green Way



"There are sacred moments in life when we experience in rational and very direct ways that separation,
the boundary between ourselves and other people and between ourselves and Nature, is illusion.  Oneness
is reality.  We can experience that stasis is illusory and that reality is continual flux and change on very
subtle and also on gross levels of perception.
-   Charlene Spretnak 



"And every stone and every star a tongue,
And every gale of wind a curious song.
The Heavens were an oracle, and spoke
Divinity: the Earth did undertake
The office of a priest; and I being dumb
(Nothing besides was dumb) all things did come
With voices and instructions..."
-   Thomas Traherne, Dumbness, 17th Century 



"If not ignored, nature will cultivate in the gardener a sense of well-being and peace.  The gardener may
find deeper meaning in life by paying attention to the parables of the garden.  Nature teaches quiet lessons
to the gardener who chooses to live within
the paradigm of the garden."

-   Norman H. Hansen,  The Worth of Gardening



"These blessed mountains are so compactly filled with God's beauty, no petty personal hope or experience
has room to be . . . . the whole body seems to feel beauty when exposed to it as it feels the campfire or
sunshine, entering not by the eyes alone, but equally through all one's flesh like radiant heat, making a
passionate ecstatic pleasure glow not explainable. One's body then seems homogeneous throughout,
sound as a crystal."
-   John Muir  



Quotes and Poems for Gardeners and Lovers of the Green Way



"A monk asked Zhaozhou, "What is the living meaning of Zen?."   
Zhaozhou said, "The oak tree in the courtyard."
-  Case 37 from the Mumonkan (Wumenguan) Collection of Zen Koans 
    The Oak Tree in the Courtyard



"Beyond its practical aspects, gardening - be it of the soil or soul - can lead us on a philosophical and spiritual
exploration that is nothing less than a journey into the depths of our own sacredness and the sacredness of all beings.  After all, there must be something more mystical beyond the garden gate, something that satisfies the soul's attraction to beauty, peace, solace, and celebration."
-  Christopher and Tricia McDowell, The Sanctuary Garden, 1998, p.13
   Cortesia Sanctuary and Center    



"When I would re-create myself, I seek the darkest wood, the thickest and most interminable and to the citizen, most dismal, swamp.  I enter as a sacred place, a Sanctum sanctorum.  There is the strength, the marrow, of Nature."
-   Henry David Thoreau, Walking, 1851 



Religion  -  Quotes and Poems for Gardeners and Lovers of the Green Way



"We invent nothing, truly.  We borrow and re-create.  We uncover and discover.  All has been given, as the
mystics say. We have only to open our eyes and hearts, to become one with that which is."
-   Henry Miller 



"For the Eastern mystic, all things and events perceived by the senses are interrelated, connected and are but different aspects or manifestations of the same ultimate reality.  Our tendency to divide the perceived world into individual and separate things and to experience ourselves as isolated egos in this world is seen as an illusion which comes from our measuring and categorizing mentally.  It is called avidya, or ignorance, in Buddhist philosophy and is seen as the sate of a disturbed mind which has to be overcome:

'When the mind is disturbed, the multiplicity of things is produced, but when the mind is quieted, the multiplicity of things disappears.'

Although the various schools of Eastern mysticism differ in many details, they all emphasize the basic unity of the universe which is the central feature of their teachings.  The highest aim for their followers - whether they are Hindus, Buddhists or Taoists - is to become aware of the unity and mutual interdependence of all things, to transcend the notion of an isolated individual self and to identify themselves with the ultimate reality.  The emergence of this awareness - known as 'enlightenment'- is not only an intellectual act but is an experience which involves the whole person and is religious in its ultimate nature.  For this reason, most Easter philosophies are essentially religious philosophies."
-  Fritjof Capra, The Tao of Physics, 25th Anniversary Edition, p. 24  




"God does not die on that day when we cease to believe in a personal deity, but we die when our lives cease to be illuminated by the steady radiance, renewed daily, of a wonder, the source of which is beyond all reasoning....   When the sense of the earth unites with the sense of one's body, one becomes earth of the earth, a plant among plants, an animal born from the soil and fertilizing it.  In this union, the body is confirmed in its pantheism."
-   Dag Hammarskjold (1905-1961)



Spirituality  -  Quotes and Poems for Gardeners and Lovers of the Green Way



"Of course the Dharma-body of the Buddha was the hedge at the bottom of the garden.  At the same time, and no less obviously, it was these flowers, it was anything that I - or rather the blessed Not-I - cared to look at."
-   Aldous Huxley



"We will endeavour to shew how the aire and genious of Gardens operat upon humane spirits towards virtue and sancitie, I meane in a remote, preparatory and instrumentall working.  How Caves, Grotts, Mounts, and irregular ornaments of Gardens do contribute to contemplative and philosophicall Enthusiasms; how Elysium, Antrum, Nemus, Paradysus, Hortus, Lucus, &c., signifie all of them rem sacram et divinam; for these expedients do influence the soule and spirits of man, and prepare them for converse with good Angells; besides which, they contribute to the lesse abstracted pleasures, phylosophy naturall and longevitie."
-   John Evelyn in a letter to Sir Thomas Browne, 1657 



"Sure as the most certain sure .... plumb in the uprights,
    well entreated, braced in the beams,
Stout as a horse, affectionate, haughty, electrical,
I and this mystery we stand.

Clear and sweet is my soul .... and clear and sweet is all
    that is not my soul,

Lack one lacks both .... and the unseen is proved by the seen
Till that becomes unseen and receives proof in its turn. 

To elaborate is no avail .... Learned and unlearned feel that it is so."
-   Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass, 1855, Line 40-



"Flower in the crannied wall
I pluck you out of the crannies
I hold you here, root and all, in my hand.
Little flower, but if I could understand,
What you are, root and all, and all in all,
I should know what God and man is."
-  Alred Tennyson, Flower in the Crannied Wall  



"What I know in my bones is that I forgot to take time to remember what I know.  The world is holy.  We are holy.  All life is holy.  Daily prayers are delivered on the lips of breaking waves, the whisperings of grasses, the shimmering of leaves.
-   Terry Tempest Williams



Trees  -  Quotes and Poems for Gardeners and Lovers of the Green Way



"The Tao exists in the crickets ... in the grasses ... in tiles and bricks ... and in shit and piss."
-   Chuang-tzu, The Roaring Stream: A New Zen Reader, p. 117  



"In the assemblies of the enlightened ones there have been many cases of mastering the Way bringing forth the heart of plants and trees; this is what awakening the mind for enlightenment is like.  The fifth patriarch of Zen was once a pine-planting wayfarer; Rinzai worked on planting cedars and pines on Mount Obaku.   ...  Working with plants, trees, fences and walls, if they practice sincerely they will attain enlightenment."
-   Dogen Zenji, Japanese Zen Buddhist Grand Master Awakening the Unsurpassed Mind, #31



"A callused palm and dirty fingernails precede a Green Thumb.
Complexity is closer to the Truth. 
Sitting in a garden and doing nothing is high art everywhere.
Does a plum tree with no fruit have Buddha Nature?   Whack!!   
The only Zen you'll find flowering in the garden is the Zen you bring there each day. 
Dearly respect the lifestyle of worms.   
All enlightened beings are enchanted by water.
Becoming invisible to oneself is one pure act of gardening.
Priapus, lively and naughty, aroused and outlandish, is the Duende de el Jardin.
Inside the gardener is the spirit of the garden outside.
Gardening is a kind of deadheading - keeping us from going to seed.   
The joyful gardener is evidence of an incarnation. 
One purpose of a garden is to stop time.
Leafing is the practice of seeds.
Good weather all the week, but come the weekend the weather stinks. 
Springtime for birth, Summertime for growth; and all Seasons for dying.
Ripening grapes in the summer sun - reason enough to plod ahead. 
Springtime flows in our veins.  
Beauty is the Mistress, the gardener Her salve. 
A soul is colored Spring green.  
When the Divine knocks, don't send a prophet to the door. 
Winter does not turn into Summer; ash does not turn into firewood - on the chopping block of time. 
Fresh fruit from the tree - sweet summertime! 
Gardens are demanding pets. 
Shade was the first shelter. 
One spring and one summer to know life's hope; one autumn and one winter to know life's fate. 
Somehow, someway, everything gets eaten up, someday. 
Relax and be still around the bees. 
Paradise and shade are close relatives on a summer day. 
Absolutes squirm beneath realities. 

The spiders, grasshoppers, mantis, and moth larva are all back:  the summer crowd has returned!
To garden is to open your heart to the sky."
-  Michael P. Garofalo, Pulling Onions



"I, the fiery life of divine essence, am aflame beyond the beauty of the meadows, I gleam in the waters, and
I burn in the sun, moon, and stars ....  I awaken everything to life."

-   Hildergard of Bingen 



"There came to me a delicate, but at the same time a deep, strong and sensuous enjoyment of the beautiful green earth, the beautiful sky and sun; I felt them, they gave me inexpressible delight, as if they embraced and poured out their love upon me.  It was I who loved them, for my heart was broader than the earth; it is broader now than even then, more thirsty and desirous. After the sensuous enjoyment always come the thought, the desire: That I might be like this; that I might have the inner meaning of the sun,  the light, the earth, the trees and grass, translated into some growth of excellence in myself, both of the body and of mind; greater perfection of physique, greater perfection of mind and soul; that I might be higher in myself.
-   Richard Jefferies, The Story of My Heart 



"And I have felt
A presence that disturbs me with the joy of elevated thoughts;
a sense sublime
Of something far more deeply interfused,
Whose dwelling is the light of setting suns,
And the round ocean, and the living air,
And the blue sky, and in the Mind of man;
A motion and a spirit, that impels
All thinking things, all objects of all thought,
And rolls through all things."
-   William Wordsworth, Tintern Abbey



Seasons  -  Quotes and Poems for Gardeners and Lovers of the Green Way



"The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quiet, alone with the heavens, nature and God.  Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be and that God wishes to see people happy, amidst the simple beauty of nature.  As long as this exists, and it certainly always will, I know that then there will always be comfort for every sorrow, whatever the circumstances may be. And I firmly believe that nature brings solace in all troubles.
Diary of Anne Frank



"The first act of awe, when man was struck with the beauty or wonder of Nature, was the first spiritual experience."
-   Henryk Skolimowski



"Whenever learners or those beyond learning awaken the mind, for the first time they plant one buddha-nature.  Working with the four elements and five clusters, if they practice sincerely they attain enlightenment.  Working with plants, trees, fences and walls, if they practice sincerely they will attain enlightenment.  This is because the four elements and five clusters and plants, trees, fences and walls are fellow students; because they are of the same essence, because they are the same mind and the same life, because they are the same body and the same mechanism."
-   Dogen Zenji, Japanese Zen Buddhist Grand Master, Awakening the Unsurpassed Mind, #31;
    Translated by Thomas Cleary, Rational Zen:  The Mind of Dogen Zenji




Green Way Journal by Michael P. Garofalo




"I circle around God, the primordial tower, and I circle ten thousand years long; and I still don't know if I'm
a falcon, a storm, or an unfinished song."
-   Rainer Maria Rilke 



"Some keep the Sabbath going to Church,
I keep it staying at Home–
With a bobolink for a Chorister,
And an Orchard, for a Dome."
-   Emily Dickinson, No. 324, St. 1, 1862 



"In wilderness people can find the silence and the solitude and the noncivilized surroundings that can connect them once again to their evolutionary heritage, and through an experience of the eternal mystery, can give them a sense of the sacredness of all creation."
-   Sigurd Olson (1899-1982)  



Simplicity  -  Quotes and Poems for Gardeners and Lovers of the Green Way



"Man becomes aware of the Sacred because it manifests itself, shows itself, as something wholly different from the Profane ... In his encounters with the Sacred, man experiences a reality that does not belong to our world yet is encountered in and through objects or events that are part of the world.
-   Mircea Eliade  



"The deeper we look into nature, the more we recognize that it is full of life, and the more profoundly we know that all life is a secret and that we are united with all life that is in nature.  Man can no longer live his life for himself alone.  We realize that all life is valuable and that we are united to all this life.  From this knowledge comes our spiritual relationship with the universe."
-   Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965)  



"The ears were made, not for such trivial uses as men are wont to suppose, but to hear celestial sounds.  The eyes were not made for such groveling uses as they are now put to and worn out by, but to behold beauty now invisible.  May we not see God? ...   When the common man looks into the sky, which he has not so much profaned, he thinks it less gross than the earth, and with reverence speaks of "the heavens," but the seer will in the same sense speak of "the Earths," and his Father who is in them."
-   Henry David Thoreau, A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers



"A few minutes ago every tree was excited, bowing to the roaring storm, waving, swirling, tossing their branches in glorious enthusiasm like worship.  But though to the outer ear these trees are now silent, their songs never cease. Every hidden cell is throbbing with music and life, every fiber thrilling like harp strings, while incense is ever flowing from the balsam bells and leaves. No wonder the hills and groves were God's first temples, and the more they are cut down and hewn into cathedrals and churches, the farther off and dimmer seems the Lord himself."
-   John Muir  



Common Characteristics of Extrovertive Mystical States
From Mysticism and Philosophy, W. T. Stace (Jeremy P. Tarcher, Inc., 1960), p. 79

"1.  The unifying vision, expressed abstractly by the formula "All is One."  The One is, in extrovertive 
mysticism, perceived through the physical senses, in or through the multiciplicity of objects.
2.  The more concrete apprehension of the One as being an inner subjectivity in all things, described 
variously as life, or consciousness, or a living Presence.  The discovery that nothing is "really" dead.
3.  Sense of objectivity or reality.
4.  Feeling of blessedness, joy, happiness, satisfaction, etc.
5.  Feeling that what is apprehended is holy, or sacred, or divine.  This is the quality that gives rise 
to the interpretation of the experience as being an experience of "God."  It is the specifically religious 
element in the experience.  It is closely intertwined with, but not identical with, the previously listed
characteristic of blessedness and joy.
6.  Paradoxicality.
7.  Alleged by mystics to be ineffable, incapable of being described in words, etc."



Flowers  -  Quotes and Poems for Gardeners and Lovers of the Green Way



"Crape myrtle, brilliant red, bursting forth;
Hiding the garden.
Some days, only the Garden, entire, serene;
Yet, hiding from sight, shy, single plants.  
Seeing Both, seldom, but as One: 
Sweat poured from my startled brow,
Dripping on the dry earth,
And all became Sunshine
And shadows of surprise unraveling."    
-   Michael P. Garofalo, Above the Fog




"Via positiva has been outlined so far with no reference to spiritual teachers or traditions. We will come to some of the older spiritual traditions before long, but in this section we will look at Nature Mysticism and how it illuminates the via positiva. The term Nature Mysticism was coined by scholars of religion when attempting to account for the mysticism of 19th century writers like Walt Whitman, Henry Thoreau and Richard Jefferies. 

Nature Mysticism starts from the premise that Nature is not just good, but can be a spiritual teacher. The Nature Mystic does not agree with Tennyson's characterization of Nature as 'red in tooth and claw', but, by patient observation and contemplation of the natural world sees predation and death as a small but vital element in the whole pattern. This pattern is joyous and benign, despite the presence of suffering. Again, it is a question of proportion. Most living entities are free of pain up to the moment of death, which is of a very sort duration in compared with the life-span. We can say that while all living entities are food eventually for other living entities, Nature arranges this in such a way that minimizes suffering, a view that does however require a maturity and an ability to accommodate the act of predation without flinching.

In jnani terms, the Nature Mystic loses the narrow sense of self by identifying with Nature as a whole. This means that the quality of eternity that the jnani aspires to is found in Nature as a self-renewing principle. Individual life-forms of necessity flourish and die, and the eternal creativity of Nature in fact depends on it. (A world where nothing died could contain no creativity — remember also that 'creature' has the same root as 'creative').

Nature Mysticism and via positiva both require an aesthetic sense, which is no means universally present in people of any period in history. If one finds no beauty in Nature, or in human beings, then there is nothing to counterbalance the undeniable suffering that is woven into the fabric of existence, and the argument put forward here that suffering represents a small fraction of human experience carries little weight."
-   Nature Mysticism  




"Although the place of nature mysticism in existing taxonomies of mysticism will be explored later on, it is worth introducing at this point the distinction, widely held to be useful, between via positiva and via negativa. Via negativa is the more easily defined of the two: it is the path to mystical union via the denying of all manifest things. The work of Dyonisius the Areopagite is perhaps the best example in a Western context, but the same principles are found as far afield as in branches of Hinduism ('neti, neti' meaning 'not this, not that' is its Indian formulation); in Buddhism (in the very concept of nirvana or nothingness); and in modern sages like Krishnamurti and Douglas Harding. Via negativa carries with it associations of withdrawal, solitude, contemplation, silence, simplicity, and renunciation, though these are often caricatured, as in the supposed Christian 'heresy' of quietism.

Via positiva is the path of expansion, a growing capacity to lose boundaries and temporality until one becomes the Whole. Perhaps the best exponent of this path is Whitman (though as this may be an unfamiliar proposition, it will be defended in more detail below). One might more readily recognise via positiva in an ecstatic like Rumi or Kabir. Clearly nature mysticism will be more readily associated with via positiva than via negativa, but it does not in the least require one aspect common in via positiva: the devotional orientation, or at least not a theistic devotion.

The distinction between via positiva and via negativa is a difficult one, and even more so the relationship between this distinction and those between bhakti and jnani, heart and intellect, love and awareness, and theistic and monistic mysticism, and so on. All of these are useful signposts however."
-  Mike King, Nature Mysticism 




"I did however used to think, you know, in the woods walking, and as a kid playing the the woods, that there was a kind of immanence there - that woods, a places of that order, had a sense, a kind of presence, that you could feel; that there was something peculiarly, physically present, a feeling of place almost conscious ... like God.  It evoked that."
-   Robert Creely, Robert Creely and the Genius of the American Common Place (Tom Clark), p. 40 



"What is divinity if it can come
Only in silent shadows and in dreams?
Shall she not find in comforts of the sun,
In pungent fruit and bright, green wings, or else
In any balm or beauty of the earth,
Things to be cherished like the thought of heaven?
Divinity must live within herself:
Passions of rain, or moods in falling snow;
Grievings in loneliness, or unsubdued
Elations when the forest blooms; gusty
Emotions on wet roads on autumn nights;
All pleasures and all pains, remembering
The bough of summer and the winter branch,
These are the measures destined for her soul."
-    Wallace Stevens, Sunday Morning, 1915



"Speaking of today, I do not consider it intellectually respectable to be a partisan in matters of religion.  I see religion as I see other basic fascinations as art and science, in which there is room for many different approaches, styles, techniques, and opinions.  Thus I am not formally a committed member of any creed or sect and hold no particular religious view or doctrine as absolute.  I deplore missionary zeal, and consider exclusive dedication to and advocacy of any particular religion, as either the best or the only true way, as almost irreligious arrogance.  Yet my work and life are fully concerned with religion, and the mystery of being is my supreme fascination, though, as a shameless mystic, I am more interested in religion as feeling and experience that as conception and theory."
-  Alan Watts, In My Own Way, p. 61, 1972



"All finite things reveal infinitude:
The mountain with its singular bright shade
Like the blue shine on freshly frozen snow,
The after-light upon ice-burdened pines;
Odor of basswood upon a mountain slope,
A scene beloved of bees;
Silence of water above a sunken tree:
The pure serene of memory of one man,--
A ripple widening from a single stone
Winding around the waters of the world."
-  Theodore Roethke 



"I believe that the universe is one being, all its parts are different expressions of the same energy, and they are all in communication with each other, therefore parts of one organic whole.  (This is physics, I believe, as well as religion.)  The parts change and pass, or die, people and races and rocks and stars; none of them seems to me important it itself, but only the whole.  The whole is in all its parts so beautiful, and is felt by me to be so intensely in earnest, that I am compelled to love it, and to think of it as divine.  It seems to me that this whole alone is worthy of the deeper sort of love; and that there is peace, freedom, I might say a kind of salvation, in turning one's affections outward toward this one God, rather than inwards on one's self, or on humanity, or on human imaginations and abstractions - the world of the spirits."
-   Robinson Jeffers, 1934



"So will I build my altar in the fields,
And the blue sky my fretted dome shall be,
And the sweet fragrance that the wild flower yields
Shall be the incense I will yield to thee."
-   Samuel Taylor Coleridge



"The supernatural is the natural not yet understood."
-  Elbert Hubbard



"Everything is fruit to me which thy seasons bring, O Nature,
from thee are all things, in thee are all things, to thee all things return."
-  Marcus Aurelius



"What a difference! What a difference!
Raise the blind, and see the world!
If someone asks me to tell him what my religion is
I raise my hossu and strike his mouth."
-   Chokei, 853 - 932 



"There is religion in everything around us, a calm and holy religion in the unbreathing things in Nature.  It is a meek and blessed influence, stealing in as it were unaware upon the heart.  It comes quickly, and without excitement; it has no terror, no gloom.  It does not rouse up the passions.  It is untrammeled by creeds.  It is written on the arched sky.  It looks out from every star.   It is on the sailing cloud and in the invisible wind.  It is among the hills and valleys of the earth where the shrubless mountain-top pierces the thin atmosphere of eternal winter, or where the mighty forest fluctuates before the strong wind, with its dark waves of green foliage.  It is spread out like a legible language upon the broad face of an unsleeping ocean.  It is the poetry of Nature; it is that which uplifts the spirit within us and which opens to our imagination of world of spiritual beauty and holiness."
-    John Ruskin 



"The summer breeze was blowin' on your face
Within your violet you treasure your summery words
And as the shiver from my neck down to my spine
Ignited me in daylight and nature in the garden

And you went into a trance
Your childlike vision became so fine
And we heard the bells inside the church
We loved so much
And felt the presence of the youth of
Eternal summers in the garden."
-   Van Morrison, Album: No Guru, No Method, No Teacher,
     Song: In the Garden



"Even before I could speak, I remember crawling through blueberry patches in the wild meadows on our hillsides.  I quickly discovered Nature was filled with Spirit; I never saw any separation between Spirit and Nature.  Much later I discovered our culture taught there was supposed to be some kind of separation -
that God, Spirit and Nature were supposed to be divided and different.  However, at my early age it
seemed absolutely obvious that the church of the Earth was the greatest church of all; that the temple
of the forest was the supreme temple.  When I went to the sanctuary of the mountain, I found Earth's
natural altar - Great Spirit's real shrine.  Years later I discovered that this path of going into Nature,
bonding deeply with it, and seeing Spirit within Nature - God, Goddess, and Great Spirit - was
humanity's most ancient, most primordial path of spiritual cultivation and realization."
-  John P. Milton, Sky Above, Earth Below



 "The Lakota was a true Naturist-a lover of Nature. He loved the earth and all things of the earth, the attachment growing with age. The old people came literally to love the soil and they sat or reclined on the ground with a feeling of being close to a mothering power. It was good for the skin to touch the earth and the old people liked to remove their moccasins and walk with bare feet on the sacred earth. Their tipis were built upon the earth and their altars were made of earth. The birds that flew in the air came to rest on the earth and it was the final abiding place of all things that lived and grew. The soil was soothing, strengthening, cleansing and healing."That is why the old Indian still sits upon the earth instead of propping himself up and away from its life-giving forces. For him, to sit or lie upon the ground is to be able to think more deeply and to feel more keenly; he can see more clearly into the mysteries of life and come closer in kinship to other lives about him..."Kinship with all creatures of the earth, sky and water was a real and active principle. For the animal and bird world there existed a brotherly feeling that kept the Lakota safe among them and so close did some of the Lakotas come to, their feathered and furred friends that in true brotherhood they spoke a common tongue. .  The old Lakota was wise. He knew that a man' s heart away from Nature becomes hard; he knew that lack of respect for growing, living things soon led to lack of respect for humans too. So he kept his youth close to its softening influence."
Chief Luther Standing Bear, Lakota Sioux (born 1868)


















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Bibiolography and Links
Nature Mysticism




Alchemy and Mysticism:  The Hermetic MuseumBy Alexander Robb.  Taschen, 25th Edition, 2006.  575 pages.  ISBN: 3822850381. 


An Integral Theory of Consciousness    By Ken Wilbur.  81K+.   A summary of the "the four quadrants' of existence: intentional, behavioural, cultural and social." 


Corpus Epochalis: Mysticism, Body, and History    By Calin Mihailescu.  A historical review of the role of the body in Western mystical, religious, and philosophical writings.  79k+.   


Druid's Journey


Earthy Mysticism:  Spirituality for Unspiritual People By Tex Sample.  Abingdon Press, 2008.  104 pages.  ISBN: 0687649897.


Emily Dickinson's Nature Mysticism: A Photo Poetic Labyrinth


Google Mysticism Links   


Green Man 


Green Way Blog 

A Guide to Nature Spirituality Terms    By Selena Fox 


In Nature's Honor: Myths and Rituals Celebrating the Earth.  By Patricia Montley.   Boston, Skinner House Books, 2005.  Index, 379 pages.  ISBN: 155896486X.  VSCLC. 


Journey Into Nature: A Spiritual Adventure.  By Michael J. Roads.  H. J. Kramer, 1990.  216 pages.  ISBN: 0915811197. 




Life and Works of Richard Jefferies  (1848-1887)     Biography, Quotations, Links



Months and Seasons
Quotes, Poems, Saying, Lore, Myths, Holidays, Gardening Chores
Winter Spring Summer Fall
January April July October
February May August November
March June September December 




Listening to Nature:  How to Deepen Your Awareness of Nature.  By Joseph Bharat Cornell.  Photographs by John Hendrickson.  Dawn Publications, 1995.  95 pages.  ISBN: 0916124355. 


Months, Seasons: Quotes, Poems, Sayings, Lore, Myths


Mysticism: The Nature and Development of Spiritual Consciousness By Evelyn Underhill.  One World Pubs, 1999.  544 pages.  ISBN: 1851681965. 


Mysticism in World Religions    "Mysticism is concerned with the nature of reality, the individual's struggle to attain a clear vision of reality, and the transformation of consciousness that accompanies such vision. This web site site explores the mystical traditions of six religions by comparing and contrasting quotations drawn from their respective literatures."   Provides a good phenomeno-logical approach to mysticism by organizing quotes under the following topics:  "Distinguishing ego from true self, understanding the nature of desire, becoming unattached, forgetting about preferences, not working for personal gain, letting go of thoughts, redirecting your attention, being devoted, being humble, invoking that reality, and surrendering."  A well organized, broad minded, and content rich web site produced by Deb Platt.   


The Mysticism of Annie Dillard's "Pilgrim at Tinker Creek."    35K


Mysticism Resources Page   A meta-guide of links and references to philosophers and religious mystics.  Pointers to web sites and an excellent list of tools for scholarship in the subject.  Informative annotations for selected links.  Excellent resource!!   Prepared by Gene R. Thursby, Ph.D.


Mysticism Texts    A fine collection of e-texts of important mystical writings in many religious traditions.  


Nature Mysticism   An essay on the writings of Henry David Thoreau.  56K.  Part VI of a longer essay presented by The Thoreau Society and Walden Woods.


Nature Mysticism    By Larry Gates.   31K.   Good basic introductory essay with many good quotes.  


Nature Mysticism.   An fine essay by Mike King.  Nature mysticism in the writings of Thomas Traherne, Walt Whitman, Richard Jefferies and Krishnamurti.  The essay provides an excellent overview of the thoughts of Evelyn Underhill, Richard Zaehner, William James, and others about nature mysticism.   A well researched and very insightful three part essay.  Very good notes, references, and bibliographic work.  150K+.  


Nature Mysticism.  By John Edward Mercer (1857-1922), Bishop of Tasmania.  353KB, Text. 


Nature Mysticism    By Michael P. Garofalo.  Quotations, poems, sayings, links and bibliography.    


Nature Mysticism:  Google Search


The Nature Mysticism of John Muir   A short article by Larry Gates.  10K


Nature Mysticism in Tradition, Scripture and the World    Christian ecology.  20K.  


Nature Spirituality: Google Search


Nature Spirituality: Native American


One Old Druid's Final Journey:  Notebooks of the Green Wizard 


Pantheism - Wikipedia


Pantheist Association for Nature   Definitons, bibliography, quotes, links.  


Pilgrim at Tinker Creek   By Annie Dillard.  Harper Perennial Modern Classics, Reissue Edition, 2007.  304 pages.  ISBN: 0061233323. 


Places of Peace and Power   The Sacred Site Pilgrimage of Martin Gray.  A very interesting Links section, outstanding bibliography, and fine photographs.  


Rational Mysticism: Spirituality Meets Science in the Search for Enlightenment.  By John Horgan.  Mariner Books, 2004.  204 pages.  ISBN: 061844663X. 


Reading to Uplift a Gardener's Spirits.   The Spiritual and Psychological Aspects of Gardening. A Bibliography.  By Michael P. Garofalo.  66Kb+.


Religion and Gardening    By Michael P. Garofalo.  100Kb+.  Quotes, sayings, poems, and many links.    


The Sacred Circle.  By Michael P. Garofalo.  Quotes, poems, links, bibliography, photographs, and notes on creating a sacred circle at the Valley Spirit Center in Red Bluff, California.  140Kb+.


Sacred Earth Network 


The Sacred Garden: Soil for Growing the Soul.   By Patricia R. Barrett.   Morehouse Publishing Company, 2000.   144 pages. 


The Sanctuary Garden:  Creating a Place of Refuge in Your Yard or Garden   By Christopher Forrest McDowell and Tricia Clark-McDowell.  Line illustrations by Tricia Clark-McDowell.  Watercolors by Hanna Yoshimura.  New York, Simon and Schuster, A Fireside Book, 1998.  188 pages, suggested readings.  A beautiful, inspirational, and delightful book!   


Seasons: Quotes, Poems, Sayings, Lore, Myths


Silvan's Glade:  Mysticism and Nature     A variety of useful links.


The Simultaneous Mountain: Essays on Mysticism and Poetry.  By Victor M. Depta.  Blair Mountain Press, 2005.  270 pages.  ISBN: 0976881705. 


Spinoza    Spinoza's Writings    Baruch Spinoza (1632--1677)


The Spirit of Gardening   Over 3,400 quotes, poems, quips and sayings for lovers of the gardening, gardens, and the Green Way.   Arranged by over 140 topics.   Over 6 MB of text.   Religion, Spirituality, Time, Trees.  


The Spiritual Naturalist    An extensive website presented by Larry Gates.  Honoring traditions that encourage a soulful relationship with nature.  


Spirituality and Gardening    By Michael P. Garofalo.  120K+.  Quotes, sayings, poems, and many links.   Part I (Quotes).   Part II  (Quotes + Links).   


Stages and States    By Ken Wilbur.   A long essay on mystical states of consciousness.


The Story of My Heart    By Richard Jefferies.   London, MacMillan St Martin's Press, 1968.   Originally published in 1883.  (e-book format)


Taoism  Links, Bibliography, Resources, Quotes.  By Michael Garofalo.  110Kb.  


Edward Thomas (1878 - 1917)    


Three Mystical States   Dr. H.  9Kb.  


Universal Pantheist Society


Valley Spirit Center   Red Bluff, California  


Who's Who in the History of Western MysticismBy Bruce B. Janz.  68Kb. 


The Woman at Otowi Crossing   By Frank Waters.  Revised Edition.  Athens, Ohio, Swallow Press, Ohio University Press, 1966, 1987, 1997.  Foreward by Barbara Waters.  Introduction by Thomas J. Lyon.  xvi, 314 pages.  ISBN:  0804008930.  Ms. Helen Chalmers operates a small restaurant at Otowi Crossing, near Los Alamos, New Mexico, during the 1940's and 1950's.  She lives a simple life, works hard, and is profoundly influenced by her mystical experiences, visions, and frightening premonitions.  Her day to day economic and social life is affected by the scientists and support teams working on secret nuclear research and the development of atomic weapons at Los Alamos.   Her lifestyle is greatly influenced by the local native Indians and their ancient culture and beliefs, Hispanics, and the dramatic landscape of New Mexico.  Ultimately, her mysical visions dramatically revise her sense of self, her values, and her sense of being in a sacred place.   This novel is based some of the real life experiences of Edith Warner.  


Yahoo Mysticism Index


Zen Poetry






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Quotes, Sayings, Proverbs, Poetry, Maxims, Quips, Clichés, Adages, Wisdom
A Collection Growing to Over 3,500 Quotes, Arranged by 140 Topics
Many of the Documents Include Recommended Readings and Internet Links.
Over 6 MB of Text.
Compiled by Michael P. Garofalo


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Distributed on the Internet by Michael P. Garofalo, 2004-2010

I Welcome Your Comments, Ideas, Contributions, and Suggestions
E-mail Mike Garofalo in Red Bluff, California

 A Short Biography of Mike Garofalo

Nature Mysticism
Last updated on August 29, 2011

This document was first published on the Internet WWW on January, 2004.



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