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Lenten Devotional, Day 11, Snoozing in God’s Lap (episode 71)


This morning’s sit was absolutely lovely. Gentle breezes, bright sunshine, squirrels and robins feeding around the backyard. I did have one disappointing observation. The Saucer Magnolia in my neighbor’s yard, which was exploding in white and pink blossoms over the past week, turned a dingy brown due to an intense cold snap. I am saddened to see these lovely blooms slip away so quickly. Fortunately, I can already see buds fattening up on the tips of a few flowering trees. I can’t wait to see what color Spring brings next.

As I soaked in the sights and sounds today I found myself drifting in and out of sleep. This was a first. Not that I haven’t fallen asleep praying, but so far

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Lenten Devotional, Day 10, Chasing Light(episode 70)

Yesterday morning I was photographing the first daffodils appearing in my yard, and today I am analyzing snow melts. The swiftness with how rapidly things can change is astounding. One sit I did in the warmth of the sun. My next sit held just over twenty-four hours later I did beneath the stars and was fighting not to give into the cold. Ironically, in both cases what caught my attention was phenomenon dependent on the sun.

During the day, as I photographed the daffodils, I moved around to the far side of them because the blooms were all facing away from me towards the sun. When plants track the sun, it’s known as phototropic behavior. Realizing these plants are always

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Lenten Devotional, Day 9, gratitude (episode 69)

Everyday I begin my sit spot time by offering thanks. I haven’t explained how though. I’m not just rattling off whatever I am grateful for. I have a specific form of thanks that I have been doing for over twenty years. My model is an adaptation of a model I originally learned while on a wilderness education event. The school I attended received the original prayer model from a Native American elder named Jake Swamp of the Haudenosaunee people.

In it’s original form the person praying usually voices their gratitude to various aspects of creation.  My experience has been that this is not usually a deification of nature, but rather an expression of heartfelt kinship with the natural world. That said, I too feel deep connection to nature, but when I prayer

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Lenten Devotional, Day 8, “Normal” (episode 68)

This morning, I noticed a few subtle differences in my backyard. Normally, the birds chatter more. I also almost always spot a few birds milling about in my neighbor’s shrubs, and I’ve heard red-bellied wouldpeckers off to the north pretty much every single day. None of that was happening this morning. This seemed particularly strange given it was also nice day.

I said “normally”, but what isn’t normal is that I came out at a later time than usually. More often than not, I am in my patio chair around 8:30 or 9 a.m., but today I didn’t get out there until 10:30 a.m. I was reminded that natures normal changes depending on the time of day, the season, and the

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Lenten Devotional, Day 7, Beasties and Weeds (episode 67)

I spotted my first dandelion. He was poking up between bricks in our herb garden. I happened to see the little fella right after thinking about disruptive thoughts that pop up while I’m meditating. There seemed to be a connection.

I took a class recently called “Quieting the Beast”. The class was all about recognizing when intrusive thoughts are distracting you from being in a productive or spirit-minded space. We learned to observe ourselves and intervene as needed. Sitting quietly has a way of making you painfully aware of all of the inner chatter going on.

Our instructor, a nature educator named Tom Brown, referred to chaotic thoughts as “the Beast.” At the end of every nature meditation I capture my

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Lenten Devotional, Day 6, Prophets (episode 66)

This morning I watched a male and female cardinal bolt up from feeding on the ground to mid-level in the trees. The robins in the yard glanced up, but kept feeding. The disturbance that produced the reaction was five women walking down the alley, chatting with one another. They weren’t much of a threat, hence, only the species nearest the alley fled and not far.

Bird’s are fantastic indicators of what’s happening around you. They can become like an extension of your senses once you learn to read their behavior. They can alert you to hikers on a trail, shifts in the weather, or predators lurking in the brush. They often have a vantage point

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