"To be wise, we have to examine our intention to ensure that it is free from delusion. The ends do not justify the means. If our actions will bring harm to others, even in the service of some 'good', they are almost certainly deluded. If our actions do not come from a kind heart, from loving courage and compassion, they are deluded. If they are based on a distinction between "us" and "them", they stem from delusion. Only to the extent that we act from the wisdom of no separation, understanding how we are woven together, will our intention bring benefit." (Jack Kornfield, The Wise Heart, 264)
When I first became a formal student of plant medicine over a decade ago, I immediately fell in love with the medicine of burning plant material -- smudging, as it was introduced to me. I was transported into one of my childhood memories of building and burning a fire made of hard and soft wood, pinecones and dried needles, and the feeling of comfort, protection and purification that accompanied the warmth and beauty of smoke and flame.
While out on a medicine walk with my canine companion, Güstav and I crossed paths with this beautiful Coyote...
Her behavior struck me; though I have the utmost respect for one of the most adaptable species on our planet, and have always known Coyotes to be curious, inquisitive and fearless, this one seemed to be carrying a very important message with a sense of urgency and deliberation ...
We are alive at a time of great change; a time of great struggle, and immense opportunity. Humanity is faced with many challenges, and we possess within ourselves and within our communities unfathomable abilities suited to steward in a time of tremendous happiness, health and harmony for all of life.
Molly Jo Stanley
Educating for Mindfulness and Sustainability