Table of Contents
- Musical Introduction
- Rumi: “One Night a Man was Crying”
- Psalm 23
- Prayer of St. Francis
- Psalm 139
- Chief Yellow Lark’s Prayer
- I Corinthians 13
- The Successful Life, Emerson (attributed)
- The Desiderata, Max Ehrmann
- Psalm 121
- Nancy Wood, “My Help is in the Mountain”
- Reinhold Neibhur, The Serenity Prayer
- Matthew 6
- Wendell Berry, “The Peace of Wild Things”
- John Burroughs, “The Laws of Life and Death”
- Walt Whitman, from “Song of Myself”
- Psalm 8
- Meng Shu Ching, “My Sanctuary”
- Thich Nhat Hanh
- e e cummings, “i thank You God”
- Psalm 100
- Albert Schweitzer, Prayer For Animals
- Intimations of Immortality, William Wordsworth
- Rumi, “Out Beyond Ideas”
- The Invitation, Oriah Mountain Dreamer
- Matthew 25 “As you have done it…”
- Chief Seattle’s Letter (attributed)
- Carl Sandburg, “Stars, Songs and Faces”
- Irish Blessing (Traditional)
- Pablo Neruda, “Keeping Quiet”
One night a man was crying: Alah, Allah.
His lips grew sweet with praising.
Until a cynic said: so I have heard you call out.
Have you ever gotten a response from Allah?
The man had no answer to that. He quit praying and fell into a confused sleep.
He dreamed he saw a Khidir, the guide of souls.
The Khidir said, why did you stop praising?
The man said, because I never heard anything back.
Khidir said, this longing you express, it is the return message.
The grief you cry out from draws you toward union.
Your pure sadness that wants help, it is the secret cup.
To everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die;
A time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
A time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to get, and a time to lose;
A time to keep, and a time to cast away;
A time to rend, and a time to sew;
A time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate;
A time for war and a time for peace…and a time for peace.
1: The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want;
2: he makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters;
3: he restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
4: Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil; for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me.
5: Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of my enemies; thou anointest my head with oil, my cup runneth over.
6: Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.
Make me an instrument of peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is despair, hope; where there is sadness, joy;
where there is darkness, light.
Grant that I may not so much
seek to be consoled, as to console;
seek to be understood as to understand,
seek to be loved, as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
 O LORD, thou hast searched me and known me! Thou knowest my sitting down and my rising up; thou knowest my thoughts from afar. Thou searchest out my path and my lying down, (you are) acquainted with all my ways. Even before a word is on my tongue, lo, O LORD, thou knowest it altogether.  Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain it. Whither shall I go from thy Spirit? Or whither shall I flee from thy presence?  If I ascend to heaven, thou art there! If I make my bed in Sheol, thou art there!  If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,  even there thy hand shall lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.  If I say, “Let only darkness cover me, and the light about me be night,”  even the darkness is not dark to thee, the night is bright as the day; for darkness is as light with thee.  For thou didst form my inward parts, thou didst knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise thee, for thou art fearful and wonderful. Wonderful are thy works! Thou knowest me right well;  my frame was not hidden from thee, when I was being made in secret, intricately wrought in the depths of the earth.  Thy eyes beheld my unformed substance; in thy book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.  How precious to me are thy thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them!  If I would count them, they are more than the sand. When I awake, I am still with thee…  Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts!  And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!
O Great Spirit whose voice I hear in the winds, hear me. I come before you one of your many children, I am small and weak, I need your strength and wisdom. Let me walk in beauty and let my eyes ever behold the red and purple sunset. Make my hands respect the things you have made, and my ears sharp to hear your voice. Make me wise so that I may understand the things you have taught my people, the lesson you have hidden in every leaf and rock. I seek strength not to be greater than my brother but to fight my greatest enemy, myself. Make me ever ready to come to you with clean hands and straight eyes so that when life fades as a fading sunset my spirit may come to you without shame.
1: If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2: And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3: If I give away all I have…but have not love, I gain nothing. 4: Love is patient and kind; love is not jealous or boastful; 5: it is not arrogant or rude. Love does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6: it does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the right. 7: Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8: Love never ends; as for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. 9: For our knowledge is imperfect and our prophecy is imperfect; 10: but when the perfect comes, the imperfect will pass away. 11: When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became a man, I gave up childish ways. 12: For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now we know in part; then we shall understand fully, even as we have been fully understood. 13: So faith, hope, love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
To laugh often and love much; to win and hold the respect of intelligent persons and the affection of little children; to earn the approval of honest critics and to endure without flinching the betrayal of false friends.
To appreciate beauty always, whether in earth’s creations or men and women’s handiwork; to have sought for and found the best in others, and to have given it oneself; to leave the world better than one found it, whether by nurturing a child or a garden patch, writing a cheery letter, or working to redeem some social condition.
To have played with enthusiasm, laughed with exuberance, and sung with exultation; to go down to dust and dreams knowing that the world is a little bit better, and that even a single life breathes easier because we have lived well, that is to have succeeded.
Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others,
even to the dull and ignorant; they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter,
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals,
and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass.
Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be.
And whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life,
keep peace with your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world. Be careful. Strive to be happy.
I lift up my eyes to the hills. From whence does my help come? 2: My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth. 3: He will not let your foot be moved, he who keeps you will not slumber. 4: Behold, he who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. 5: The LORD is your keeper; the LORD is your shade on your right hand. 6: The sun shall not smite you by day, nor the moon by night. 7: The LORD will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life. 8: The LORD will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and for evermore.
My help is in the mountain
Where I take myself to heal
The earthly wounds
That people give to me.
I find a rock with sun on it
And a stream where the water runs gentle
And the trees which one by one give me company
So must I stay for a long time
Until I have grown from the rock
And the stream is running through me
And I cannot tell myself from on tall tree.
Then I know that nothing touches me
Nor makes me run away
My help is in the mountain
That I take away with me.
Earth cure me. Earth receive my woe. Rock strengthen me. Rock receive my weakness. Rain wash my sadness away. Rain receive my doubt. Sun make sweet my song. Sun receive the anger from my heart.
God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that things (will be all) right
if I (let go of my need to control)…
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
Beware of practicing your piety before men in order to be seen by them…when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray in secret…like this:
Our Father who art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come.
Thy will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread;
And forgive us our debts,
As we also have forgiven our debtors;
And lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever. Amen
When despair for the world grows in me and I wake in the night at the least sound in fear of what my life and my childrens lives may be, I go and lie down where the wood drake rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds
I come into the peace of wild things who do not tax their lives with forethought of grief. I come into the presence of still water. And I feel above me the day-blind stars waiting with their light. For a time I rest in the grace of the world and am free.
The laws of life and death are as they should be. The laws of matter and force are as they should be; and if death ends my consciousness, still is death good. I have had life on those terms, and somewhere, somehow, the course of nature is justified.
I shall not be imprisoned in some grave where you are to bury my remains. I shall be diffused in great nature: in the soil, in the air, in the water and sunshine, and in the hearts of those who have loved me, in all the living and flowing currents of the world, though I may never again in my entirety be embodied in a single human being. My elements and my forces go back into the original sources out of which they came, and these sources are perennial in this vast, wonderful and divine cosmos.
The smallest sprout shows there is really no death, and if ever there was it led forward life, and does not wait at the end to arrest it.
All goes onward and outward, nothing collapses.
And to die is different from what anyone supposed, and luckier. Has anyone supposed it lucky to be born?
I hasten to inform him or her it is just as lucky to die, and I know it. I pass death with the dying and birth with the new-washd babe, and I am not contained between my hat and my boots.
And I say to mankind, be not curious about God, for I who am curious about all and about each am not curious about God. (No array of terms can say how much I am at peace about God and about death.)
I hear and behold God in every object, yet understand God not in the least.
And as to you death, and you bitter hug of mortality, it is idle to try to alarm me. (No doubt Ive died myself ten thousand times before.)
I depart as air. I shake my white locks at the runaway sun, and I effuse my flesh in eddies, and drift it in lacy jags. I bequeath myself to the dirt to grow from the grass I love.
If you want me again look under your bootsoles. You will hardly know who I am or what I mean, but I shall be good health to you, nevertheless, and filter and fibre your blood.
Failing to fetch me at first, keep encouraged.
Missing me one place, search another
I stop, somewhere, waiting for you
O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is thy name in all the earth! Thou whose glory above the heavens is chanted by the mouth of babes and infants, 3: When I look at thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars which thou hast established; 4: what is man that thou art mindful of him, and the son of man that thou dost care for him? 5: Yet thou hast made him little less than the angels, and you have crowned him with glory and honor. 6: Thou hast given him dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet, 7: all sheep and oxen, and also the beasts of the field, 8: the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea, whatever passes along the paths of the sea. O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is thy name in all the earth.
On the low wall of my garden
There stands a tiny shrine,
In the shadow of the trees.
When I am weary of this sad world,
And of man’s turmoil and strife,
I steal off to my shrine among the trees.
There, with silent prayer and incense,
I find my soul again –
And thank Heaven for my shrine among the trees. In The Hundred Names
Our true home is in the present moment.
To live in the present moment is a miracle.
The miracle is not to walk on water.
The miracle is to walk on the green Earth in the present moment,
to appreciate the peace and beauty that are available now.
Peace is all around usin the world and in nature, and within us;
It is in our bodies and our spirits.
Once we learn to touch this peace, we will be healed and transformed.
It is not a matter of faith, it is a matter of practice.
i thank You God for most this amazing
day:for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky;and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes
(i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the suns birthday;this is the birth
day of life and of love and wings:and of the gay
great happening illimitably earth)
how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing anylifted from the no
of all nothinghuman merely being
doubt unimaginable You?
(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)
1: Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the lands! 2: Serve the LORD with gladness! Come into his presence with singing! 3: Know that the LORD is God! It is he that made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. 4: Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him, bless his name! 5: For the LORD is good; his steadfast love endures for ever, and his faithfulness to all generations.
Hear our humble prayer, O God, for our friends the animals, especially for animals who are suffering; for any that are hunted or lost or deserted or frightened or hungry; for all that must be put to death. We entreat for them all Thy mercy and pity, and for those who deal with them we ask a heart of compassion and gentle hands and kindly words. Make us, ourselves, to be true friends to animals and so o share the blessings of the merciful.
There was a time when meadow, grove and stream,
The earth, and every common sight, to me did seem
Appareled in celestial light,
The glory and freshness of a dream.
It is not now as it hath been of yore
Turn wheresoer I may,
By night or day,
The things which I have seen I now can see no more.
The rainbow comes and goes,
And lovely is the Rose.
The sunshine is a glorious birth.
But yet I know, whereer I go,
That there hath passed away a glory from the earth.
Wither is fled the visionary gleam?
Where is it now, the glory and the dream?
Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting:
The soul that rises with us, our lifes star,
Hath had elsewhere its setting,
And cometh from afar.
Not in entire forgetfulness,
And not in utter nakedness,
But trailing clouds of glory do we come
From God, who is our home.
Heaven lies about us in our infancy!
Shades of the prison-house begin to close
Upon the growing boy…
Though nothing can bring back the hour
Of splendor in the grass, of glory in the flower…
Thanks to the human heart by which we live,
Thanks to its tenderness, its joys, and fear,
To me the meanest flower that blows can give
Thoughts that do often lie too deep for tears.
Out beyond ideas of wrong doing and right doing there is a field. Ill meet you there. When the soul lies down in that grass the world is too full to talk about. Ideas, language, even the phrase each other doesnt make any sense.
It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing.
It doesn’t interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dream, for the adventure of being alive.
It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon, I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow, if you have been opened by life’s betrayals, or have become shriveled and closed from fear of further pain.
I want to know if you can sit with pain- mine or your own, without moving to hide it, or fake it, or fix it.
I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own; if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, to be realistic, to remember the limitations of being human.
It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me is true. I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself. If you can bare the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul. If you can be faithless and therefore trustworthy.
I want to know if you can see Beauty even when it is not pretty every day. And if you can source your own life from its presence.
I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine, and still stand on the edge of the lake and shout to the silver moon, ‘Yes!’
It doesn’t interest me to know where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up after the night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone, and do what needs to be done, to feed the children.
It doesn’t interest me who you know, or how you came to be here. I want to know if you will stand in the center of the fire with me and not shrink back.
It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom you have studied. I want to know what sustains you from the inside when all else falls away.
I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.
Then the king shall say unto those on his right hand, Come, oh blessed of my Father, and inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was hungry and you gave me food: I was thirsty and you gave me drink; I was a stranger and you welcomed me; I was naked and you clothed me; I was sick and you visited me; I was in prison and you came to me.
Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you drink; or naked and cloth you? Or when did we see you sick, or in prison and come to you?
And the king shall answer and say unto them, verily I say unto you, inasmuch as you have done it unto one of the least of these, my brethren, you have done it unto me.
The President in Washington sends word that he wishes to buy our land. But how can you buy or sell the sky? the land? The idea is strange to us. If we do not own the freshness of the air and the sparkle of the water, how can you buy them?
Every part of the earth is sacred to my people. Every shining pine needle, every sandy shore, every mist in the dark woods, every meadow, every humming insect. All are holy in the memory and experience of my people.
We know the sap which courses through the trees as we know the blood that courses through our veins. We are part of the earth and it is part of us. The perfumed flowers are our sisters. The bear, the deer, the great eagle, these are our brothers. The rocky crests, the dew in the meadow, the body heat of the pony, and man all belong to the same family.
The shining water that moves in the streams and rivers is not just water, but the blood of our ancestors. If we sell you our land, you must remember that it is sacred. Each glossy reflection in the clear waters of the lakes tells of events and memories in the life of my people. The water’s murmur is the voice of my father’s father.
The rivers are our brothers. They quench our thirst. They carry our canoes and feed our children. So you must give the rivers the kindness that you would give any brother.
If we sell you our land, remember that the air is precious to us, that the air shares its spirit with all the life that it supports. The wind that gave our grandfather his first breath also received his last sigh. The wind also gives our children the spirit of life. So if we sell our land, you must keep it apart and sacred, as a place where man can go to taste the wind that is sweetened by the meadow flowers.
Will you teach your children what we have taught our children? That the earth is our mother? What befalls the earth befalls all the sons of the earth.
This we know: the earth does not belong to man, man belongs to the earth. All things are connected like the blood that unites us all. Man did not weave the web of life, he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself.
One thing we know: our God is also your God. The earth is precious to him and to harm the earth is to heap contempt on its creator.
Your destiny is a mystery to us. What will happen when the buffalo are all slaughtered? The wild horses tamed? What will happen when the secret corners of the forest are heavy with the scent of many men and the view of the ripe hills is blotted with talking wires? Where will the thicket be? Gone! Where will the eagle be? Gone! And what is to say goodbye to the swift pony and then hunt? The end of living and the beginning of survival.
When the last red man has vanished with this wilderness, and his memory is only the shadow of a cloud moving across the prairie, will these shores and forests still be here? Will there be any of the spirit of my people left?
We love this earth as a newborn loves its mother’s heartbeat. So, if we sell you our land, love it as we have loved it. Care for it, as we have cared for it. Hold in your mind the memory of the land as it is when you receive it. Preserve the land for all children, and love it, as God loves us.
As we are part of the land, you too are part of the land. This earth is precious to us. It is also precious to you.
One thing we know – there is only one God. No man, be he Red man or White man, can be apart. We ARE all brothers after all.
Gather the songs and keep them.
Gather the faces of women (and men)
Gather for keeping, years and years.
Loosen your hands, let go and say good-by.
Let the stars and the songs go,
Let the faces and the years go.
Loosen your hands and say good-by.
May the road rise up to meet you May the wind be always at your back May the sun shine warm upon your face And the rains fall soft upon your fields And until we meet again May God hold you in the palm of his hand.
Now we will count to twelve
and we will all keep still
for once on the face of the earth,
let’s not speak in any language;
let’s stop for a second,
and not move our arms so much.
It would be an exotic moment
without rush, without engines;
we would all be together
in a sudden strangeness.
Fisherman in the cold sea
would not harm whales
and the man gathering salt
would not look at his hurt hands.
Those who prepare green wars,
wars with gas, wars with fire,
victories with no survivors,
would put on clean clothes
and walk about with their brothers
in the shade, doing nothing.
What I want should not be confused
with total inactivity.
Life is what it is about;…
If we were not so single-minded
about keeping our lives moving,
and for once could do nothing,
perhaps a huge silence
might interrupt this sadness
of never understanding ourselves
and of threatening ourselves with death.
Perhaps the earth can teach us
as when everything seems to be dead in winter
and later proves to be alive.
Now I’ll count up to twelve
and you keep quiet and I will go