Animals Know

Animals Know

Animals Know – Monthly Animal Blessings Service

Animals Know

Today is our Monthly Animal Blessings Service and our focus is on the animals in our lives.

As the weather starts to change I’m noticing a change in the animals that we share our land with. They seem to be a little more preoccupied, a little busier.

Yesterday, I had the windows open for the first time since early June. There was a lovely gentle breeze, and it had a slight coolness to it. I was walking around the property and I notice a cluster of red leaves way up in a tall maple tree. I wouldn’t have seen it if I hadn’t been looking for it.

I was wondering how do animals know. They know when the seasons are changing, they know when the weather is changing, they know when they are safe and when they are not. So how do they know?

We have technology and systems to help us understand most things; calendars, barometers, radar. But what about when we didn’t have those. Was there ever a time that our senses were so finely attuned? I think so. I think that like our animal friends, we were not only attuned to the changes in the seasons and the weather but also to each other. Read more

Active Living – Nature’s Sanctuary Sunday Service Reflection

Active Living – Nature’s Sanctuary Sunday Service Reflection

Active Living – Nature’s Sanctuary Sunday Service

Written Reflection

Active Living

Seedling by Ray_Lac

We look to Nature to help us better understand the ways in which we can live as Spirit. Nature offers us a look at pure Spirit, no ego, no rule of the mind, just pure existence whether a tree or a bird, they simply are and live purely.

Today I thought we would reflect on the notion of Active Lively as it shows up in Nature.

Do you know that expression, Nature abhors a vacuum? It means if there is an empty space in Nature, Nature will absorb it.

Have you ever seen those photos of old abandoned towns and buildings that Nature reabsorbs with plants and trees? It’s really quite amazing and powerful when you think about.

That’s why the way many people garden is a challenge. Gardeners create manicured garden plots with bare soil. You know what Nature does with anything ‘bare?’ It fills it. It fills it with a plant, or a weed in the eyes of the gardener, but Nature is just doing what it does. Taking advantage of a bare space to continue to grow.

So I want you to think about that for a minute – Nature looks for the opportunities to keep itself growing and producing. Any bare spot it finds, it will grab and start growing there. Read more

Rooting to The Earth

Rooting to The Earth

Rooting to the Earth: Nature’s Sanctuary Sunday Service

RootingOur reflection today is on rooting ourselves to the Earth.

If we look to Nature with regard to being rooted to the Earth, Trees are the most obvious place where we can see the benefits and power in being rooted.

When I began looking to Nature for guidance and insight into how we can live more purely as Spirit, the first tool I augmented was that of Grounding.

During the grounding practice, we would send a beam of light down into the Earth and then put the beam of light on ‘release’ which allows for energy within us, that we don’t need anymore, to release through the grounding chord.

I started to make a shift after I had done my New Year Meditation several years ago. When I do my New Year Meditation, I begin by looking at the Earth to see what she is working on, because as part of the macro/micro, whatever she is working on, we will be working on in our own way. So during this meditation, the Earth showed me taking back her energy and no longer providing for humanity without anything given back. As the weeks went on and I continued to practice grounding to the Earth, I was increasingly aware of the fact that this tool was one-sided and there was nothing that the Earth received from me during this process. That’s when I began playing with the idea of rooting to the Earth instead. Read more

Conscious Food Choices – Animals in Our Lives

Conscious Food Choices – Animals in Our Lives

Conscious Choices –  Animals in Our Lives

Animals

Today is our monthly Animal Blessings Service and I want to talk about incongruities in the way we think, act and behave toward animals. Not all animals, just some animals and it predominantly stems from a level of unconsciousness.

Yesterday I noticed someone had posted on Facebook an article that was entitled something like ‘Scientists believe Lobsters May Feel Pain When Being Boiled.’

So let’s consider this – there isn’t a creature on the planet that I know of that doesn’t exhibit fight or flight behavior which indicates that they want to survive. They have a desire to be here, to preserve their own lives and the lives of their families.

That’s every animal that I can think of.

A lobster being boiled alive, whether it feels pain or not, is going to feel the need to escape, so it’s feeling something.

We love and demand ethical treatment for cats and dogs. We are disgusted by nations that eat horses and dogs; yet we don’t have the same awareness about our own behaviors.

I became a vegetarian when I was 22. I had gone to Disney World and was in their petting zoo. They had a cow there named ‘Minney Moo.’  As I stood at the fence to her pen she came over to me and nudged her head toward me. I put my hand out and she nudged her head under it. As I began petting her head, she closed her eyes and made a little sound of comfort.

It was clear to me that this animal had feelings, felt comfort, enjoyed being touched. The thought of then turning around and eating beef was disgusting to me.  I returned home a vegetarian.

That was more than 25 years ago.

Someone recently asked me ‘what the deal was with veganism?’ They understand someone being a vegetarian, but why veganism?’

Here’s the deal about veganism – where dairy is concerned, cows give birth and their babies are taken away from them so that the cow continues to give milk. The calves are typically killed or used for veal. So that’s why vegans don’t consume anything dairy related. The process of obtaining milk from a cow is unconsciousionable.  Dairy has been off my list for almost as long as meat.

Eggs? Factory farms are machines. The chickens’ only purpose is to lay eggs for our consumption. Several months ago, a chicken came to us for refuge. We aren’t sure where she came from, but she wasn’t well when she arrived. Her beak had been clipped, so she was most likely from a farm. The clipping was so she wouldn’t peck at the others. Just as I experienced with Minnie Moo, I learned that chickens are funny, they are smart, they recognize you, they like community and they certainly demonstrate an awareness of the life they live.  I no longer eat eggs now either.

What about honey? This one seems to be difficult for people to understand. They are bees, they make honey, what’s the big deal? Well, many honey purveyors, as they are only in it for the honey, will clean out the hives of all of the honey and leave the bees with sugar water for food. Not only is this unhealthy for the bees, it is indicative of one of the many things wrong with humanity; the belief that all things big and small are here for our benefit. Vegans believe that this is not true, that we should not be stealing honey form the bees, and especially, leaving them without anything.

So as we come together today to honor the animals of the world; let’s start by having greater awareness of our own behaviors.

For many people the food they eat is a place of unconsciousness. We only see the end product, so there is no connection to the animal that once was. We are disconnected from their life or their experience. But that’s unconsciousness, and we do this in many places in our lives.

When my son was four years old we spent 3 month walking to Summer Camp in NYC, there and back, and he would ask me where different foods came from. I would tell him. At the end of the 3 months he said to me ‘I don’t want to eat meat,’ and I said O.K.  I see this level of awareness in many kids today. They put two and two together. It doesn’t make sense to them, it doesn’t make sense to me.

I think we all have these pockets of unconsciousness in our lives and our opportunity, our challenge, is to be on the lookout for them, to constantly strive to shed light on our incongruities and to always stretch ourselves to grow.

Today is our Animal Blessings Service where we honor, celebrate and remember the animals in our lives.

Today is good day to bring greater awareness into your own choices.

Your ripple opportunity this week is to bring a deeper level of conscious awareness into your food choices. Choose what you choose, but from a place of awareness.

 

Rev Christine, Nature’s Sanctuary Sunday Service Reflection for August 7, 2016

 

The White Dove – Symbol of Peace, Reflection on Being

The White Dove – Symbol of Peace, Reflection on Being

The White Dove

Nature’s Sanctuary Sunday Service Recording from July 31, 2016

White DoveMany of us are thinking about, holding space for and even wishing for peace right now. It can be challenging to be in a world where what we see and hear about is wrapped in anger, hatred and division. As the divine feminine energy floods the planet, it is shining light on all the places where we as humans do not live in alignment, where the darkness lives.

For centuries the world has been ruled by patriarchy, which holds its power through fear and control. The Divine feminine doesn’t need to rule, it ushers in partnership, equality, unity, collaboration and community; nor does it fight. It has a certainty that moves through the world, claiming its rightful place. Because of this, the old patriarchy, with its need for control has gone into overdrive in its effort to try and hold onto control.

Plus, in order for the world to truly change, all the deep, dark ugly stuff needs to come to the surface. You may be familiar with the phrase ‘dark night of the soul,’ one of those middle of the night moments when you can’t sleep and all of the deep dark stuff within you rises to the surface; well, the collective whole of humanity is experiencing its own ‘dark night of the soul.’

As peace is on many of our minds, I found myself reflecting on the White Dove and its message of Peace, Hope and Unity. I find it fascinating when many cultures and religions throughout history attach the same or similar message to the same animal or object.

I suspect on a physical level it is because at some point someone traveled, or read, or viewed and brought back the symbolism to absorb into their own culture or religion; but where does the very first moment of seeing this animal and associating it with something specific come from.

I believe it is because Nature speaks to us in a deep and powerful way. In the presence of Nature we have certain feelings and certain ideas come into our heads.

The Dove is one of three birds that produce milk. It begins to produce milk two days before the babies hatch and will stop eating during that time so that its milk will be free of bits and pieces that the babies would not be able to digest. Which means that they have an innate connection to their babies that enable them to know exactly when they will hatch.

Humans have often derived their messages they draw from animals and the world by observation. This act of the Dove’s gives it high marks where motherhood is concerned, exemplifying sacrifice and a mother’s instinct.

White is traditionally a color of purity and peace. We say ‘traditionally,’ so casually, but who was the first person to say ‘white, it’s so pure and peaceful?’ Or the first peoples because more than one culture saw white in this way; and remember there was no ‘google’ or internet, or even airplanes to transport us from one place in the world to another.

In looking through many different sources, it seems the dove and its connection to peace and unity first appears during Egyptian times over 120,000 years ago.  But interestingly in many associations the dove is an adornment for a god or goddess that depicts love or protection or even war. For example, the Japanese god of war, Hachiman, had the dove as a sacred symbol of peace indicating that after war, peace would come.

Of course in the story of Noah, it was a dove he sent to find land and the dove brought back an olive branch, to demonstrate that it had found land. The Dove and the Olive branch became symbols of peace and forgiveness in the bible.

So what can we draw from this?

Sometimes my mind spins around on reflections as I look for the thread and the connection; as I seek to understand what message wants to be shared.

I can tell you, it’s much better to sit in quiet and simply let the message come. The mind, will seldom if ever ‘figure it out.’

After doing just that, this is what I have to share with you.

The White Dove carries a sense of calm and certainty. It has a deep connection to the world it creates, like knowing exactly when its babies will hatch; it focuses on the moment and what is needed in that moment. It doesn’t concern itself with the lives of those around it, it doesn’t fight for food or space, it lives for itself and its family.

From that we can begin to see how the White Dove could come to symbolize peace and unity; but I think that only scuffs the surface, or better yet it distills what we can learn from this beautiful being.

To be a symbol equals being an icon or an image of something. The White Dove is so much more than just an icon; its lessons are profound and the message really is, if we live more like the White Dove, peace will prevail. So not that the Dove is a symbol of peace, but rather that its way of life creates peace.

Take some time this week to reflect on how powerful messages have been distilled into sound bites or icons; and begin to dig deeper and find the true meaning in moments and encounters.

Also, find some time to sit quietly and reflect on The White Dove and see what information and insight comes to you from this beautiful creature.


Rev Christine Agro, Reflection from Nature’s Sanctuary Sunday Service for July 31, 2016 heard first on Nature’s Channel.fm

Comments

comments

Grow Wildly, Be Abundantly Green

Grow WildlyGrow Wildly, Be Abundantly Green: Nature’s Sanctuary Sunday Service Written Reflection and Archive

I was walking around our property yesterday and had to acknowledge that we have reached the heart of Summer. The Heart of Summer is that time when everything is so green and lush that growth is wild and abundant.

Everywhere you go on our property you will find flowers in bloom, bushes full with life and their greenness, and berries ripe on their vines. The songs of the birds are loud and playful and butterflies and other pollinators flit by. The night is taken over by croaking frogs and chirping crickets and the silent communication of the fireflies. No matter the time of day or night, life is full and present.

During Summer we can draw encouragement from the constant and sometimes wild growing that is going on around us. Nature never stops growing, and when given the right environment it will grow beyond our wildest imagination. Last year I planted day lilies, white sage and echinacea along the side of our house that gets full direct sun. The plants were relatively small, yet even newly planted they flowered and provided a lovely visual experience. This year the plants have all grown exponentially and the color explosion is amazing. Between the sun and the rain, they are flourishing. We can draw encouragement from that. If we offer ourselves the right environment, we too can grow exponentially and even grow wildly. Summer offers us that reminder.

Find Nature’s Sanctuary Sunday Service every Sunday at 9AM ET on Nature’s Channel  Read more

You Can Be Fear, or You Can Be Light, The Choice is Yours. Reflection for July 17, 2016

You Can Be Fear, or You Can Be Light, The Choice is Yours. Reflection for July 17, 2016

Light of Being Nature’s Sanctuary Sunday Service for July 17, 2016


A few weeks ago I took a look at what was going on energetically with humanity and the primary thing that I saw was a bottleneck of people trying to push through a hole to move from darkness into light. That darkness is made up of fear.

I was guided to speak about the hermetic principle of Mentalism today – the notion that what we think is what we create.

I once heard a scientist complain about ‘new age’ people talking about ‘different realities’ because he insisted that there is only one reality. It was a funny tirade in-and-of itself because his perception was indeed his own reality, one in which the composition of the world resulted in a definitive structure unquestionable by anyone.   Through our minds we conjure up what the world looks like and ultimately is. How I see a tree, is different from how you see a tree. The color red is my mind’s understanding of the color red. Each of our worlds is created by our own minds; what we see, how we see it, how we interpret it, that all becomes the essence of our individual worlds or realities.

If your world is open and expansive, you experience life in that way. If your world is closed and constricted, you experience life in that way. Read more

Expansion – Nature’s Sanctuary Sunday Service July 10, 2016

Expansion – Nature’s Sanctuary Sunday Service July 10, 2016

Expansion – Nature’s Sanctuary Sunday Service Jul 10, 2016

Expansion – Nature’s Sanctuary Sunday Service Reflection for July 10, 2016

Summer is a great time to explore and reflect on expansion in Nature and given the political and social environments pretty much around the world, an exploration and reflection on expansion is essential.

As we are witness to the ever present atrocities occurring in our homelands and abroad; fear, sadness and powerlessness make us contract.

Although it is human nature to contract in the face of terror and hatred and confusion; contracting doesn’t serve us. It makes us smaller, it dims our light, it lets more and more dark prevail.

In the face of terror and hatred and confusion it is now more than ever that we need to expand our energy, we need to shine as brightly as we can, we need to hold and mark the space of compassion, connection, collaboration and love.

So today we are reflecting on expansion in Nature. There are so many amazing, powerful and beautiful examples of expansion in Nature through which we can attune our own energy and raise our vibrations. Read more

Soaring – Nature’s Sanctuary Sunday Service – July 3, 2016

Soaring – Nature’s Sanctuary Sunday Service – July 3, 2016

Soaring: Nature’s Sanctuary Sunday Service July 3 2016

Soaring

Soaring – today’s reflection from Nature’s Sanctuary Sunday Service.

This past week we had some intense weather which included high winds, heavy thunderstorms and tornado watches.

As the weather cleared, the winds remained a bit stronger than usual.

I happened to catch two pigeons flying and was amazed at their ability to utilize the wind to soar with little effort. I know it isn’t always like that for our feathered friends. Sometimes I seem them flying head long into strong winds and battling the forces of nature. But at this moment, it was pure beauty to see these two pigeons using the wind to soar.

I found myself thinking about birds and their ability to fly. These two were so at ease, slightly shifting their wings to lift and glide and eventually gently land at their chosen destination, but my thoughts turned to ‘did they learn this? Or is it instinctual?’ I have seen baby birds learning to fly, so I think that it isn’t something they just ‘know,’ but it does seem to be something they quickly get the hang of. Read more

The Healing Power of Nature – Nature’s Sanctuary Sunday Service 6/26/2016

The Healing Power of Nature – Nature’s Sanctuary Sunday Service 6/26/2016

Participate in today’s Nature’s Sanctuary Sunday Service – There’s something truly special about being a part of a weekly ritual. The Healing Power of Nature.

The Power of Nature to Heal

Nature’s Sanctuary Sunday Service for June 26, 2016: The Healing Power of Nature

The Healing Power of Nature (listen to the full Sunday Service below)

You may have heard about Nature’s ability to renew, rejuvenate and revitalize us. It’s the latest ‘fad’ to hear of doctors ‘prescribing’ nature as a cure for stress and anxiety.

You may have also heard of, or more likely seen on Facebook the Japanese term Shinrin-yoku. It means “taking in the forest atmosphere” or “forest bathing.” It became popular in Japan during the 1980s and is consider in Japanese medicine an essential part of not only healing, but staying healthy.

These are some of the benefits of Shinrin-yoku and you may recognize them Read more