Slow slow

As darkness drips into the daytime, nature shuts up and shuts down. Bird song is the last to leave just before winter’s solstice. Despite the turmoil in the clouds, lowering ones eyes, coming to a full stop and turning inward is the only way to go.



It is today the day that entertainment is abundant. People never ever have to be all by themselves. They switch on something and BOOM … their attention soars outward again. One is not alone if one doesn’t want to be alone. Being bored is impossible. Having to spend time all by yourself, with yourself, has become avoidable. And, dear &#Deity;, what we would give to avoid being with just our selves any length of time.

Yet, nature in winter shows us the way it is done and the reason why we should follow its example. Being just with yourself. Everything frozen to a halt. Steam where no water boils. Silence where no sound can penetrate. Cold where warmth has lost its purpose. Darkness where light would only blind.


I believe any spiritual tradition has this space and purpose for contemplation. Prayer, I believe, has this function. A true prayer looks at one self. Does not beg, does not plead, but reflects on ones own thoughts, beliefs, actions and non-actions. And tries to learn from that. Tries to draw insight from it and grow from it the trust and strength and belief that whatever is next, one will take oneself as a whole to it and through it and learn something new again and again.

I don’t know how to pray. I see nature this winter and try to learn from it. I see how all quiets down. And I trust that with the return of the sunlight in Spring life will be abundant again. The now barren and cold branches of the apple tree in my neighbours garden will blossom at just the right moment. Somehow from somewhere bees and butterflies appear almost on the same day. Birds will become so noisy I will call them names in the very early morning when I wake up because of their song.

Nothing of that is here yet. And yet it is because of this ultimate and pure withdrawal from activity, because of this natural contemplation, right this moment, that Spring to come will be bustling with real life and all will be perfect in its place and time. Pure joy. No switches needed.

It makes me longing for my zafu.


I wish for you to have a happy holidays and that your new year may be very, very boring 🙂


About Jikai

Living a life of blessed less where my feet support my walk and my hands create my story. View all posts by Jikai

One response to “Slow slow

  • Marina Z. Valentine

    When I was small I grew up in the wild countryside and the natural environment was a part of my life. All along, I was used to the natural environment, until one summer I came back for summer vacation and realized that the trees next to my house had disappeared without a trace. Like a pot of orchids that couldn’t find its dirt, I slowly realized that I had been deprived of something and that I had been split from my connection with nature. At that time I felt like crying, like I was split from a family member. I think that there are some people who have strong feeling for nature and who recognize that nature is worth a lot to them. They think that environmental issues are a personal issue and not about climate change or the energy crisis. I will use myself as an example to explain why people need to get close to nature, and why they have a spiritual need for nature. Since people originally came from nature, and their natural instincts and roots are biological, they need to stay close to nature to preserve their physical body as well as their spirit. Ecopsychologist Roszak said the deepest human psychological need was its connection with nature, and he called it the ecological unconscious. It is similar to Jung’s collective unconscious in that it people need to experience their own roots while being in nature to return to a plane of reality, and people need to experience nature emotionally. But we have been cut off from this ecological unconscious and we have been cut off from nature; this has happened thanks to urbanization. This article gives a good example of the problem; I find it very enlightening. There is no way we can go back now, but we can still spend a little more time getting close to nature, to keep our ecological spirit healthy.

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