The adventure of life is to learn. The purpose of life is to grow. The nature of life is to change. The challenge of life is to overcome. The essence of life is to care. The opportunity of like is to serve. The secret of life is to dare. The spice of life is to befriend. The beauty of life is to give. — William Arthur Ward
Every one of us has the seed of mindfulness.
The practice is to cultivate it. — Thich Nhat Hanh
SEEDS & SPICES – Special focus on mustard seeds.
Song about seeds:
- Faith Like a Mustard Seed (Jamaican reggae gospel) song link
- Sowing the Seeds of Love by Tears for Fears song link
- How Great by Chance the Rapper (gospel and rap) song link
- My Little Seed by Woody Guthrie (folk song) song link
- Faith as Small as a Mustard Seed (Christians children’s music) song link
- The Seed Song (Christian children’s music) song link
- Just a Little Seed by Liz Buchanan song link
- Finger Play for children “The Farmer Plants the Seeds” video link
- Spices – Biblical Archeology link to article
- Herbs and Spices of the Bible link to article
- Herbs and Spices – Partial Scripture Inventory of their appearances in Bible link to article
Blessing That Holds a Nest in Its Branches — Jan Richardson
The emptiness that you have been holding for such a long season now;
that ache in your chest that goes with you night and day
in your sleeping, your rising—
think of this not as a mere hollow,
the void left from the life that has leached out of you.
Think of it like this: as the space being prepared
for the seed.
Think of it as your earth that dreams
of the branches the seed contains.
Think of it as your heart making ready
to welcome the nest its branches will hold.
Whereas spices are as valuable as currency in ancient times, including many of the seeds used to create them, mustard seeds were like weeds in Jesus’ time (and today, too). They grew and spread and were unwelcome in fields and vineyards. Yet mustard seeds are used as a positive image in the parable, turning our ideas upside down. When we take small actions and make simple choices, big things are possible out of those beginnings. And maybe the world of justice, mercy and compassion — holy Love’s kingdom here on earth — will grow and take shape in the most potent, surprising, and undeniable ways. Like plants that we consider weeds, that grow up to become healing, beautiful and transformative.
- What small deeds or words have you heard that changed your perspective?
- What simple choices and actions have you taken that may have a larger impact than you can imagine? Or what choices and actions would you like to make as a beginning of transformation?
- Where do you see change in holy and loving ways that surprise you?
- Who has surprised you with insights and actions that teach you to see the world differently?
MUSTARD SEED MUSINGS: Small but Persistent
I’ve read that the mustard plant is a bush, not a tree, but it seems that the point of the parable is the size, relative both to other plants and to the initial kernel from which the plant grows. — Mark Davis
They are prepared for a mustard-seed kingdom of God no bigger than the eye of a newt but not for the great banyan it becomes with birds in its branches singing Mozart … ― Frederick Buechner
I have a mustard seed and I’m not afraid to use it! — Joseph Ratzinger
… in Jesus’ world … mustard was a weed, dreaded by farmers the way today’s gardeners dread kudzu, crabgrass, or bindweed. It starts out small, but before long has taken over your field. Why, then, compare the kingdom of God to a pernicious weed and pollutant? Because both mustard seed and yeast have this way of spreading beyond anything you’d imagined, infiltrating a system and taking over a host … far more potent than we’d imagined and ready to spread to every corner of our lives … — David Lose
God’s work is barely perceptible at times, and yet produces enormous results. — Pulpit Fiction
Mustard was just about as virulent as Kudzu. Once it took hold in a field, it would eventually take over the whole place. It’s just about impossible to eradicate. Modern farmers hate it because it gets in their crops. Ranchers hate it because it irritates the eyes of their livestock. What possible good could come from mustard seed? But in a very real sense, that’s precisely the point. God’s realm of justice and peace and freedom in this world is something unexpected. It works contrary to our expectations. — Alan Brehm
BUDDHIST MUSTARD SEED STORY
“A woman lost her child and was inconsolable in her grief, carrying her dead child throughout the land, begging for someone to help heal her child. When she came to the Buddha, she begged him to help her. He told him he could help her if she would collect mustard seeds for the medicine. She eagerly agreed, but then the Buddha explained that the mustard seeds needed to come from a home that had not been touched by death. When the woman visited each house in search of the mustard seeds that might heal her son, she discovered there was no house that had not suffered the loss fo a parent, or a spouse, or a child. Seeing that her suffering was not unique, she was able to bury her child in the forest and release her grief.” — Shared by the Dalai Lama
Spices As Philosophy
The secret of happiness is variety, but the secret of variety, like the secret of all spices, is knowing when to use it. — Daniel Gilbert
Variety’s the very spice of life, That gives it all its flavor. — William Cowper
Arabian merchants controlled most of the spice trade for centuries. They became the exclusive suppliers of spices from Asia, such as cassia and cinnamon. In order to discourage the Mediterranean world from establishing direct commercial links with sources in the East, the Arabians spread fanciful tales about the dangers involved in obtaining spices. The real source of spices was “probably the best-kept trade secret of all time,” according to The Book of Spices. — jw.org
Words are like spices. Too many is worse than too few. — Joan Aiken
There has never been any great genius without a spice of madness. — Seneca the Younger
I just think you need to spice up life every now and then with a bit of adventure and excitement. — Richard Branson
Is not birth, beauty, good shape, discourse, Manhood, learning, gentleness, virtue, youth, liberality, and such like, the spice and salt that season a man — William Shakespeare
But in truth, should I meet with gold or spices in great quantity, I shall remain till I collect as much as possible, and for this purpose I am proceeding solely in quest of them. — Christopher Columbus
Spices in Cooking & Food
Spice is life. It depends upon what you like… have fun with it. Yes, food is serious, but you should have fun with it. — Emeril Lagasse
Once you get a spice in your home, you have it forever. Women never throw out spices. The Egyptians were buried with their spices. I know which one I’m taking with me when I go. — Erma Bombeck
I measure in my palm and use my eyes to estimate amounts; a tablespoon is a full palm of dried spices. — Rachael Ray
All those spices and herbs in your spice rack can do more than provide calorie-free, natural flavorings to enhance and make food delicious. Theyre also an incredible source of antioxidants and help rev up your metabolism and improve your health at the same time. — Suzanne Somers
Spices As Emotion
Spice a dish with love and it pleases every palate. — Plautus
Variety is the spice of love. — Helen Rowland
Love is like a spice. It can sweeten your life – however, it can spoil it, too. — Confucius
Courage, sacrifice, determination, commitment, toughness, heart, talent, guts. That’s what little girls are made of; the heck with sugar and spice. — Bethany Hamilton
Fear is the spice that makes it interesting to go ahead. — Daniel Boone
TRINITY — Michael Bugeja
You have distinct dimensions. They are we:
Encyclopedias and alphabets
Of the Big Bang, exobiology,
Inhabitants on multitudes of planets.
Our light cannot escape your gravity.
The soul is linked to yours, a diode
Through which we must return as energy
Until we flare like red suns, and explode:
We try to reconstruct you with an ode
Or explicate your essence line by line.
We canonize commandments like a code
Etched within the DNA. If we’re divine,
Composing simple poems, making rhymes,
Then what are others in this paradigm?
Then what are others in this paradigm
If not superior? We’re grains of sand.
You have a billion planets to command
With technologies that attained their prime
Before we left the alluvial slime
For land and land for trees and trees for land
Again. These chosen beings went beyond
The boundaries and laws of space and time
To greater meccas. What miracles do
They require? How many stars, their Magi?
Who, their Pilot? When, their Armageddon?
Were we made in God’s image and they too?
Do you save sinners on Alpha Centauri,
All the nebular rosaries of heaven?
All the nebular roasries of heaven
Are bounded by the lace of your cosmic string.
The unifying force, interwoven
In the clockwork of space-time, is a spring:
One moment we live here and the next, there.
The universe has edges off of which
No one will fall. Because you’re everywhere,
Its seam appears the same from every stitch:
The father sparks the singularity.
We breed like godseed in the firmament.
The Son forgives so that eternity,
Your sole domain, becomes self-evident:
Together you complete the trinity.
You have distinct dimensions: they are we.
I didn’t need to understand the … unity of the Trinity; I just needed to turn my life over to whoever came up with redwood trees. ― Anne Lamott, Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith
Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth. — Buddha
By three methods we may learn wisdom: first by reflection, which is noblest; second by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest. — Confucius
Love is made up of three unconditional properties in equal measure:
Remove any one of the three and the triangle falls apart. Which, by the way, is something highly inadvisable. Think about it — do you really want to live in a world of only two dimensions? So, for the love of a triangle, please keep love whole. ― Vera Nazarian, The Perpetual Calendar of Inspiration
I have just three things to teach: simplicity, patience, compassion. These three are your greatest treasures. — Lao Tzu
The miracle is not that there is a God. The miracle is that there is a world. — Karl Barth
Reason, Observation and Experience — the Holy Trinity of Science … If by any possibility the existence of a power superior to, and independent of, nature shall be demonstrated, there will then be time enough to kneel. Until then, let us stand erect. ― Robert G. Ingersoll, On the Gods and Other Essays
You, oh eternal Trinity, are a deep Sea, into which the deeper I enter the more I find, and the more I find the more I seek. — Catherine of Siena
I would rather be what God chose to make me than the most glorious creature that I could think of; for to have been thought about, born in God’s thought, and then made by God, is the dearest, grandest and most precious thing in all thinking. — George MacDonald
We become as big or as small as the objects of our love. When the horizon out of which I am living is God, there is room to breathe. When it is less than God, the world can become suffocating. — Fr. Iain Matthew
He is at once infinite solitude (one nature) and perfect society (three persons). —Thomas Merton, New Seeds of Contemplation
… outdoors we are confronted everywhere with wonders; we see that the miraculous is not extraordinary but the common mode of existence. It is our daily bread. — Wendell Berry, The Art of the Commonplace: The Agrarian Essays, 21st century
The Dark Night — St. John of the Cross
On a dark night,
Kindled in love with yearnings–oh, happy chance!–
I went forth without being observed,
My house being now at rest.
In darkness and secure,
By the secret ladder, disguised–oh, happy chance!–
In darkness and in concealment,
My house being now at rest.
In the happy night,
In secret, when none saw me,
Nor I beheld aught,
Without light or guide, save that which burned in my
This light guided me
More surely than the light of noonday
To the place where he (well I knew who!) was awaiting me–
A place where none appeared.
Oh, night that guided me,
Oh, night more lovely than the dawn,
Oh, night that joined Beloved with lover,
Lover transformed in the Beloved!
Upon my flowery breast,
Kept wholly for himself alone,
There he stayed sleeping, and I caressed him,
And the fanning of the cedars made a breeze.
The breeze blew from the turret
As I parted his locks;
With his gentle hand he wounded my neck
And caused all my senses to be suspended.
I remained, lost in oblivion;
My face I reclined on the Beloved.
All ceased and I abandoned myself,
Leaving my cares forgotten among the lilies.