April 2013 Book of the Month

Spring is in the air! I woke this morning to daffodils open to face the sun. When you live in Michigan this may be one of the happiest sights of the year.

Which brings me to my book pick for the month of April: A Sacred Place to Dwell: Living with Reverence Upon the Earth. Written by Henryk Skolimowski, A Sacred Place to Dwell is a profoundly beautiful book that introduces the reader to a new branch of philosophy called eco-philosophy. Skolimowski passionately argues for a re-articulation of spirituality that recognizes how our individual lives affect other human beings and natural habitats. He asks the question: How do we infuse reverence into a world which is conceived of as a mere machine? He answers by stating that we should all view the world as a sanctuary.

Skolimowski believes that by walking with reverence upon the earth, we immediately commit to a life and a living philosophy that works to sustain and encourage all life forms to organically evolve and flourish. If you conceive of the universe as a sanctuary, you have the comfort of knowing that you live in a caring, spiritual place. The world becomes alive with meaning and your role in the world becomes infused with purpose. Skolimowski argues that to act in the world as if it were a sanctuary is to make it reverential and sacred. As a result, your own experience is elevated by understanding, compassion and meaning.

Reverence, according to Skolimowski, also implies a principle of appropriate behavior. Living in a sanctuary helps one to grow a connection to the world around them and, as a result, act with responsibility for the world and society. It gives individuals motivation for altruism and morality and infuses life with a sweet delicacy, gentleness and beauty.

Spring has been slow to come to Michigan this year. In fact, it snowed this afternoon. There was something so magical about watching my beautiful daffodils huddle together with their faces open to a very very distant sun. Somehow their sweet commitment to this world reminded me to re-commit to my own reverential vision of the great planet earth.

Here’s a quirky theatrical video of Dr. Skolimowski having some fun on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J8ooJAvVMAg

Molly Beauregard