• Nature is always lovely, invincible, glad, whatever is done and suffered by her creatures. All scars she heals, whether in rocks or water or sky or hearts.  ~  John Muir

On Saturday, March 22nd, join special guest, Karen Diane Knowles, and I for a deeply restorative afternoon immersed in nature as we walk in silence in the Sunol Regional Wilderness.

I have been a daily walker for twenty five years and know the power and multitude of benefits of a daily walking practice.

I believe that we need to engage with nature regularly in order to connect with our bodies, our inner voice, and with the heart of the Earth.

This will be a small, intimate gathering that will include an Opening and Closing Circle, journal writing, making offerings to the land, listening for wisdom in response to a personal life question, and deep communion with the Sunol wilderness.

The Silent Reverence Walk…the perfect practice to restore balance and overall well-being! Register here for directions and complete details.

We can’t wait to journey with you!



Karen Diane Knowles, M.A. is an instructor, interpreter, animal advocate, and occasional author and editor. Her life’s mission is to inspire compassionate curiosity and respectful regard for our animal kin; to motivate healthful interspecies relations; and, by doing so, to make the world a better place for nonhuman animals, human animals, and the planet we all share. Karen is a sign language interpreter in private practice, and an adjunct professor at JFKU where she teaches about the human-animal relationship, nonhuman consciousness, and interspecies relations.



  • That’s what I consider true generosity: You give your all, and yet you always feel as if it costs you nothing.  ~  Simone de Beauvoir

Any practice or behavior that honors with purity of intention and genuine love is a practice of reverence.

How can we simply and with joy…honor…others, ourselves, or the Earth?

Consider this…

the practice of no-holds-barred generosity.


It heals. It cares. It makes others feel safe.

True generosity is never obligatory. It is unconditional; it doesn’t care if it is reciprocated, although reciprocity is another practice of reverence which I will talk about in a future post.

Generosity, plain and simple, just…feels…good!

According to Danielle LaPorte, generosity makes you feel “richer, healthier, shinier…vulnerable and mighty…tender and indestructible”.

I don’t know about you, but I want to feel like that every day!

There are so many ways that we can express generosity with joy:

  • We can share our unique smile or give a heartfelt compliment.
  • We can reach out with our voice, arms, hands, heart.
  • We can give of our time and our precious undivided attention.
  • We can acknowledge or validate with our words. Everyone needs to be seen, including the Earth!
  • We can deeply listen, which is desperately needed, in reality…scarce, and so healing.
  • We can share information or knowledge.
  • We can offer spaciousness, shelter.
  • We can seek to understand, ask questions.
  • We can protect, nurture that which we love, including the Earth!
  • We can give money when we are able.
  • We can offer a home-cooked meal.
  • We can wear our best pants, our favorite dress, our party shoes.
  • We can give the shirt off our back, or our last chocolate treasure.
  • We can say I Love You, Thank-You, I’m Sorry, Please Forgive Me.
  • We can give someone a break, turn the cheek, offer mercy.
  • We can arrive bearing gifts.

I’m certain there are countless ways to practice generosity on any given day. I know I can always be more generous. How about you? How do you practice generosity? I’d love to hear from you!

In the spirit of generosity, I offer you A Year of Reverence. It’s FREE! You can get the details and sign up here!


With reverence, we can heal the Earth!



My Word for 2014: Practice

December 31, 2013

  • Life is practice.

Crocker Highlands Walk

What will I/you practice…

…this moment, day, week, month, and fresh New Year?

Wishing you meaningful practices and a fruitful 2014!




Friends, I invite you to begin your New Year with my Year of Reverence offering. It’s FREE and you can sign up here!



  • Photography is a practice that teaches me how to be. When I experience a connection with something just as it is, it becomes more than a subject. It reveals something universal that resonates deep inside. It is magical. It changes me and the way I see. It opens me up just a little bit more to the world and how everything (including me) belongs.  ~  Kim Manley Ort

As a contemplative photographer, writer, and lover of life, Kim Manley Ort is serving up a beautiful and reverent vision of the world. The practice of attention and living a contemplative life are her life’s work. I believe that practicing attention or conscious presence is the critical challenge of our times.

Flora Courtois writes, “True attention is rare and totally sacrificial. It demands that we throw away everything we have been or hope to be, to face each moment naked of identity, open to whatever comes and bereft of human guidance . . . . Another name for such full attention is love.”

What has your attention these days? What is calling out for your attention–our attention? What would it look like to be fully attentive–to bring a high quality of presence to life, others, ourselves, the Earth?

I invite you to pause and savor the contemplative wisdom of Kim’s thoughts about reverence and a small sampling of her photography. I am grateful for Kim’s deliberate focus on seeing and attention. We are all the better for it.

What are your thoughts on reverence as it pertains to the world today?

I believe that at the root of many of the world’s problems today is the illusion of separation. There is a perceived separation between humans and nature as well as between humans and other humans.

Reverence is one way to dissolve that perceived separation. 

Reverence holds all things and beings (including ourselves) with respect. Everything and everyone is worthy of being here and has a unique contribution to make.

If we approach everything and everyone as worthy of respect, having a right to be here and having something to teach, we will realize how deeply connected and interdependent we all are. We will see how our actions affect others, and how others’ actions affect us.

To approach the natural world with reverence would mean that we would be more conscious of the fruits of our actions – how they affect the world we live in.

We would not be blowing up mountains for coal, or overfishing, or destroying the soil.

When we practice eating our food with reverence, we are mindful of where it came from – all of the people and resources it took to get it to our table. We realize how dependent we are on others for the food we eat. We also feel how the quality of our food affects our body and how this in turn affects how we approach others.

To approach each other with reverence means that we listen to everyone we meet with a desire to understand them. We approach conflict with a view of what’s best for all, not just ourselves.

What are one or two ways that you practice reverence regularly?

Firstly, I try to practice reverence towards myself, taking the time I need to replenish and know myself better. I do this through meditative sitting or reading or walking. When I am able to do this, my actions seem to come from a place that not only serves me but others as well. When I am true to myself, I inspire others to do the same.

Through the practice of photography, I connect with the world, seeing it as it is, without filters and judgments. The camera helps me to experience and appreciate a world filled with wonders.

Here is an example. My husband and I were staying in a cabin in Brown County, Indiana. We awoke in the morning to fog and this field filled with cobwebs and dew. By the time the sun burned off the fog, the cobwebs were no longer there, or at least not visible. It was truly a magical moment. I didn’t have to photograph this moment for it to have an impact, but I’m glad I did. It always serves as a reminder to be in wonder.

What advice can you give my humble readers for becoming more reverent?

Well, the first thing that comes to mind is that everyone should take up photography! But seriously, any kind of art (painting, drawing, writing, etc.) is wonderful for teaching us reverence.

Taking time for silence and paying attention to what’s around you – whether in a room, outside taking a walk, or meditating – is an important practice to cultivate.

Silence teaches reverence. Silence also helps us be more aware of our own actions and reactions, defenses, judgments and opinions.

Kim Manley Ort is a contemplative photographer who loves her life. She gets great pleasure in seeing things with reverence and helping others to do the same. Her workshops in seeing are both online and in person.

As always, thank you for reading and sharing. Leave a comment on any blog post in the month of April and be eligible to win a Despacho Blessing Bundle personally handcrafted by me. One winner will be randomly selected and announced in May.


Profile of Reverence: Karen Jaenke

March 1, 2013

Dreams are stories made by and for the dreamer, and each dreamer has her own folds to open and knots to untie.  ~  Siri Hustvedt Growing up, I didn’t know how precious, illuminating and deep my nocturnal dreams were. I had no clue. If I shared them at all, it was probably to dampen the fury [...]

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Despacho Blessing Bundles for the Giving Season

October 4, 2012

The irregular and intimate quality of things made entirely by the human hand.  ~  Willa Cather Join me on Saturday, October 20, 10am to 12:30pm, in Fremont, and make beautiful Despacho Blessing Bundles as special gifts for special friends and family. These precious bundles are like handmade prayers filled with your sacred selection of materials tailor [...]

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The Reverence Walk: How 23 Years of Walking Has Made Me More Grounded and Reverent

April 17, 2012

If you seek creative ideas, go walking. Angels whisper when one goes for a walk. ~ Raymond I. Meyers I’ve always enjoyed a high level of fitness. I was a tomboy as a young girl; I climbed trees, fell out of trees, wouldn’t miss the outdoor street games, and loved to swim every summer at [...]

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