My son woke me this morning and invited me for a long hike by the Little Spokane River. All around we saw evidence of new life emerging from the remains of the past, like tender shoots of x̣ʷx̣ʷtéłp (cow parsnip) sprouting behind an abandoned wheel, or green leaves growing around a deer skull.
Observing the cycle of life and death made me think of the Buddhist concept of non-permanence. As the Buddha once said, "Life and death, and existence and non-existence, do not apply to the essential nature of things, but only to their appearances as they are observed by defiled human eyes. Because of human desire, people become related and attached to these appearances ... their acts, being based upon error, lead them into harm and suffering."
"It is because of this constant changing of appearances that we liken things to a mirage and a dream. But in spite of this constant changing in appearances, things, in their essential spiritual nature, are constant and changeless" (The Teaching of Buddha).
These concepts appeal to me. They keep me focused on the essential spiritual nature of things, and not the passing moods of life.
nexʷ qe wičntm t mlqnups u lxʷup łuʔ sčwax̣is. hayo.
We also saw an eagle with an injured wing.
"Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these" Matthew 6:28.
In whatever tradition, spirituality comes from observing what the true inner nature of things.