With Eyes Cast Down

“In silence, oneness with everything is possible….” — Dale Carlson

My mind was busy as I walked to the trail. It was one of those days.

Should I go left? Should I go right?
I am always indecisive when my mind is occupied otherwise.

On this day, I went right—instead of left—and found my way along a narrow, woodland path.

Up a hill. Across a small, spring stream. Into the quiet of the woods—I was breathing again.

There, in front of me, a patch of new ferns congregated along the edge of the trail, and I paused for a moment.

Down on one knee, I snapped a few photos and realized in that very action, I had stopped worrying about the worries that were worrying me. Funny how that happens, isn’t it?

“It turns out meditation is not separate from daily life,” writes my friend Dale Carlson. “It is taking time for walking or sitting in silence so your life can be reflected in the pool of that silence.”

Right there I gave myself an assignment:
Look down, be quiet, pay attention.

And there they were. Small clusters of wildflowers, patches of delicate ferns, bright colors and playful shapes. New life, right in front of me.

I never would have seen them.
Look down, be quiet, pay attention.


Bloodroot leaf

Dutchman’s Breeches



Wood anemone (Nightcaps)

Marsh Blue Violet (I think)

Spring Beauty

Trout Lily

Trout Lily

• • •

Quotes from Stop the Pain: Adult Meditations by Dale Carlson, Bick Publishing House.

Photos ©2011, by Jen Payne

12 thoughts on “With Eyes Cast Down

Add yours

  1. look at them all – wow!!!

    wonderful, wonderful – and you’ve given yourself that assignment before, you know… this was just a gentle reminder – thanks, jen!!!


  2. All this in one morning’s ramble — WONDERFUL.
    I love wildflowers like this above all things: you don’t have to do any work,or anything. All you have to do is
    look down, be quiet, pay attention.
    And receive the gift.
    Love the post.

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