Author Archives: C. Forrest McDowell, PhD

About C. Forrest McDowell, PhD

I am blessed to be a co-steward for over 30 years of the beautiful 22-acre Cortesia Sanctuary outside Eugene, Oregon, with my partner, Tricia Clark-McDowell. My lifelong interests in wellness care, psychology, nature, music composition & performance, writing, and meditation fuel my celebration for life. My form of service is founded upon the elemental practice of kindness and reverence for life. Of course, to understand the value of deep respect for life, we also have to accept irreverence as part of human nature and to know that it can be very disruptive and destructive to peace, safety, beauty, joy and love.

Generosity — A Way to Peace

“How can I live on Earth today so that my life and the well-being of all life is served well?”

This may be one of the most important questions asked today, for it is based on a belief that all life on Earth has significance and purpose. As such, our relationship to other humans and this planet is better served through sharing and cooperating rather than competing, conquering, and over-achieving. Continue reading

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Give It All Away! — A Personal Lesson in Generosity

“Give it all away, Forrest! Don’t hold back, just give it away!” John, a fellow food vendor, stormed across the crowded food court screaming at the top of his lungs. I felt like a child being publicly admonished. On one … Continue reading

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Love All Creation

Love all Creation. The whole and every grain of sand in it. Love every leaf, and every ray of light. Love the plants. Love the animals. Love everything. If you love everything you will perceive the Divine Mystery in all … Continue reading

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The Sacred Hearth as Sanctuary

Most people commonly associate the word “hearth” with a fireplace, open fire, or stove. But the feeling that hearth evokes is its great value. It enfolds us in communion, interaction, sharing, comfort and safety. It speaks of storytelling, the passing … Continue reading

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Love is Weird

Memorial Day is special for Tricia and me. Thirty years ago, we stood atop a nearby mountain and she decided to partner-up with me. The next day she moved in. That is how a hippie and ex-college professor began life … Continue reading

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Moved by Impermanence — Letting Go in a Changing World

It has been hard to focus on gardening this Spring. Natural disasters have distracted me, and any losses my garden suffered this past Winter pale in comparison to those victims of earthquakes, tsunami’s, radiation, floods, tornadoes, drought, wildfires and the … Continue reading

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Sanctuary & Temenos — Sacred Boundary for the Soul

Our soul has a boundless desire to take in life. However, when we need a sense of safety, security, comfort, replenishment, solace, peace, and relief from worldly activities we are naturally drawn to boundaries. Boundaries of time and place are … Continue reading

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The Value of Sanctuary in Daily Life

One of the most appealing features of everyday sanctuary is its universality. It is both a place in the world and a feeling of inner safety. It is a home or temple, cozy corner, garden, or deep woods; it is … Continue reading

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7 Principles of Reverent Gardening

We have gardened the same 2 acres at our 22-acre Cortesia Sanctuary, outside of Eugene, Oregon, for over 25 years. The zeal of our youthfulness has matured into the content of elder years. From the start, however, we challenged ourselves … Continue reading

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Beauty: A Way to Peace

Beauty is both a path toward inner peace and a path into the world. The recognition of beauty — within yourself, others, objects, architecture, animals and nature — can create a warm sanctuary for the soul in daily life. How … Continue reading

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