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.

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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The Grace of Daily Sanctuary

The care of our sense of spirit — the loving care of our soul — is perhaps the most challenging aspect of living on Earth today. Each day should be about finding balance between our absorption with the world and the need to find relief amidst it. If we do not find this balance, we are apt to feel distraught. One word best describes the need for soulful revitalization of our mind, body and spirit: Sanctuary. Continue reading

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“Divine Mother of the Universe” — Prayer IX by Miasha

Prayer IX Oh, Divine Mother of the Universe, how can I doubt your Love for me? In the sanctuary of your Love, grant that I may have a Mind of Peace, Pure Heart, Wisdom. Count my faults, Divine Mother, but … Continue reading

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“Divine Mother Earth” — Prayer XIX by Miasha

Prayer XIX Oh, humble Divine Mother Earth, I am on my knees in your Garden, inhaling your sweet fragrance, pouring out my gratitude — receiving your blessings. Passersby see an old man weeding — they do not know: I pluck … Continue reading

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“Mother Gardener” by Miasha

I see you in the garden, Mother One. “Receive this gift,” your heart gently offers the plant to the earth. This garden is your child, tendered and nurtured by your wisdom and kindness. I am no longer surprised that you … Continue reading

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The Selfish Gardener – A Short Story for Spring

There once was a selfish gardener determined to keep the bounty of his garden to himself. So, he did anything to keep the animals and insects away. “Pests, all of them!” he scowled. “Why, the birds come and eat my … Continue reading

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