The Grandmother and the children sat at the edge of a large stand of tall pine trees. She looked out over the land.

“We are the land’s caretakers and we must always plant more than we use. If you cut a tree you must plant at least two more. The Mother will always provide for us but in thanks for her love we must also care for her just as we care for one another.

“When we share with each other there is always more than enough, yet when we are afraid of sharing there is never enough.

“In one village the people had learned to live in gratitude, generosity, and love. They were all seated at a huge table full of food. The bowls were always full and overflowing. Everyone had spoons with long handles attached to their arms. They were all laughing and joyously feeding one another.

“In another village the people lived in fear. They had spoons with long handles attached to their arms and they couldn’t reach their own mouths. When they tried to feed themselves the food fell uselessly to the table. Their bowls were overflowing but they were all starving to death.

“We can live in heaven or hell. Where we live depends upon what we tell ourselves. If we live in fear we will live in hell. If we remember the power of love we can live in heaven.

“Look at your world. What do you see? Are you eager to be an adult or are you enjoying being a child? Do you wish you lived in another village or are you grateful for the home you have?

“If you listen to your mind’s endless list of wants you will never be happy. Learn to listen to your heart and you will always find joy. Let your heart guide your choices.

“Let nature teach you how to quiet your mind. Listen to the wind, sit by a stream, and listen to the water or watch the light move on its surface. Watch the clouds. Sit close to a tree and let its spirit teach you. Pay attention to your senses. Feel the magic of life as it flows through your body and your mind will grow still. Feel, taste, touch, smell, and see. Be in the moment rather than thinking about being there.

“Let nature show you the silence of your mind. Be still and watch the love grow. It is in the silence that we see that heaven is a place that lives in our hearts and in our minds. You don’t have to go anywhere to find heaven. It is always just a thought away. ”

With love and aloha,