Pillars - Inspiring Vines of the Pergola

Published November 20th, 2015

Walking through Vine Pergola today, I was drawn to the pillars. The pillars of wood, of stone that form the basic structure of the Pergola. The pillars on which the vines grow, rest, flower and die.

The words "Pillars of Faith" came to me. As a long-time student of religion, I recalled the 5 pillars of Islam -- Faith, Prayer, Charity, Fasting, Pilgrimage -- so alike all religions; making me realize, again, how similar the founding tenants of all faith-systems are, and, sadly, how distorted these beliefs can become.

Why? How is it possible that basic pillars of belief can become so twisted? So misunderstood, and in some cases, dangerous?

It is not easy to comprehend, and I keep finding myself going back to individuals, individual lives that become so unhealthy, so unwell, that darkness ends up eclipsing the light. The scary thing is, these individuals are parts of groups, and ultimately, part of one human community on planet earth.

I can write a lot about history, international policy, conflicts of culture, but today, I want to focus on me, and you, and us as individuals. We need to keep our own lights shining bright. How do we do this? I think one of my teachers, Dr. Deepak Chopra, laid out how in a very simple way. He called them "Pillars" too, the 5 Pillars of Good Health:

1. Get enough sleep

2. Meditate daily

3. Control our emotions, especially anger

4. Exercise

5. Eat healthy

Yes, probably easier said than done. But, if you are like me, don't you notice how different, out of sorts you feel when one or more of these pillars gets knocked? I feel less alive, less joy, not "me".

By staying strong and healthy, you keep your own mind-body-spirit bright. Isn't it interesting how these three things are so interlinked?

I'll do my part, will you do yours? Together, we shall overcome.

Enjoy the weekend and Happy Thanksgiving week to all my American friends and family.


Pillars of the Vine Pergola, Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden

A tropical paradise

Pillars of a leaf