We depend on nature not only for our physical survival. We also need nature to show us the way home, the way out of the prison of our own minds. We got lost in doing, thinking, remembering, anticipating – lost in a maze of complexity and a world of problems.
We have forgotten what rocks, plants, and animals still know. We have forgotten how to be – to be still, to be ourselves, to be where life is: Here and Now.
Whenever you bring your attention to anything natural, anything that has come into existence without human intervention, you step out of the prison of conceptualized thinking and, to some extent, participate in the state of connectedness with Being in which everything natural still exists.
To bring your attention to a stone, a tree, or an animal does not mean to think about it, but simply to perceive it, to hold it in your awareness.
Something of its essence then transmits itself to you. You can sense how still it is, and in doing so the same stillness arises within you. You sense how deeply it rests in Being – completely at one with what it is and where it is. In realizing this, you too come to a place of rest deep within yourself.
When walking or resting in nature, honor that realm by being there fully. Be still. Look. Listen. See how every animal and every plant is completely itself. Unlike humans, they have not split themselves in two. They do not live through mental images of themselves, so they do not need to be concerned with trying to protect and enhance those images. The deer is itself. The daffodil is itself.
All things in nature are not only one with themselves but also one with the totality. They haven’t removed themselves from the fabric of the whole by claiming a separate existence: “me” and the rest of the universe.
The contemplation of nature can free you of that “me,” the great troublemaker.
Bring awareness to the many subtle sounds of nature – the rustling of leaves in the wind, raindrops falling, the humming of an insect, the first birdsong at dawn. Give yourself completely to the act of listening. Beyond the sounds there is something greater: a sacredness that cannot be understood through thought.
You didn’t create your body, nor are you able to control the body’s functions. An intelligence greater than the human mind is at work. It is the same intelligence that sustains all of nature. You cannot get any closer to that intelligence than by being aware of your own inner energy field – by feeling the aliveness, the animating presence within the body.
The playfulness and joy of a dog, its unconditional love and readiness to celebrate life at any moment often contrast sharply with the inner state of the dog’s owner – depressed, anxious, burdened by problems, lost in thought, not present in the only place and only time there is: Here and Now. One wonders: living with this person, how does the dog manage to remain so sane, so joyous?
When you perceive nature only through the mind, through thinking, you cannot sense its aliveness, its beingness. You see the form only and are unaware of the life within the form – the sacred mystery. Thought reduces nature to a commodity to be used in the pursuit of profit or knowledge or some other utilitarian purpose. The ancient forest becomes timber, the bird a research project, the mountain something to be mined or conquered.
When you perceive nature, let there be spaces of no thought, no mind. When you approach nature in this way, it will respond to you and participate in the evolution of human and planetary consciousness.
Notice how present a flower is, how surrendered to life.
The plant that you have in your home – have you ever truly looked at it? Have you allowed that familiar yet mysterious being we call plant to teach you its secrets? Have you noticed how deeply peaceful it is? How it is surrounded by a field of stillness? The moment you become aware of a plant’s emanation of stillness and peace, that plant becomes your teacher.
Watch an animal, a flower, a tree, and see how it rests in Being. It is itself. It has enormous dignity, innocence, and holiness. However, for you to see that, you need to go beyond the mental habit of naming and labeling. The moment you look beyond mental labels, you feel that ineffable dimension of nature that cannot be understood by thought or perceived through the senses. It is a harmony, a sacredness that permeates not only the whole of nature but is also within you.
The air that you breathe is nature, as is the breathing process itself.
Bring your attention to your breathing and realize that you are not doing it. It is the breath of nature. If you had to remember to breathe, you would soon die, and if you tried to stop breathing, nature would prevail.
You reconnect with nature in the most intimate and powerful way by becoming aware of your breathing and learning to hold your attention there. This is a healing and deeply empowering thing to do. It brings about a shift in consciousness from the conceptual world of thought to the inner realm of unconditioned consciousness.
You need nature as your teacher to help you re-connect with Being. But not only do you need nature, it also needs you.
You are not separate from nature. We are all part of the One Life that manifests itself in countless forms throughout the universe, forms that are all completely interconnected. When you recognize the sacredness, the beauty, the incredible stillness and dignity in which a flower or a tree exists, you add something to the flower or the tree. Through your recognition, your awareness, nature too comes to know itself. It comes to know its own beauty and sacredness through you! A great silent space holds all of nature in its embrace. It also holds you.
Only when you are still inside do you have access to the realm of stillness that rocks, plants, and animals inhabit. Only when your noisy mind subsides can you connect with nature at a deep level and go beyond the sense of separation created by excessive thinking.
Thinking is a stage in the evolution of life. Nature exists in innocent stillness that is prior to the arising of thought. The tree, the flower, the bird, the rock are unaware of their own beauty and sacredness. When human beings become still, they go beyond thought. There is an added dimension of knowing, of awareness, in the stillness that is beyond thought.
Nature can bring you to stillness. That is its gift to you. When you perceive and join with nature in the field of stillness, that field becomes permeated with your awareness. That is your gift to nature.
Through you nature becomes aware of itself. Nature has been waiting for you, as it were, for millions of years.
– Eckhart Tolle
I love it Rose! Simply beautiful.
Once we feel it, it is always there. I recently was forced to leave my house and incredible garden that I had humbly shared with nature for 20 years. Everyone who came to my yard said it was a most peaceful and happy place despite being in the middle of a city. Only healing products, i,e, kelp meal-pre-Fukushima, minerals, compost (made with organic food waste and my own trees leaves), lava sand etc were applied to nurture the yard. My earthworms were a foot long and as big around as my finger.
When I talked with my sister about my deep connection with nature and my yard she always had a challenge truly grasping what I was saying with her heart. That changed on the day I left. Immediately after I drove away, she went into my backyard with the dozen 40' tall post oak trees. It was a windy afternoon and then she noticed that the trees in the other yards had their limbs moving and leaves falling. Despite the wind, the trees in my yard were perfectly still, no movement and no leaves dropping. She said she felt a deep sense of loss and mourning from the entire yard and it was then that she truly understood what it means to be connected with all life. So now she feels and understands how to be connected with life.
I know that feeling Susan. We're drying out here now in the summer (Far North, NZ) with cracks in the ground so while watering the vegies with the hose last night I said to them, ' hey guys ya reckon youz can call ina rain cloud or something to help us all out..I know you Can'..went to bed later with all the windows and doors wide open it was so humid and hard to sleep and then 4am I heard like rocks on the roof, thought 'better go shut some of those windows now' and by the time I reached the French doors the rain was driving in horizontally from the west. They came thru for me I know it and I said 'thank you'. Went out this morning and the plants were all smiling with happiness, pure joy.
Delightful that they listened and responded. They have always responded well for me. My friend, Judy Griffin, was told years ago by her lavender to use it to heal her twins hearing issues when they were babies. She traveled globally and learned from native cultures about the healing plants of their area. She helped fine tune my listening to and becoming one with nature. I wholeheartedly agree that it really brings pure joy to life.
It's all Cow and horse poo here. Blackbirds and thrush have fun movin it around too.
It is a challenging finding reliable amendments due to the massive global contamination that continues unabated. My gut told me to buy certain items some time ago to hold onto for times like this and I am so glad that I listened to my gut, There is a variety of livestock poo here though with the now ge alfalfa and ge bent grass being planted, it is so hard to trust what is even coming from livestock. Especially since stomach gut bacteria can uptake the modified dna from some research that was done some years ago.