"On this Path we learn to drink beauty. We are quenched by the sun and the moon." Do you know how to...
“On this Path we learn to drink beauty. We are quenched by the sun and the moon.”
Do you know how to breathe, eat and drink beauty?
Do you know how to savor and let it infuse your insides from head to toe?
Do you know how to feel your own inner life force being fed by the radiance of the world?
If we know how to tune in (not everyone does) we discover the hidden depths within nature. We feel a deep sense of fundamental presence in all and every part of nature. As we become present in this domain we discover Presence reflected back. Nature doesn’t talk, yet speaks eloquently. We are impoverished as human beings if we cannot hear. This is the norm today. It is as if we have lost one of our senses, like sight or hearing. The world is still going on but our experience has been truncated.
Yet this is one limitation that we don’t have to live with. With a simple practice we can reconnect to nature’s responsiveness, incredible sensitivity and bouquet of sensory communication and communion. To share in and participate with the beauty of the more-than-human world is a deep ecstatic experience for the human. Everything is alive and connected and we can know and feel that directly.
We have to enter into and become present to the sensory flows all around us and in us. When we tune into a beautiful healthy field of harmony and beauty we feel it calm the nervous system, the heart opens which widens our sensory portals and appreciation channels. We are filled with grace and gratitude for all of life.
Sadly many people seldom if ever have this experience. Yet there is a simple formula that that can give everyone access over time as any training or practice does. All it takes is an intention to keep coming back to your senses. Do this as many times a day as you can remember; brushing your teeth, driving to work, standing in line. A sitting practice of focusing on the sensory within us is also good. Whenever you remember to do this you are strengthening the sensory neurons and generating new ones.
When we attend to the sensory experience in each moment, we are not thinking. When the constant inner dialogue is slowed down and relegated to the background, we discover a whole new world of direct perception. No veil of words come between us and the world of natural communion that has always been there waiting for us. When we re-discover this, some say it is the return to the Garden of Eden.
We will get pulled back into our thoughts again, but nature’s beauty and presence is the strongest magnet I know to call us into this state of sensory now. And as Ekhart Tolle says, every time we put a gap in the mind stream, it is cumulative. It is a bit backwards but catchy to use Fritz Perls saying,”Lose your mind and come to your senses.” Actually by coming to our senses we subdue the mind.
Any healthy natural place will do. Practice noticing the sensory inputs coming to you. Listen. Smell. Look, at first without comparison or comment and simply experience it directly just as the indescribable experience it is. Then you might notice the feeling dimension that exists embedded within the sensory dimensions of sight, taste touch smell and hearing. Connect with the analogical aspect of it, it seems like….or sense its edginess, or its softness. Notice that each plant species with its particular habit of growth has a specific felt sense about it. Maybe we experience its density or its lacy appearance, even more subtly we might sense it’s welcoming or it’s withdrawing from our presence. How does it feel. How do you feel in its presence. Plants are great for this but there are many people who feel a great deal from stones and crystals and landscapes definitely speak a language of mood or atmosphere. .
If we are fully present, then the experience of Presence looking back at as from the world naturally arises. When we learn to listen again, instead of a warehouse of resources to be used, nature becomes our intimate friend and guide, guardian, support and succor for everything that transpires in life. I know it is the beauty of this earth that awakens the spiritual dimension of my being and calls me to live bigger than my small self.
The beneficial effects on body and soul, are measured by our scientists and immediately noticeable in our own experience. Our stress indicators drop and we breathe more freely. Our spirits are lifted up because the sense of loneliness is relieved by the beauty and presence all around us. We discover we are not alone here at all. Everything in this world is waiting to reach and touch us. Everything is waiting to break through our small self absorbed realities and fling us into a moment of delight or awe if we would let it.
Natural Beauty fills us with its underlying depths, and we not only see the beauty in the form and colors, but we also feel the harmony and deeper dimension of stillness that everything is embedded in and arises out of. Most of us don’t recognize this dimension of presence or the underlying stillness that exists except for those occasional moments where the numinous breaks through into consciousness at the sight of a spectacular sunset or a deep encounter with the “other”. Notice when you become present to a plant can you also sense the incredible stillness that it exists within, its pure beingness.
The truth is this beauty that is all around us where ever there is natural health in the world is a source of nutrition for our bodies and our souls. Most of us have lost connection with the sensory currents of the world, living instead in our plans and our regrets, our stories of success or failure, of struggle and pain in relationship. When all of this is effort is without nourishment, we shouldn’t wonder why we feel dead inside, unhappy in life, forever dis-satisfied often addicted to substitutes for the real meal of life.
This state of separated consciousness must be recognized as the illusion it is. If we stay tuned in, we will see a new world that is bright and beautiful. The story of the phoenix is that before it busts into flames and dies, it sings a song to the world that is so beautiful that at least once before it is gone, each person is called into the rapture of the present.
Let this Earth Day be a call from the Earth to you her children, to come back home to your planet and to the simple ways of being in touch. This is so simple and so important. Go find a place to love and care about, to visit at all seasons and kinds of weather. Make friends with a place and nurture it and see how it can nurture you. Open your senses and let yourself be touched by life even if it is hard and painful.
Whether what we are passing through is the final song of the phoenix or the crowning of a new birth, let’s be present and let’s praise the creativity and beauty of all that is here. Let’s remember that within us is this same amazing and beautiful creativity, this universal creativity that has brought forth stars and planets, birdsong, and rainbow’s inside of clams. This is flowing within us and as we more deeply attune to the unified and ongoing presence within us and within everything, we will blossom into a creature who is a most perfect channel for the ongoing beauty and creativity of the earth, and we will restore and come back into harmony with the earth once again.
All of Mother Nature is calling us in these times. This is my understanding of how we can start to respond. Blessings, Darlene