Posts Tagged ‘nature’

Bringing a Loving Intention into Interactions with Nature    (No Comments »)

Monday, February 4th, 2013

Last quarter I stumbled upon a park of some sort. It wasn’t anything grand, and it didn’t have any children’s play equiptment or even any seating areas, but I loved it. I liked how the area felt real and natural. I also really enjoyed the markers on a few of the plants labeling what they were, because I think it is an important  thing to know when trying to ground yourself in a place. Anyway, I was there collecting sticks to use for an art project, where I intended to use sticks as drumsticks in a Shamanic drumming workshop. I made sure to
interact with nature in a way that was respectful and showed that I was not browsing an area for objects but rather listening to the area and the sticks to help me ensure that I was picking sticks that wanted to be served for the purpose. I intended to smooth down their exterior and did so for at least an hour. I was engrossed in the moment. While surrounded by nature with no other human in sight (although I could hear the passing cars nearby), it felt like I was truly experiencing that place. During the smoothing out process, I listended to the sticks once again to be sure that they would work for my project, and I still ended up giving some
back to nature. I know it is best to listen with one’s heart and soul and not to take more than what is needed. Well it turns out the workshop flopped, so I ended up with a bunch of sticks which I later burned in my fire place. Even then, I still thanked them for letting me use them to my own advantage.

What I think it missing in most interactions with nature is a loving intention. It is too often seen as an object to be manipulated and used at will, as if it only exists for the purpose of humans. What set my experience apart from others I’ve had is that I truly took the time to set my intention and carry it out, while I also spent time along and was in the moment with nature truly experiencing.

Morning Meditation    (No Comments »)

Thursday, July 28th, 2011

By Sean

I love being engulfed in nature, to be surrounded by trees and rolling green hills without any evidence of human interference is my idea of a nature experience. For a few years now I have been rock climbing. Climbing is a great way to “play” with the natural environment. Mother Earth provides me with a fun-filled day and i make sure that she stays clean and healthy (Leave no trace). One of my most memorable climbing experiences was when I was in Joshua Tree. I woke up before the rest of my group and climbed up to the top of a nearby face, and just sat there. I looked at my beautiful surroundings and felt the crisp desert morning air on my face. After taking a moment to meditate (my current line of research), I slowly went back down to meet with my group. Often times we get caught up in the every day hussle and bustle, I have found that when we take a moment to reflect on our environment we learn a lot about ourselves.

Concert of the Trees    (No Comments »)

Saturday, November 6th, 2010

by Regina Burchett

As I walk into the woods,
the concert has already begun –
the wind lifts its baton
to conduct the dance of leaves

I sense the movement,
the sway and sigh,
as the fingertips of the trees
stretch to sing of life

The sun separates from air
to become small circles of light
flashing down between the leaves –
sparkling chimes of green and white

Mottled shapes from sun and shade
continue a dance along the floor
of this living space
that has welcomed me

The soothing sounds around me
dampen thoughts of human matters,
lending me peace, renewing my soul

Nature as Non-Permissive    (No Comments »)

Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010

by Philip Waters

It’s funny, but as I reflect on my childhood experiences of nature, it was those spaces in nature that I ventured into that were non-permissive that I enjoyed the most. Sneaking onto private land to steal an apple from an orchard, or climbing trees you’ve been told not to climb, or sneaking into caves that were at risk of collapsing.

Today, a lot of our experiences of nature is about well-manicured recreational spaces. In the case of children, access to slightly more wild locations is a very rare experience indeed.

I help design nature-based play spaces in the UK, which, if I am honest, are always going to be compensatory spaces for what nature has to offer. But that said, where possible we ask designers, land owners and community groups to put up fake signs saying ‘keep out’, or ‘danger’, on the basis they’re not really ‘keep out’ or ‘dangerous’ spaces, but the sign establishes the potential for children to break the rules, take a risk, and believe they’re entering non-permissive areas.

Nature is an Interesting Construct    (No Comments »)

Monday, June 7th, 2010

by Spencer

I recently had a powerful interaction with nature. I walked down the sidewalk in my neighborhood, listening to the sounds of traffic. At the bus stop, I waited for a few minutes, noticing bits of broken glass on the ground. On the bus, I listened to the purr of the engine while watching people. Nature is a glorious thing.

Symbolism in Nature    (1 Comment »)

Friday, April 30th, 2010

When I’m feeling overwhelmed or frustrated with my work or the state of the world, I like to take time to connect on a deeper level with nature.  Such experiences help me relax and rejuvenate me.  One favourite practice is to sit in quiet meditation and to visualize a natural landscape.  I try not to control the visualization or to aid in the construction of the landscape in any way.  As I relax and sink deeper into myself, into nature, often very clear pictures emerge in my mind’s eye.  Many times, an animal will appear in the visualization and lately that animal has been a woodpecker and sometimes a woodpecker with a humming bird.  After I’ve sat and meditated for awhile (the construct of time kind of disappears during these moments) and I come back to ‘reality’ I research the animal that appeared to me, according to ancient native wisdom and philosophy.  Usually, I try to follow up these experiences with hikes in the forest and since my woodpecker meditations, the woodpecker has appeared to me frequently.   Almost every time I have hiked, I have seen signs of a woodpecker, heard a woodpecker or seen a woodpecker.  According to ancient wisdom, the woodpecker is a symbol of divine work, with a connection to the spirit world.  I have taken more time to sit, in the forest or at home, and reflect upon the wisdom that woodpecker brings to my personal experience.  When I think about what woodpecker means to me, in relation to what I have heard/read about their symbolic meaning, I like to think in holistic terms.  Life is what each individual being gives to the greater system in terms of energy inputs… to me this giving of life is work, divine work, as signified by the woodpecker.

To me, the connections between self and the rest of life are numerous, so numerous as to be completely interconnected.  I am nature and nature is me.  I am nature, thinking of nature. I am nature, giving life to the system, putting my energy into the divine work of sustaining life.  Unfortunately, I think we (in Western society) too quickly shrug off our interconnection with nature and assume that work is money instead of either life affirming or life taking.  We shrug off the influence that we as ‘individuals’ have on the entire system and follow empty paths comprising unfulfilling work.  These small acts, of shrugging off our connections to life, build up and take a toll on our psyches and on the world in which we live.

Above is one example of meaning I find in nature.  Nature ‘inside’ myself and ‘outside’ myself and where those two aspects of nature intersect (the parts we hold within us, and the parts that exist outside of us).  I believe nature has the ability to reflect timely messages to us, if we only take the time to observe and be open to those messages.  One key first step to becoming open to those messages is to recognize that each and everyone of us is a part of nature and that there really is no ‘inside’ and ‘outside’ of ‘me’.  Nature just is… and it holds ancient wisdom in the many life forms it takes.