Key 11 - Nature Connection

Cultivate your ability to be fully present within Nature as you build your living connection to the wisdom and intrinsic intelligence that permeates your body, your immediate natural environment,  the entire planet,  and  the universe  as a whole.
 
Your stress will diminish. Your resilience will deepen. Meaningful engagement will awaken.
As a human presence on Planet Earth, you are Nature, you belong to Nature,
and you are an integral aspect of the greater Cosmos.
Use Vision Key 11 to begin to viscerally feel that powerful sense of belonging!
"The Earth is not a mere fragment of dead history, stratum upon stratum
like the leaves of a book, to be studied by geologists and antiquaries chiefly,
but living poetry like the leaves of a tree, which precede flowers and fruit -
not a fossil earth, but a living Earth."  - Henry David Thoreau  - Walden
For some, connecting to nature is realized
through efforts to protect and conserve nature.
 
“With the biodiversity of our planet mapped carefully and soon,
the bulk of the Earth’s species, including ourselves, can be saved.
E.O. Wilson
11.1 - Perhaps you might find meaningful engagement to 'be part of the solution' by aligning with:
https://www.half-earthproject.org/
2 Videos:  Edward o. Wilson PhD discussing the Half-Earth Project

"There is an ecological unconscious that can be drawn on to restore people to harmony with the

natural world, a bond between

our species and the planet

as tenacious as the sexual instincts Freud found in the pysche." 

 

- Theodore Roszak

11.2   'Regenerative Agriculture'

an Absolute requirement

for the continuation of

Human Civilization
Here's a good place to begin learning about regenerative agriculture : 

http://www.regenerativeagriculturedefinition.com/

FURTHER - DEEPER  11.3:

EXERCISE:  Sitting with Awakened Senses

Sit in a place where you can immerse yourself in nature. First allow yourself to take in the visual experience, paying attention to the shapes and colors of all that you see. Now shut your eyes and listen to the sounds, no longer absorbed by the visual aspects,  take in the sounds of bird call, waves, water flowing wind blowing, leaves rustling. Then tune into smell, allowing the first two senses to move into the background of your awareness. Notice the fragrance in the air from the plants, the rich smell of the earth. Next explore the feeling of the things around you, their textures, the rough bark, silky water, softness of a flower, the moist earth. Lastly savor taste, if it is safe to do so. Now explore your sixth sense, the intuitive. You might like to imagine communing with or thinking like a tree or sensing the energetic feel of the place. Finally explore making a heart connection with your surroundings (Key 6) and feeling an affinity with all aspects of the natural world around you. Marvel at all those aspects of your sensory experience, many of which you may have taken for granted or overlooked. (Key 7) Allow yourself to savor them fully.

 - Alison Rickert

  • Explanatory Note: vision is usually our dominant sense and can eclipse other important ways of sensing our environment. By focusing on each sense separately we can enrich our palette of experience and awaken those that may have been dormant.

Exercise:  Sensing Like Nature

"Go to an attractive natural area. Become involved with it and gain its consent

to help you with this activity. If the area remains attractive, thank it.

Gently rub your hands across the top of your head and imagine that your hands are collecting your nature-separated, new-brain stories. Shake your hands in the air and discard these disconnected stories into the environment. Let wisdom begin to recycle them.

Repeat this procedure a few times and validate that with these stories gone,

that you and nature are identical.

Now, with these stories gone, walk through this attractive natural area for 15 minutes. Have your new brain tell itself a new nature centered story. This story says that as you walk through this natural area, you are walking through your own mentality and body. All of nature that you sense and feel around you is also inside you. This is often wrangled out of your awareness by society's expectations.

In this natural area, you are walking into your subconscious.

Notice how attractions here feel and create nature-centered thinking."

 

- Michael J. Cohen - from: 'Reconnecting with Nature - Finding Wellness Through Restoring Your Bond with the Earth'

FURTHER - DEEPER:  11.4

"Our alienation from the rhythms of the natural world contribute, in a direct way, to our physical suffering."

-
Stephen Aizenstat

"At times I feel as if I am spread out over the landscape and inside things, and am myself living in every tree, in the splashing of the waves, in the clouds and the animals that come and go, in the procession of the seasons. There is nothing ... with which I am not linked."      - C G Jung

"All the efforts of the human mind cannot exhaust the essence of a single fly." 
- St Thomas Aquinas
FURTHER - DEEPER   11.5
Exercise:  Exploring the Microcosm
Take a walk in a natural place with a hand lens (magnifying glass) to magnify the hidden worlds of the “small”. Choose an item such as  a moss, a flower, a beetle, a leaf or a mushroom and look at it with a hand lens. Note the intricacy of design and beauty this perspective gives. Slow your breathing, center in your heart and eventually breathe into the heart. Open to fresh perceptions. Allow yourself to be in awe of the beauty at this micro scale.

 

*explanatory note: not only are our senses skewed, but also our perspective. We often pause to admire the view from a lookout to see a “wider view”, yet how often do we dive into the microscopic to see the universe of beauty hidden from our normal level of focus.

 - Alison Rickert

Exercise:  Night immersion

Go for a night walk in a natural place, sit down and turn of all lights and drop into this world using other ways of knowing. Don’t limit yourself to the usual five senses. See if you can tune in using other ways of knowing such as picking up on the energetic presence of the life forms around you. See if you can connect with these life forms via this new almost extra sensory way of being present.

 

Explanatory note: your first reaction may be fear, but hopefully this will give way to awe. Perhaps you might also feel very small and insignificant, as fear will often shrink the ego but it can also heighten the senses and your focus. Once you begin to relax this might give way to an enlarged sense of yourself as an energetic being and as you begin to sense the energetic presence of other sentient beings you may find you can communicate and connect with these. Just explore how radically different experiencing the natural world can be at night and let it open up a different perspective on the nature of reality.

 - Alison Rickert

FURTHER - DEEPER:  11.6

Moving Forward

Part of the way forward requires a return to nature, a re-connection to the heart of our Earth mother and the mystery of the universe. We need to combine the best of what science and technology, and traditional and indigenous religions have produced, with a renewed communication with our deeper selves and nature. In so doing we can restore our sense of empowerment and connectedness. A heartfelt and authentic commitment to care for the Earth and living systems grows from an intimate connection with nature and direct experience of its restorative powers.

 - Peter Rickert

On the efficacy of a walk in Nature: Sir Roger Penrose
mathematical physicist, mathematician and philosopher of science

"More than 300 peer-reviewed studies have identified a strong correlation between time in nature and health benefits. Specifically, these studies show that time outside results in lower heart rates, reduced stress, enhanced intestinal and gland activity, and more. Research is revealing time in nature is a factor in lowering hostility and depression while enhancing memory and feelings of awe. Data are also documenting how time in forests boosts “natural killer” (NK) cells in humans. NK cells are a type of lymphocyte that help ward off tumors and fight virally infected cells."                - Ray A. Foote  (Your National Forests Magazine / Summer - Fall Issue 2019)

© 2017 Richard Henry Whitehurst

All photos of Earth from space are courtesy of NASA.

All quotes by astronauts courtesy of the books: (1) The Overview Effect by Frank White - and - (2) The Home Planet by Kevin W. Kelly.