At the heart of all life, deep in the natural order of our world, is an inherent power and presence. It is unquestionable. Where life abides in its most natural state, there is a flow, a pervading stillness and ceaseless vitality. This is why I speak often of the human need to be connected with nature. Not only is it essential to us – for it is the very source of our life – but it connects us at a very deep level to our true Self.
A simple example of this is when we take a few quiet moments to sit still and observe a lake. Very soon a feeling of peace and calm arises within us. Walk among forests and a sense of vibrancy, freshness and power ensues. Sit on a rock by the sea for a while and the idea of time begins to vanish.
Deeper than this is the capacity for nature to re-awaken us and to sustain us with wakeful awareness. In being present to nature we can see the true essence of life and, therefore, the essence of our very selves. Take the encounter of watching the lake. We become aware that the lake is constantly moving; water is rippling and forever stirring, even when it is most calm. Yet also when the water is most stirred, simultaneously, there is a profound presence of stillness, as if the lake is suspended in the timelessness of now, and only now.
How does this help us? In seeing the constant movement we are reminded that life IS constantly flowing, changing, moving, passing, transforming. Nothing is fixed. This movement and flow becomes a mirror for our very own lives. Is there anything in our own lives that is not changing, passing, flowing, transforming? When we truly watch we realise that indeed, no event, no situation, no THING in our life is fixed. Only in the illusion of our mind do we have the erroneous belief that somehow we are stuck or trapped. In reality everything passes. Everything changes. Yet we are not gone.
Our Self does not vanish. And, in the place of those things that have passed, new things are born. New experiences unfold. Our lives, and all of life, is like a river – a ‘rivering’ – a never-ending flow of creation. Consequently, it is pointless to hold on to anything, to fear letting go, or to perceive any lack or loss. Life (our very self) is forever freeing and forever renewing – in fact it is forever being!
So when we are deeply present to nature – to the true nature of our selves – we enter a state of true openness whereby we have surrendered to what IS. We become accepting of life’s constant flow. Our resistance falls away and WE fall into the stillness – the suspended, timeless space in which this flowing is happening – we are forever present in the now.
In this stillness we realise we are far greater, and so much more, than a body, or a lifetime of events.
We are eternal.
We are the infinite, unified field of energy that is life.
We are forever being.
When we enter this depth of realisation, all attachments drop away. Fear dissolves. The mind’s projections vanish. What is left is the very essence of our selves – aliveness… awareness.
As a child I was acutely aware that we live our lives in boxes. These boxes that we occupy and the boxes that we work in are like tombs. They are places of death, where our life force can easily slip away. In these boxes people lose touch with nature, and therefore lose sight of the true nature of life and of Self. With that loss comes a decline of vitality. We get lost in the mind and submit to the drive of the ego and the attachment to things. We merely exist, living a superficial life in an unsettled state – chasing elusive peace, happiness or fulfillment.
Now, as an adult, I continue to witness humanity’s growing dissociation with nature. Along with this rift is a deepening fear and attachment to the illusions of the mind. Collectively we are responsible for great destruction of our natural world. Individually we are responsible, and capable, of regaining the connection we need with nature– not just for the sake of the planet or future of humanity – but for the sake of being truly at peace, within our self and with each other.
When we value life more than we value things we will begin to create a collective shift towards a more natural world again. When we value nature we value life. We also realise the value of the Self we are and the gift it is to experience life in this form.
Nature is here for us – available to us in every moment – if only we take a few moments to step outside our boxes and dance again! Nature is calling us, waiting to teach us silently and deeply all that we need to know; to join in the rivering of life again, to awaken and enter nature’s heart of peace.