The Sacred Power of Nature
Humans have been tied to nature since we have lived on this planet. It is only in the last 100 years or so that we have removed ourselves from this connection directly. Most indigenous cultures based their daily lives on living in harmonyand balance with nature. Our ancestors relied directly on the earth for their survivaland made the earth a central focus in their spirituality also. They built traditionsand spiritual practices around this sacred connection. Although some ancient societies began to overuse resourcesand disconnect from the earth it wasn’t until the age of scienceand the industrial revolution that we saw ourselves above nature,and that we could dominantand control its resources to no avail. This slowly disconnected us from our spiritual connection with the earth. And in the last 60 years with the focus on industry, technology,and urban living most of us in the modern world have grown up without this direct connection.
The good news is that many people now realize this disconnectionand have been reviving our ancient earth traditionsand reconnecting with the sacredness of nature. In the shamanic traditions nature was the main spiritual tool in which we experienced life. Moreand more people now realize the importance of this connection. The environmental movement was born out of the need to protect the wild, as is the outdoor adventure culture that is now very popular among our society. Humans crave a connection with the earthand its elements. They respect the sacredness of the earthand its intrigant balance. They feel the imbalance of being disconnected from the one thing that gives us life. Without respect for the earth we have no life. The earth itself is a living organism in which we rely on for our survival. It is a living breathing system, both delicateand powerful. When we reconnect with this living system we become both inspiredand awed at its beautiful essence. We connect spiritually with its elementsand sacredness.
Natureand the elements give us life – earth, air, waterand fire. We need to learn to honorand respect these things in our daily lives. The treesand rivers, the plantsand rocks, all the living creatures – bigand small. This is the sacred way of the earth. When we honor the earthand treat it with compassion it heals both ourselvesand the earth around us. This is the way of loving kindnessand brings harmonyand balance to our lives.
So how do we connect with natureand find its sacredness in our daily lives? Here are 7 steps that can help you with this.
- Get outdoors – Get outside at least once a day. Go for a walk or hike. Sit in your backyard or on your deck. Go to the park or riverand sit in silence. Get out in natureand absorb the beautyand balance of the elements around you.
- Unplug from technology – Put your smart phone or electronic device down, turn it off, or put it on silent. Unplug from the systemand be still in nature. Allow yourself to take several minutes to just be quietand observe your surroundings outdoors. Be grateful for the beauty, make a prayer or meditateand appreciate this direct connection to the earth.
- Be Quiet in Nature – Sacred silence is the process of being quiet in nature. It is a form of meditation in which you observeand absorb on a deeper level the elements of the earthand connect with them. Let your mind go of regular worriesand absorb the four elements of nature – earth, air, waterand fire. Give thanks for each oneand reflect on how they give you life. Ask for understandingand how you can walk gently on the earth. See my article “Sacred Silence” for more ideas on the importance of being quiet
- Learn to meditateand connect with the earth – Take time each day to meditate in nature. Give thanks for your connection. Journal your thoughts if you have time. Let goand just be still with the earth. By focusing on your connection with the earthand its elements you tune in to this deep sacred energy that surrounds you. Once you start connecting with this your life changes in wonderful ways.
- Learn about earth spiritualityand shamanism – Earth-based spirituality is the oldest spiritual practice on earth. It is very personal in its essence as it allows the practitioner to find their own connection with the earth, its living elementsand the spirits that are part of the larger universe. In recent years shamanism has made a resurgence in many people’s lives as they wanted a practical spirituality that connects them with nature. Shamanism is a practice, not a religion, so many people revere this type of direct personal connection. I encourage you to read more about itand find your own practice of connecting with the earth for both healingand harmony.
- Go to the wild often – Go to places in nature that are more wild. Places where you see more of the earthand its natural wild elements rather than human development. Most cities even have places that are more nature dominant, large natural parks or green-ways. I also encourage you to get out in the wilderness where nature has not been so impacted by humans. This is where you can find a strong harmonyand a deeper connection with nature. It will also give you a sense of reverence for the earthand help you become more mindful.
- Give thanksand loving kindness to the earth – Be grateful for our life-giving earthand of nature. Appreciate nature by breathing deepand looking around you at all the beautiful living things. A beautiful river, a sunset from the mountain top, an old growth forest, an expansive quiet desert. Smileand give thanks for this beautyand harmony. Feeland sense its balanceand sacredness. Honor the earth by walking lightly, making choices that honor the earth, giving respect for our life here on earth,and by teaching this walk to others.
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Brian M Heater is an author, spiritual lifeand mindfulness coach, shamanic practitioner,and conscious living advocate.
For more information on his work, free articlesand other information please visit –http://www.transformingourselves.com.