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 harmony and balance with nature. Our ancestors relied directly on the earth for their survival and made the earth a central focus in their spirituality also. They built traditions and spiritual practices around this sacred connection. Although some ancient societies began to overuse resources and disconnect from the earth it wasn’t until the age of science and the industrial revolution that we saw ourselves above nature, and that we could dominant and 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 disconnection and have been reviving our ancient earth traditions and reconnecting with the sacredness of nature. In the shamanic traditions nature was the main spiritual tool in which we experienced life. More and 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 earth and its elements. They respect the sacredness of the earth and 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 delicate and powerful. When we reconnect with this living system we become both inspired and awed at its beautiful essence. We connect spiritually with its elements and sacredness.
Nature and the elements give us life – earth, air, water and fire. We need to learn to honor and respect these things in our daily lives. The trees and rivers, the plants and rocks, all the living creatures – big and small. This is the sacred way of the earth. When we honor the earth and treat it with compassion it heals both ourselves and the earth around us. This is the way of loving kindness and brings harmony and balance to our lives.
So how do we connect with nature and 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 river and sit in silence. Get out in nature and absorb the beauty and 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 system and be still in nature. Allow yourself to take several minutes to just be quiet and observe your surroundings outdoors. Be grateful for the beauty, make a prayer or meditate and 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 observe and absorb on a deeper level the elements of the earth and connect with them. Let your mind go of regular worries and absorb the four elements of nature – earth, air, water and fire. Give thanks for each one and reflect on how they give you life. Ask for understanding and how you can walk gently on the earth. See my article “Sacred Silence” for more ideas on the importance of being quiet
- Learn to meditate and 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 go and just be still with the earth. By focusing on your connection with the earth and 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 spirituality and 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 elements and 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 it and find your own practice of connecting with the earth for both healing and harmony.
- Go to the wild often – Go to places in nature that are more wild. Places where you see more of the earth and 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 harmony and a deeper connection with nature. It will also give you a sense of reverence for the earth and help you become more mindful.
- Give thanks and loving kindness to the earth – Be grateful for our life-giving earth and of nature. Appreciate nature by breathing deep and 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. Smile and give thanks for this beauty and harmony. Feel and sense its balance and 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 life and mindfulness coach, shamanic practitioner, and conscious living advocate.
For more information on his work, free articles and other information please visit –http://www.transformingourselves.com.