To cultivate oneself to be simple and to see simply is the first task of anyone wishing to approach the sacred symbolism of Ancient Egypt.” This is necessary because “the obvious blinds us,” the obvious being our perception of the world via cerebral consciousness alone, which divides, analyzes, and “granulates” experience”.
I would like to explain my reasons for using the above quote. Firstly, although the above quote refers to Ancient Egypt, from my experience, it applies whenever we are viewing the natural world. We could explain things more simply as, be the observer, be mindful in the present moment, not lost in thought. Simply “be”. Sitting still without constant thoughts appearing can be very hard. Our minds are normally very busy, learning to slow our thoughts takes practice. Like anything we practice it gets easier with experience. Once you learn to be quiet, the magic of nature is there to see, can you see it?
Connecting to nature
Where it all went wrong – the belief we are separate from or superior to nature, we are not separate, we are part of nature. Remember how you felt as a child outdoors enjoying nature? You can easily regain that joy with a little practice.
“Forest Bathing” is regarded as a form of therapy in Japan, this is called Shinrin-yoku.
Studies support claims of the benefits of Shinrin Yoku. These have demonstrated that exposure to nature positively creates calming neuro-psychological effects through changes in the nervous system. In addition, the level of the hormone serum adiponectin is also increased. When this hormone is present in low concentrations it is linked with obesity, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and metabolic syndrome, among other bodily disorders. Every study conducted so far has demonstrated reductions in stress, anger, anxiety, depression and sleeplessness amongst the subjects who have participated. In Japan there are now 44 accredited Shinrin Yoku forests.” Source Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forest_bathing
From studying indigenous cultures and ancient civilizations, a consistent message can be seen related to the natural world. As you will see from studying this website further, Ancient Egypt and India have much to teach us about our misconceptions of our connection to nature.
The benefits from time in nature go beyond intellectual understanding. I’m sure most of us already know this, the main problem lies in, how much of a priority we make it. If we fully understood all of the benefits offered from a walk in the forest or a walk along the beach, perhaps that would change. More people might think, I have had a stressful week at work, I had better make time for nature and relaxation at the weekend. Time spent in nature will help combat the stress of the week, particularly if you spend that time in a conscious way. There will be a smaller effect if you aren’t in the present moment, most of us get easily distracted by our cell phone. The time spent in a less mindful way will still help, but why not maximize your time?
Connecting to animals
Please, also consider the therapeutic effect of having animals in your life. I could easily write an article on this subject. There is a variety of perspectives we could explore. For some of us, our animal companions are our biggest source of companionship. There is a difference in the way we communicate with animals; this can be an almost telepathic connection. Texts such as the Yoga Sutras discuss our connection with the natural world and animals, as well as birds and insects. One of the topics touched upon was, if we observe nature in a mindful way and watch how animals and insects interact, our consciousness expands into a deeper sense of connection. I can speak from experience, the deeper connection can generate an extremely satisfying state of inner peace and bliss.
Insert link to the meditation I created.