NATIVE EARTH WISDOM
The nature spirits, of trees or of a sacred place, have four basic kinds of energies which they can share with you. These are: 1) vital energies, 2) love and healing energies, 3) consciousness-wisdom energies, and 4) beauty energies.
The first energy is vital, life energy, which strengthens and heals the body. This gives us vital power which can actually be stored in the body. We can sense and receive this vital energy in the lower part of our body, through the feet, up the legs and through the area around the navel. We can use breath and our visualizing mind to gather this energy into us. Practices will be shared here for doing so.
The second kind of energy is a quality of emotional energy, which we often feel as love or relatedness. This love is healing and it brings us into closer communion with Mother Nature. This healing energy comes into us when we open our heart to the love-presence and emotional feeling of the sacred place or nature around us.
The third kind of energy is wisdom, coming through the consciousness and intelligence of nature. Nature is alive with consciousness. The consciousness of each individual being of nature is its sensitive-awareness and also its presence. Each particular life-form (or even place) knows when we enter into a receptive rapport with it. It recognizes our own presence and consciousness.
The way to realize this nature-consciousness is to allow yourself to be seen, recognized and known. Allow a spirit of nature to be conscious of you and allow her to communicate with you. You might give greeting to a place or to a tree, with sincere feeling, while recognizing this as a conscious living presence, and ask that this spirit open up communication with you. Allow this being to be conscious of you and share itself with you. But first, you need to be in a receptive space, open to hearing and receiving from this consciousness-intelligence. You need to open up your mind, in a receptive silence, and allow the spirit to share with you as a friend.
A fourth kind of natural energy-quality is beauty, which also gives us creative inspiration. Natural beauty gives us creative artistic inspiration. We see beauty in the wonderful creativity of nature, which then inspires us to also be creative and to create beauty and harmony. So this natural energy of beauty is also inspirational.
We don't normally think of beauty as an energy, but most people will admit that beauty has an important effect on one's consciousness and emotional well-being. And it might also be agreed that our heart is uplifted by beauty – which is experienced by those who are open to it. Beauty is as much needed in life as are the energies of food and of love. Beauty is an essential food; it feeds our soul. But beauty can only be received and uplift us when we are in the receptive and appreciating attitude. So open up to the unique quality of beauty that is radiating from each sacred being of nature - of each tree, each flower, each creek, each little stone and each large mountain.
When all four qualities of nature are realized everywhere, then we complete the 'wheel' and enter into the experience of Unity in all of nature. This could be an experience of the One Great Spirit pervading all of nature, or the Unity of Mother Earth Goddess, or simply the experience of the unity in all of nature around us and within us. This is transformational.
Native Teachings give us practices and suggested attitudes for attuning to the spirits of nature and opening up that communication. But first we must realize that Nature is truly alive with sensitivity and consciousness, and the spiritual beings of Nature will only open up to us as we open up to them. They have closed down a lot to the human kingdom because of our overall insensitivity and disrespect, yet they are ever ready to make friends with us and give to us, when we open our recognition and begin to listen to and feel these spiritual qualities and energies of the natural world.
So the practice is to become quiet inside and listen and feel with sensitivity, and receive the spiritual beauty of a tree or sacred space. This is the kind of respectful attitude which we would want to have if we met any special person. If you went to visit a spiritual teacher, how would you come? You should come in humility, respect and openness, for only then can you truly receive from them and be able to recognize their spiritual quality. If we remember that every life and form on Earth is an expression of the Great Spirit, we might then treat each life with a high degree of respect and openness to their spiritual qualities and energies which remain hidden until we recognize and receive them.
It is up to us to recognize the spiritual presence in any form of nature. And that presence will not open itself up to us unless we are ready to recognize and receive it. Like any human being, why should a spiritual presence of nature open its heart to us if we are not open to it? It all starts with you, for you need to be in a ready and receptive attitude of mind and heart, and you need to Make Contact from this receptive space, this receptive listening attitude.
If you can get out in a garden or in natural surroundings, you will benefit from this simple practice of bringing your attention and sensitivity to a particular tree, plant, or a general area of natural space, and opening to the presence or spirit. You just see and listen and feel with an open, receptive attitude of mind and heart, and allow the presence to radiate its energies to you and speak to you with feeling. You just feel and listen what it has to give, and allow yourself to receive this.
This is the first and most important step in recognition and communication with the particular spirit. If you give this some time, and stay open to the experience, you’ll begin to feel more of the spiritual vibrations and energies, and the spirit will share itself with you as it feels you to be a receptive friend.
Most spiritual teachings speak about inward meditations, where the focus is upon one’s own nature, or the opening to powers, visions and guidance coming from within, or to a kind of inner enlightenment. But there are also outward forms of meditation, where the focus of consciousness is outside of oneself.
Instead of withdrawing from the outer world into our inner world, in outer meditations one opens up to the impressions and energies coming from the natural world around. We open our eyes and ears, and even all the senses, to observe, listen, and take in what nature presents to us. We do this with an understanding that Mother Nature and the spirits of nature, along with the trees, the plants, the birds and the land, have something of important value to share with us.
Outer meditations are done with the acknowledgment that we are inseparably related in the natural world and that Nature reflects the very wisdom of Great Spirit and is actually a mirror of our own inner nature, or inner self.
So spend some time out in nature and practice awakening to and sensing the natural energies and spirit presences all around. First, open your mind and senses to the actual physicalness of Nature, to the actual body of Nature. Observe and sense the physical world around you. Also be aware of your own physicalness. Become grounded and connected to the very earthiness of life, and fully sense the earthiness of your body. Observe around you the diversity of nature and the beauty of textures, colors and shapes. Begin to listen intently to the sounds around. You might hear or see animals and birds.
Next, with inner silence and stillness, meditate by just listening and just observing life as it is. Find peace in just being, just being aware, and just listening, without trying to do anything else and without needing to think or worry about anything. Just let go of everything and just be, right here being present, and present with all that is around you. Then, allow your senses and listening to expand further out into this natural space, listening for more distant sounds and even more subtle sounds.
Let your mind and your listening become evermore quiet and receptive. Concentrate now on just listening and feeling the vibrations of Nature around you. Begin to hear the very subtlety of Nature sounding its vibrations through the great silence. At this point you could close your eyes, in order to just listen and feel what nature is expressing, through sound and vibration.
Breathing consciously, though very quietly, begin to sense the subtle vibration and rhythm of Mother Earth, then let your breath gradually come into harmony with this sensed rhythm, moving in and out, naturally and peacefully, like gentle waves on a beach.
Then from this most peaceful state of mind, in attunement with the Earth Mother, begin to open your mind to the spiritual presences of nature. You may begin to hear them call you and reach out to you through the inner hearing of your mind. They may whisper to you, or they might express themselves as music or song, which you can hear with your inner hearing. Hear them speak, or sing, or sound forth their quality of being.
Now, with eyes and senses open, once again observe the beauty and radiance around you. Then allow yourself to be seen and observed by the presences around. Realize that you are being observed, sensed and felt by the trees, the plants, and by the presence of the land you sit upon.
This a reversal of our usual perspective, whereby we usually see out to things, sensing and feeling from our own out-going center. We usually reach out to grasp things, to know things, to sense things; but in this reversal of perspective, we allow the energies, the impressions, and the consciousnesses of nature to come towards us, to sense and recognize us.
So, in a receptive state be aware of the presences of nature being conscious of you and sensing you. By being in this receptive attitude, you become aware of the consciousness, sensitivity, and intelligence of natural forms. Be open to the consciousness of nature all around you. Next, be open to understanding the energy-quality and intelligence of this part of nature or this natural place.
Most people do not normally take time for meditation in nature and have never tried anything like this, so it might seem strange to them. But if you can visit a beautiful place, or walk in a peaceful natural place, then take some time to really BE in nature and really SEE and really LISTEN. If your thinking mind can quiet down and if you can sincerely be open, then you will be surprised by the experience of real seeing and real listening.
Each particular life-form or place knows when you enter into a receptive rapport with it. It recognizes your presence and consciousness. So the way to experience the consciousness of nature is to allow yourself to be seen, recognized and known. You allow what is of nature to be conscious of you, and you receptively listen to what is being communicated to you.
You might give greeting to a place or to a tree, with sincere feeling, while recognizing it as a conscious living presence, and ask that it open up communication with you. Mostly though, you need to be in a receptive space, open to hearing and receiving from this consciousness-intelligence. So you allow this to be conscious of you and share itself with you. But first you need to open up your mind, in a receptive silence, and allow the spirit to share with you as a friend.
Be aware of the rocks and trees, water and land, birds and animals, all being sensitive and conscious of you. Then, you will be in the right state of mind for receiving communication from these forms and lives of Nature.
Be open in your mind, heart and senses to the spiritual presences of what is physically seen. Whatever is physically seen or sensed within the natural world is infused with a spiritual presence, which is the sensitive consciousness and intelligence of that particular form or place. This spiritual presence can become visible to you, as a kind of vibrating color and sound, though it is easier to just feel its energy as an extending sensitive aura surrounding the form.
If you face a particular form of nature, such as a tree, and come into the receptive attitude and the reverse perspective, you will feel or sense its aura of energy, either as a vital life energy, or as a sensitive emotional energy, or as a conscious intelligence, or possibly in all three ways.
Try this with a tree friend. If you hold your hands out you can more easily sense its vital energy aura. Open your emotional sensitivity, and you can feel its emotional aura. Then open your mind, with a receptive and reverse-perspective, and you can hear and know the tree's intelligent presence and consciousness, as it shares itself with you.
As you open up and recognize the conscious and sensitive presence of the tree, or whatever part of Nature you give attention to, this life, this spiritual presence, remembers you and becomes your friend. As you recognize the spiritual presence of the land and the various nature presences upon the land, those presences begin to open up to you and become friendly and helpful. They are just waiting to be recognized and shown that we are receptive and friendly, then they will open up and share their own radiance, healing, good feeling, and even shared wisdom and helpful guidance.
When we come into rapport and attunement with the spirit presence of the land and the spirits on the land, a new harmony and cooperation will begin to unfold between us human spirits and the other spirits of Nature.