Living in Harmony with Nature

We have many relationships – relationships with ourselves, with oneness, with the world around us. We also have a relationship with nature and it is important that we recognize that relationship and continue to nurture it.

We often begin our Sunday Celebration by taking a deep breath and letting it go, and repeating two more times. We do this because sometimes we just need to take a few deep breaths and realize that nature’s got this and it is in control. 

The Japanese have a practice of relaxation known as Shinrin-yoku,  meaning “forest bathing”. This practice does not mean taking a bath in the woods but walking through the woods and taking in the beauty of nature. The simple method of forest bathing when one is calm and quiet amongst the trees, observing nature around us while breathing deeply can help people de-stress and boost health and wellbeing in a natural way. Perhaps that is why when we are feeling ill we feel better after taking a walk outdoors. Even when I walk into our building here, under the trees, I enjoy an experience —  because our bodies consciously and subconsciously recognize the energy in the trees that brings us to a calmer place. 

There is a quote from the early 1940’s by Anne Frank: 

“The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quiet, alone with the heavens, nature and God. Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be.”

Nature has the ability to heal and comfort any trouble. We all have this opportunity to use nature to heal. Years ago, the Native Americans found that nature could heal backaches. If you had a backache you could lean up against a pine tree and the positive energy of the tree could heal your back pain. 

We all have those days where we are feeling overwhelmed and overcome with brain fog. Have you ever taken a break out of your busy day to get outside —  and when you returned your brain was able to think again? That is because nature opens us up for creativity. If you just walk outside in nature for a bit and breathe in the fresh air you can clear your mind and return to being more productive. 

Not only does nature heal and relax us mentally, it can heal our illnesses too. Many of the medicines we have today were first discovered in plants. Years ago, people would meditate in front of plants until it came to them what that plant could do. Then they would begin to physically experiment with the plant to see if it worked. A man down in the Amazon once told me that he had given his wife a remedy for cancer. A drug corporation soon picked up on it and now that plant is hard to find. Before the drug company picked up on it, this man would sit in front of the plant to get a deep sense for how it could help. 

Taking the time to relax in nature is so important; it gives us a recharge. Ancient Peruvians believed our energies are both masculine and feminine. When we stand in the sun with our chests revealed, we get the masculine energy that keeps us going. But when we stay in the shade or in the dark, we get the feminine energy to nurture. Either way, nature gives us the energy we need to survive. 

We are made to work in harmony with nature because we are nature. We are animals and we are spirits, all living as one on earth. We have lost sight of this connection today because of the convenience of everything we have, but if we were to go back in time before cell phones, grocery stores, packaged goods, electricity, etc., we could survive off of nature because we are nature. 

It’s so important we give ourselves those experiences within because it reminds us of the oneness, that we are connected to nature. Nature can also take us deeper in our own consciousness to a quiet and secluded spot. The quiet center of the universe is within all of us. 

Find some practices that work for you. The reason all of this works so well for us in nature is because we are created in the same way. All the things that create our body are created from this planet we live on. So when we say we are made of star stuff we are the way the universe knows itself.