Spirit in Nature
As humans, one of our most direct ways of knowing is through feeling. Our lasting memories and most impactful experiences are those with feeling attached to them. How are we to know spirit is present until we feel it? Simply knowing cognitively is not always enough for me to believe nor to gain deep insight. How can we know something is real if we cannot detect it with our five senses? We must experience it through emotional or physical reactions. With spirit, as with many unseen truths in life, feeling is believing.
Through visualization, we can begin to feel our place in the complex systems that surround us. Visualization activates the same emotional responses in our brains as the act, person, or image we chose to visualize does in real life. Therefore, when we visualize ourselves as a part of these earthly systems, we feel connected to them and the spirit of nature that is contained within it all. Visualization is a powerful tool to help us practice feeling connection to the web of spirit. When we feel connected, we relax enough to listen inwardly. In this space, we can receive any messages we gain through what we have felt. Connection to everything is possible through feeling, even to spirit.
Life is rich with meaning and spirit. I would love to tell you what I’ve felt physically, emotionally, and spiritually, but creating your own relationship with nature is an ineffable experience. I’m thankful for the supportive environment I have come to know and I’m confident that even through rough patches, the spirit of the earth supports me.
Seated or lying in a comfortable position, eyes open:
- Bring your attention to soil and rock. Where is the soil in this room or place? Use what you can see and what you know, engaging extended proprioception. If you are indoors, take time to consider the possibilities within this place and nearby, considering metals, glass, sand, and rock. Be sure to include your own body and other humans.
- Bring your attention to air. Where is air in this room or place? What can you smell, taste, feel, hear, or see concerning air? Remember, the air is a medium of travel for birds, insects, the spores of plants, chemicals, sound waves, light waves, and humans. Consider what is happening with the seasons and with the sun and moon. Bring your attention to any aspect of air you can perceive at this moment in time, in this unique place and season.
- Bring your attention to water. Where is there water in this room or place? Consider what’s happening with the water cycle, the water table, in the watershed for your region. Remember your body is mostly water.
- Bring your attention to animals. Where are animals in the place? Notice the season, the effect on animals, the food you have eaten being digested in your stomach, insects and tiny microorganisms.
- Bring your attention to plants. Where are plants visible in this room or place? Even if there are no plants in sight, the floors may be wood, plants are being digested in your stomach, we wear plant fibers. Notice or imagine trees, grass and plants of the season contributing to the oxygen sustaining your life.
- Pause in open attention. Try scanning eyes closed, with senses heightened.
Expanding the scientific ecological systems view to include and integrate the human felt experience, Katie's Clinical Certificate in Ecotherapy provided a foundation for deeper exploration of our role as human beings living in relationship with all of life. She is passionate about connecting people to the land and nature in often intangible but felt ways and through sustainable local food systems. Katie currently resides in Tucson, AZ.
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September 20-27, 2018
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November 6-13, 2018
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