In the last lesson you began to learn the actual techniques people have used for talking with nature. You also opened to communicate with the tree you chose early in the course. In this lesson, you will learn how to tell how real this communication is. You will also work on your individual technique for your connection.
There is no getting away from the fact that communication of this nature is subjective. You are unique and so your connection will be yours and yours alone. Yo can pick up tidbits here and there and use guidelines to develop your skills, but in the end, you will need to find your own approach.
This is the process I use when connecting with nature:
1. I find a comfortable place to stand outdoors where I will not likely be disturbed for a short while. I relax and take a breath to put myself in the moment.
2. I take note of what is happening with all my senses: the smells, the feel of the air on my cheeks, the temperature, the light or dark, the sounds.
3. I allow a heartfelt sense of appreciation to rise in me: for the trees and sky and wind and whatever comes to mind. I feel these beings are sentient and may know a lot more about things than I do.
4. I listen with my whole body, my skin, without expecting to see or hear anything. I just relax in this open, relaxed state of alertness and become curious to see what, if anything, comes along.
This whole process tends to put me more in the right space to make the qualities of wonder and a sense of oneness and joy to be the basis for the connection. Then, when I notice the call of a crow, I sometimes realize it is me calling. When I feel the wind, it can be a playmate. I sometimes feel myself fill with the energies of the things around me. A beaver is not just an animal, it seems to be a movement, a dance. A pine tree seems to be a song or a colour or a shape.
If I am getting something and can't put it into words, I change my frame of reference, I ask if this was a colour, what colour would it be? If it was a movement, how would that be? And so on.
If I have a topic that has been troubling me or a question to ask, I put out the question and wait. It may come as a sudden inspiration, as a feeling or a concept. Or it may wait for another time.Exercise:
Sit at the foot of the tree you have greeted in each lesson. Greet it again. Be fresh about it. It can not be done by rote. Feel again the love, humility.
Go through the steps I outlined above in your own connection to your tree. Use my steps or the steps that the others have used. Or make up your own.
Notice what posture you tend to hold as you open to the energy of the tree. It has been said that in ancient societies, different ritual postures were used to open communication with other worlds. If you are having some difficulty, move around a little and try some different positions. If you have been sitting, stand in a relaxed manner. Or vice versa. Sometimes just a tilt of the head in a slightly different way can open things up.Journal:
Go over the specific steps you take to tune into this tree. Jot them down. Have you noticed that you tend to miss something? Do you find that some steps seem to be more crucial to you than others? If you were to forget all the steps and just go out into nature, would you be able to find that space in your awareness to connect? Are you finding it easier to stand or sit? Did you have to adjust your posture?What this was like for me:
I found that after a while, I did not need to consciously think of the steps in connecting with nature. If it wasn't quite right, I'd start again from the beginning and see if that helped. While I have found it important to get all these things in place, I have also found it may be just as important to forget it all and allow myself to become swept up in the experience of being nature. The ritual of going though the steps, like any ritual, helps me remember what I need to remember, but the rest is up to a power larger than me.Questions others have asked:
Q. I'm still stuck. I haven't been able to connect. What can I do? Is it me? Will I ever be able to do this?
A. At a retreat I held some years ago, one of the participants kept looking for messages from the trees or birds or the river, but ended up being followed around the meadow by a cloud of gnats. Their chaotic energy annoyed her and she spent a lot of time trying to make them vanish. When she asked me in frustration for help, I wondered if maybe the gnats were saying something to her. They sure seemed persistent. The idea hadn't occurred to her. Once she relaxed, she found that their activity itself told her something she would otherwise not have heard.
By letting it be all right not to have anything happen, you may relax enough to hear the message that's coming in the back door. In the end, if all you ever get is a peaceful feeling by being in the presence of a great tree, then maybe that is enough.
As with the rest of this course, everything here is optional. Do what is right for you at your own pace.
References and further reading:
Ecstatic Body Postures by Belinda Gore, ISBN: 9781879181229
Back to Introduction
This work is © Copyright by Janet Dane. It may not be reproduced in total or in part without the author's express written permission. If you'd like more information, contact Janet