Remembering What’s Lost — Rejoining Our Family

I don’t think there’s anybody out there who doesn’t enjoy nature. I’m sure everyone has experienced the peace of being among the trees or felt time stop when admiring the vastness of the ocean or a beautiful view from a high cliff or mountain. Still our experience of nature is relatively dead. We admire the changing leaves like we would a building with a fresh coat of paint. What happens when we don’t merely observe nature and we actually commune with it? All of what we call “nature” is connected, and there was a time when we were part of that connection. We were part of the family of the planet earth. But we’re like adolescents who ran away from home, rebelling against our parents thinking we can do it better on our own. How can we rebuild that relationship and come home again, so to speak?

Animism is a worldview that non-human entities such as animals, plants, and inanimate objects possess a spiritual essence. This worldview is held by many indigenous tribal people.

Take a walk and open up to the beauty around you. Watch Anna Bretenbach communicate with animals and try to mimic what she does. Really notice each tree you pass. Wonder about its personality and what its life is like and what it has experienced in its long life on earth. Say hello to it as you pass. Wish it well or say thank you. Nature will start feeling more alive to you.

Now that you’re noticing the life of all these trees, you’ll find one that you feel particularly drawn to. Sit next to it and lean your back on it. Trees are so solid, rooted and strong, and when you sit with your back to one, you feel very supported in that strength. Start a conversation with it the same way you would a person that you’re meeting. Silently ask it questions like how it’s enjoying the day. Tell it how you’re enjoying the day. And just sit silently. Listen and feel. You might ask it questions about your life. You might hear something whispered in your mind, have a feeling, or notice a sensation in your body.

The way back to our natural family is through our hearts. When we commune with the trees or the spirits of nature our minds might tell us that these sensations and these whispers in our minds are figments of our active imaginations. Drop your attention from your head to your heart and be quiet there. The spirit world usually communicates to us through our hearts. We humans have grown to only trust our brains. It’s ok to move into the place of your heart and let it lead your way through this experience. Just dismiss your thoughts now and allow yourself to open all the way up to this moment now. You can hear your brain’s doubts and rationalizations and what it has to say about this later.

If nothing comes, don’t worry. It has been a long time since we forgot how to listen. Just enjoy the experience for whatever it is.

The common thing that I always feel deeply when I sit with a tree is their pure joy that I’ve done so. They miss us.

Nature doesn’t exist for us. It exists just because it exists in its own right because spirit wants to experience itself in a myriad of ways.

I’m not proposing that we all drop all of our belongings, don loincloths and move out into the woods to be wild, but I am calling on humanity to listen, rejoin our family and become responsible members of it who love and care for the family, not like people who throw our parents to rot in a nursing home.

“Trees and plants are connected to the earth soul.” –Mark Passio

Nobody’s listening to the trees anymore. Will you speak for them?

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