Bathe in Nature Redux

Frozen Rock - New Hope Creek

Frozen Rock – New Hope Creek

I ache.  I haven’t been out in nature very much for the last two months now, a consequence of the “stress” of navigating my father’s medical care. But today, now that the holidays are complete, I took the hour to go for a quiet hike in the forest.

This is my favorite spot. I wrote about it here “Bathe in Nature,”  when I discovered it almost one year ago to the day. I can’t believe I have gone six months without hiking here?

Ice

Ice

When I went on retreat with my healer, I remember him encouraging us to walk out in nature and take time to touch the things that we connected with.  I slowed down, slowed way down.  I hugged my favorite tree, on bank of the creek.

My favorite tree

My favorite tree

I found odd pieces of ice laying in the moss on the granite rocks along-side the creek.  I picked them up and felt their coolness and wondered what vibrations the water held within its crystal.  With my father’s illness, I feel like a kite adrift in a wind-storm… untethered.  This place has felt so grounding to me before. Today it was soothing, yet also like trying to reach through a window to touch something precious I had known before, in the past.   I remembered how I realized here in this place that perceiving nature through my senses, having the balance of nature fill my senses, was in itself healing. Bathing in nature.

Frozen and rushing water

Frozen and rushing water

Back at Serenity Ridge on New Year’s eve,  I walked softly from the Gonpa feeling the immediacy of how there is only the “sought“.  When everything is only, can only be, the sought,  the “Self”,  there is not the same sense of being tethered or reaching for specific experiences. That can feel like an unusual state to move through one’s experience in contrast to our culture,  and to others it can seem like an “ungrounded” state to be functioning from.   I was sharing this experience with my doctor yesterday, saying that even that which appears to be “unenlightened or imbalanced” is still only that, it is a recognition that there is nothing that can be other than it.   She was surprised by my statement, but at least in a curious way.  What is actually the most natural statement anyone can utter,  can appear to be fantastical or magical to others in our culture,  even quite open-minded doctors.

I am reading a book called “Collision with the Infinite” by Suzanne Segal.   The heart of this book holds a purpose that is dear and crucial for me.  Suzanne describes it this way in the introduction:

This story’s description of the state of living every moment without a personal reference point makes it clear that it is in no manner a non-functional condition. The chronicle of this “life beyond the personal self”  provides a modern version of what the ancestors have described, but adds the experience of the journey itself, which they did not provide.  Even if they had described their experience of the journey, it would certainly have been vastly different, since they lived in a cultural context that honored rather than devalued or pathologized their experience.

I began this draft article on a similar theme: “Stages of Kundalini Healing and the Life Accounts of Awakened Beings”.  The isolation inherent in awakening in this cultural time and place is also a common thread in many of my healer’s poems and writings.  Where is the handbook for awakening that explains how to be skillful with other’s feeling threatened or pathologizing your experience of emptiness, timelessness or non-conceptuality?  The question almost seems ludicrous, but it isn’t. It is a deep prayer that my writing and communications with others helps to create a culture, and a world where this becomes more possible.

I’ll end here with this beautiful passage I am enjoying from Suzanne’s book:

One evening, we set out for a walk quite late. The night was pitch black; even the stars were veiled by dense clouds. As we stepped into the forest, Dan extended his right arm in front of him and made a sweeping gesture from left to right.  Within seconds our path was illuminated by a gossamer light that radiated out of each molecule of the air.  Each plant gave off a soft glow from within itself that expanded steadily as we moved deeper into the woods.  Noticing my amazement, Dan turned to me with a look of gentle warmth.

“You see, Suzanne, this light is always with us, contained in all of life.  We are never in darkness, even when it appears to be night. Never forget that this world you see around you is not what it appears to be at first glance.”

“Dan, how did you do that?”  I asked.  “You’re the one who started everything glowing like this.”

“No, it’s not me,” he said.  “I’m only showing you what’s present at each moment, always.  We only need to attune our attention to it. I didn’t create it, I’m simply pointing it out to you.”

Ice and creek blurred in motion

Ice and creek blurred in motion

This entry was posted in caregiving, Healing, Nature, parenting, photos, Prayer and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Bathe in Nature Redux

  1. janeadamsart says:

    Teala I hear the punchy winter water and see and feel the shining ice. Glad you got back to this place. xx

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