“Our DNA is made of the same DNA as the tree. The tree breathes what we exhale. When the tree exhales, we need what the tree exhales. So we have a common destiny with the tree.”
– Floyd Red Crow Westerman
From the Dalai Lama to the teachings of Floyd Red Crow Westerman, there is a consensus among spiritual leaders that nature is sacred. That our spiritual path is rooted alongside the course of nature, and if nature dies – we also perish. Conversely, if nature flourishes – so does our spirit.
So how do we foster a spiritual connection with nature, when we lead busy ramshackle lives?
Dedicate One Day A Week To Be Solitary In Nature
If you want to get spiritual with nature, you need to commit some time to it. Running through a park while gabbing to your friends doesn’t cut it. Neither does lying on the beach and checking your phone. Silence in nature is important, in order to fully connect with it. Dedicate one day a week to go through a hike, or visit a forest solo.
To the casual observer, Ikebana may appear to be a fancy form of flower arranging. But it’s much more than that. Even the Samurai would practice Ikebana! It’s a Japanese art form, and is also called “way of flowers.”
The purpose of Ikebana is to promote a deeper spiritual connection with nature, so practicing Ikebana must be done in silence. Although the floral designs look minimalist, it’s done with the intention of highlighting the leaves and stalks: not just the pretty petals. You can read instructions on how to practice Ikebana here.
Grow Your Own Food
The first step to rekindling a spiritual relationship with nature is to plant and grow something. Growing your own food is one way to connect with your body, by creating your own source of nutrient-rich sustenance. It’s also a way for you not to take food for granted. Try planting herbs or a vegetable patch. It’s embracing sustainability as well as spirituality.
Breathing fresh air is vital to remaining healthy. The breath is the foundation of living. Visiting an area with an abundance of trees is the best way to breathe fresh air. Try meditating in a forest, or at least in a park, to gain a deeper connection to both your breath and your spirituality.
Watch The Stars
There’s no denying that 2016 is a pretty scary time. When the headlines are filled with fearful headlines, it can be hard to keep calm. When you feel overwhelmed by life’s coming-and-goings, take a night to sit outside and stare at the stars. Think about how small Earth is, and how unlimited the Universe is. It’s hard to sweat the small stuff when you’re contemplating eternity.
What are your tips for connecting with the spirituality of nature?