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Actions

Communing with nature

Category: Actions

Type

Voluntary

Introduction and description

Communing with nature means getting away from cities and centres of man made and high population and walking  - and it need only be very gentle strolling  - or relaxing in natural surroundings.  Woods are excellent, meadows and fields are good, open moorland can also be excellent, cultivated land a little less effective.  You are looking for a quiet area, away from traffic and human population as well as buildings and houses.  Ideally you should be able to see no houses, but if you can see houses they should perhaps be an isolated farm or tiny hamlet.

This said allotments would probably be good, as would gardens.  Gardening of any sort is as good a pastime as any in this respect.  It probably explains why gardeners are, in general, quite healthy often inspired people.

Farm animal, birds, hares, badgers, rabbits, deer and so on are all a welcome addition.  Wild flowers are a wonderful addition, not just because they look beautiful, but they add to the effect.

You should do this alone or if anyone at all is with you a sympathetic friend who does not talk.  There must be no talking and no noise from either of you.  A dog is a good companion in this pursuit.  A hamster has its moments but tends to eat the flowers.  Snails likewise.

The spiritual experiences usually obtained by people who commune with nature are usually not visual [although there are one or two exceptions I have found].  The vast majority of people who commune with nature get invisible input – principally inspiration and wisdom. There have been moments of sheer bliss and overwhelming peace and joy, a sense of oneness with the universe and all of life.  This feeling can change people’s lives.


 

Go for a walk in the woods and you are more likely to get an idea.

Beethoven did it, Sting does it.  Numerous inventors and poets such as George William RussellW B Yeats, T S Eliot, and James Watt did it regularly.  Emily Dickinson did it.  Possibly the most famous person to use a tree was Buddha.

Method

Find a peaceful inspiring stretch of countryside, an allotment, your own garden [if it is secluded and peaceful enough] a beautiful quiet park and 

  • Talk to the plants
  • Handle the plants
  • Lie on the plants
  • Walk gently around the plants
  • Sit by plants
  • Sit under trees - It may be better to concentrate on trees that have some record of being ‘venerable’ or worshipped
  • Have a picnic on the grass
  • Relax – use some of the relaxation techniques
  • Go barefoot if possible, if it is not possible try to wear something that does not insulate you from the feelings of being close to nature – rope sandals for example

Cuddling plants probably needs to be done in the privacy of your own garden.  Hugging trees – ditto!
It will be very hit and miss what happens, but who cares this is a nice way to spend a few hours.
Although hugging hundreds of trees isn’t necessarily an unpleasant experience it will probably be a bit tiring ....... especially if they are big....

How it works

There are, curious though it may sound, good scientific reasons why being in woodland and open countryside can have a beneficial effect on us.  I have explored these reasons in the science section  Communing with nature - a scientific perspective

But that section is for people who like a bit of science to get their teeth into, something rational to get a handle on.  Functionally, communing with nature works via our emotions.

It may be helpful here to refer to the Model of the Mind and to have read the generic desciption of How spiritual experience works

It reminds us of things long gone, of things within our deep subconscious that lie buried, of how human beings were once a true part of nature and not in opposition to it, or trying to conquer it.  It reminds us emotionally of what we have lost by fighting nature instead of working with her.  The beauty can inspire intense emotions if we let it, the silence or sounds of insects and the wind in the trees can inspire emotions.  In the end, if we let it, the feminine in us creeps back, if we let her, the emotional feminine part of us, and through her the composer gets the chance to contact us.

And we get our spiritual experience.

But we have to let go, and we have to stop trying to name every plant or analyse every event.  We must just let it be.

For more details on the terms above see The Model.

and for an explanation of how spiritual experience works in a generic way see - How spiritual experience works.

Advantages

  •  
    Free and  Legal.
  • Is unlikely to ever do you any harm and there is evidence that it does people good – it certainly helps the plants even if it doesn’t help you! 
  • It is relatively safe and may even help with healing.
  • It is quite a pleasurable form of hobby.
  • It has a proven record of being effective for some people.

Disadvantages

Can't think of any, even walking in the rain in the woods is wonderful

Related observations