Connecting to Nature: A rediscovery

By Candace Martins

Meditation practices require that we reflect deeply on our place in the world, to expand the awareness of our surroundings, and to consciously rediscover the great interdependent web of life, of which we are a part.  

  Every complete breath connects us with the trees, plants, flowers.  Every sip of water to the clouds, rivers, and oceans.  The food we eat, to the earth.  The heat of the sun on our skin, to the cosmos…   

This rediscovery allows us to see the sacredness in all phenomena.   

To view all things with a renewed sense of wonder, compassion, gratitude, and depth.   

To tap into the subtleties of our existence, expanding our sensory awareness, and fostering a profound sense of earth stewardship that impacts the choices we make daily.


       We have to stop speaking about the Earth being in need of healing.  The earth does not need healing. We do. Our task is to rediscover ourselves in nature.  It is an individual choice. And how or where to begin?  We begin exactly where we are right now. When we look at the world as a mirror, when we discover that our sense of freedom and authenticity is linked to the well-being and authenticity of others – and that includes animal, the trees and the land.
by Ian McCallum


A devoted meditation practice brings awareness to the myriad of ways we repeat patterns or habitual impulses that create disharmony within and without.  Cultivating deeper, more integrated knowledge of self through meditation empties the vessel of that which no longer serves us, creating space to sow the seeds of integrity, authenticity, and alignment with the natural world. 

There is power in this. 

We strengthen our ability to observe sensations as they arise and fall away, rather than react impulsively. Our circadian thoughts, words and actions become a ritual of presence and intention so we may be of service to the greater good.  

The etymology of ‘spirit’ is derived from the Latin word ‘spirare’, meaning breathe.  And this is an offering of inspiration to reconnect and rediscover the sacredness of life. 

To reawaken your earthly spirit. 

To breathe.

Each breath is a sacrament, an affirmation of our connection with all other living things, a renewal of our link with our ancestors and a contribution to generations yet to come.

by David Suzuki

Here are 4 meditation/mindfulness practices that I love, to clear out the clutter, connect with spirit, and keep me aligned/present with the natural world. 

 1.  Breathing Meditation.  Using my mala beads, I count 108 very slow, very deep breaths. This is a simple meditation I use when I am feeling pressed for time but in need of a ‘presence check’.  Of course, it depends on your lung capacity, but this usually takes me about 15 minutes. 

 2.  Forest bathing (shinrin-yoku).   This term emerged in the 80’s in Japan as a physiological and psychological exercise to mitigate burnout and encourage people to connect with and protect the forests.  This is a form of ecotherapy that is not simply a walk in the woods.  It is the practice of consciously observing and contemplating the details. Intentionally immersing yourself in the sights, sound and smells.  Unplug, slow down, breathe deep and stay present. 

3. Seeds, Soil, and Sun. There is nothing quite like planting a seed, tending the plant, and then reaping the fruits.  Gardening is therapeutic in many ways both physiologically and psychologically.  When I have my hands in the earth, I often enter a zone of deep contemplation about things like the web of life, alchemy of the elements, the microcosm vs. macrocosm, how one seed contains the entire tree, how I’m going to be sore tomorrow from all this squatting!...  

 4. Journaling.   Keeping a journal is a profound uncensored way to gain clarity, declutter your mind, prioritize tasks, and recognize your patterns.  One practice that has been transformational for me over the years is The morning Pages by Julia Cameron.  If you haven’t already, I highly recommend reading this book.   

Morning Pages are three pages of longhand, stream of consciousness writing, done first thing in the morning. *There is no wrong way to do Morning Pages*– they are not high art. They are not even “writing.” They are about anything and everything that crosses your mind– and they are for your eyes only. Morning Pages provoke, clarify, comfort, cajole, prioritize and synchronize the day at hand. Do not over-think Morning Pages: just put three pages of anything on the page...and then do three more pages tomorrow.
By Julia Cameron  

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