Enlightenment In Nature
by David Styles
Enlightenment whilst alone in nature appears to be the common thread throughout nearly every major religion around the world…
By nature I'm not personally that much into religions as I believe we all have our true nature within, however after spending countless time alone in the wilderness I know there is another way of being that feels like the 'enlightenment' religions speak of.
For example after around two days by yourself alone in nature without the distractions of modern life it appears that time tends to naturally slow down. Why this is so I don't know but to me it feels like the present moment appears to get longer and longer and the current view of reality starts to slow down.
Often in this state in nature it is as though my thoughts stop completely. Buddhists call this state no-mind however alone in nature it's not like you need to try and meditate. This state occurs naturally and often I'll find myself staring at say a spider spinning a web for what appears to be hours. Seeing the way it moves its legs against the web. The slight breeze distorting the web as it blows back and forth. Moment by moment being with the spider making its web. As though time stands still.
I also notice that when I'm immersed in nature for 3-4 days that my sense of self tends to naturally dissolve. Again it's not like I need to 'try' to achieve this state of consciousness. Without distractions, the part that sees me as separate from everything else is just not present anymore. It dissolves.
I've also experienced numerous times not just the sense of my 'self' dissolving whilst alone in nature but my consciousness expanding outwards to contain everything at the same time. For example I was once alone on a deserted beach and felt what it was like to be a lizard, a bird and a fish (and many other things) all at the same. What it was like to feel my metabolism quicken against my scales as the sun beat down. How it felt to have air push against my feathers as I glided through the wind. And the sensation of water going through my gills as I swam in the ocean.
Some native traditions call this state of being another 'shape-shifting', but I'm not too sure about that. It's more like when my sense of 'self' dissolves in nature then there is more of my consciousness available to see the world from other points of view. It's like an expanded state of consciousness in that I naturally get to experience the five senses of objects external to me, such as the lizard, bird and fish I just described.
During this state of being all things at the same time, it feels like a complete one-ness. It's as though there is no separation between myself and things external. I am everything (and nothing) all at the same time. And there is no separation not just between myself and other, but no separation between other and other. All things are the same. All coming from the same.
And whilst in this state it is as though there is a unified force that is guiding all things. Perhaps this is the life-force, but I notice there is a subtle force within the trees, the clouds, the oceans, the animals that is guiding them (us) through life. And this force has an innate wisdom in that my inner voice can talk with this force within each tree, rock, stream and mountain. It is like this wisdom is everywhere just waiting to be tapped into. I liken this force to 'the creator' in that the force shapes everything with its guiding force. And I experience that I am this force, yet it is also me.
I don't know if this state of oneness and connectedness is called enlightenment or not but it is totally possible to tap into another realm of consciousness by spending time alone in nature without distractions for 3-4 days. Then when you enter this state numerous times and practice you can then turn the experience of it on and off at will... even whilst in busy shopping centres.
Xtra Images by R. Ayana @ http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6209/6118335563_18149f252b_b.jpg
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