Spirituality is a way of living where we find inspiration (or Spirit) everywhere we turn and endeavor to practice getting our ego out of the way so we can let our light shine.
Earth based spirituality refers to communing with nature, to sitting at the knee of Mother Gaia and learning how we can best inhabit the world by paying attention to our elders: the sky, the seas, the earth and the animals.
We study the sky and see that clouds may obscure our view of the sun but they pass. Even when our angle of observation prevents us from seeing the sun, the night sky offers millions of other suns, twinkling from light years away, as if to remind us that we are not alone.
We study the river and learn that we can find refreshment and cleansing; that the river does not stand still; that it can be both fierce and gentle; and that its winding path always leads to the sea.
I love the lines from Leonard Cohen’s song “Suzanne”.
“And Jesus was a sailor
When he walked upon the water
And he spent a long time watching
From his lonely wooden tower
And when he knew for certain
Only drowning men could see him
He said “All men will be sailors then
Until the sea shall free them”
Jesus stepped into the river with John the Baptist to prepare for his ministry, to be cleared of limiting beliefs. Lao Tsu said, “The best people are like water, which benefits all things and does not compete with them. It stays in lowly places that others reject.”
We lift our eyes to the mountain and gain higher perspective. We discover the air feels different up above. There are fewer distractions. We can see the big picture. We sense our insignificance.
We study the trees and learn that roots give us stability; that we are meant to reach out and offer a nesting spot to those in need; and that even when we let go of what we think defines us, life will recreate us. Buddha sat under the Bodhi tree until he became enlightened. Was he just sitting there meditating or was he learning from the tree?
Everywhere we turn there is something to inspire and instruct us, when we look at nature with spiritual eyes. We study the spider’s web and discover that vulnerability has strength; that connections lead to new possibilities; that we have within us the means to attract what we need; and we are tied to one another.
Chief Seattle said, “Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect.”
Terry Tempest Williams, author of “Erosion” says, “Nature recalibrates the brain. By paying attention to what is real and true and authentic, we come home to our self, the person we want to become.” Please come home. Our world needs you here.
Your own life and our world will be better for it.