Prairie grasses swaying in the wind… clouds drifting in the sky… songbirds singing joyfully in a nearby tree… all make the heart sing. We aren’t merely observers of nature’s beauties. The soul is omnipresent, and everything happens within us.
The ego is the soul identified with the body. Egoic consciousness makes one self-absorbed and oblivious of other realities. When one is immersed in nature, the “body vanishes and the freed soul goes abroad.” (John Muir) Only by expanding beyond the physical body can one commune with God.
People enjoy being in nature because there they see ennobling qualities they want for themselves. In its myriad forms, nature helps enrich and expand the soul. Sri Ramakrishna asked his disciple Master Mahasaya to meditate whenever he saw an expanse of water, because the placidity of water reminds one of the vastness of God.
Richard Jefferies, the English poet, spoke of everything in nature—a flower, a lake—as “touching him and giving him something of itself.” He “spoke to the sea… and desired its strength.” He addressed the sun, and consciously drew upon the soul equivalent of its light. He looked at the sky, gazed into its depths, and felt the “blue sky drawing his soul toward it, and there it rested.”
Feeling nature’s essence within your body and all around you helps you feel God’s body. The best way to feel nature within you, Swami Kriyananda says, is to relate from your center (the spine) to the center of everything you observe. When you see a striking rock or tree, commune with its spiritual essence; feel it becoming alive in you.
In India there was a hermit who had an unusual way of praying. While the other hermits recited the scriptures, repeated mantras, or practiced breathing exercises, the “atypical” hermit expressed his devotion differently. After coming out of his cave, he’d greet the morning sun, enjoy the sunlight on the Ganges, and listen to the birds. Every time he saw something that delighted him, he’d joyfully clap his hands in approval and exclaim, “Well done, Lord, well done!”
“All life leaps like a dancer when gazing I see only Thee.” (Swami Kriyananda) When the consciousness expands, and all nature becomes one’s body, one feels oneself moving in and delighting in everything.
May you, like the hermit, see and delight in God everywhere.
The Sky and Earth Touched Me
Go to a beautiful natural area that feels vibrantly alive, such as a small stream lined with maple trees, a flowery mountain meadow, or an aspen forest. (One can also do this exercise indoors by looking out a window.)
Ask Divine Mother to reveal Herself to you through all Her forms and appearances: the flying birds… flowering trees… and distant ridges.
- When something captivates you, relate to it from your center to its center. Commune with its spiritual essence, feel it becoming alive in you.
- Feel that aspect of nature awakening equivalent soul qualities inside you. For example, a towering mountain may inspire feelings of soul aspiration.
- Lovingly look at what has captivated you, and mentally include its name in the following sentence: The _________ touched me… and gave me part of itself. For example, if you observe a raven soaring high in the sky, say, “The raven touched me… and gave me part of itself.”
- Continue to practice as you sit or walk, saying, “the _________ touched me,” or “Divine Mother touched me.”
Be aware of the inner lift of pleasure the sight gives you, and share that feeling with God.
One day, when Jesus was surrounded by a jostling crowd, a sick woman of great faith quietly and lovingly reached out and touched his robe. Because of her devotion, she was instantly healed. Jesus asked his disciples, “Who touched me?” Though many people were touching Jesus, only the woman touched him with the kind of love that drew his spiritual blessings.
Most people, John Muir said, are like little marbles, rigidly alone, “having no conscious sympathy or relationship to anything.” God, however, has surrounded each soul with other people and with nature’s beauties to help him expand his consciousness and self-identity. The more you commune with the divine in nature, the more you’ll feel the joy of the universe passing through you.
Blessing of light,
That is beautiful, Bharat! Thank you for sharing it. It is very true.
…”God Himself is preaching His sublimest water and stone sermons!” – John Muir on Yosemite
Such a great soul!
Nayaswami Bharat, we appreciate your Daily Meditator and beautiful essays! Thank you!
I agree if we can enjoy nature more and not so much TV and outside interference, we wlll be so intune to the inner spirirt, and enjoy the moment we are in now, and have more peace, as we look inside and enjoy our surroundings in the present as the birds chirping, wind blowing, leaves falling, squirrel running and most of all we can connect to oursefl as we enjoy nature.
Thank you for the reminder that all Nature is God.
Several years ago, I began the practice of planting an Amaryllis and Paperwhite bulbs before Thanksgiving. Witnessing their daily growth and enjoying their anticipated blooms has become a joyful experience during the autumn season.
Many years ago, I was deeply inspired by this paragraph from Alexander Pope’s, “Essay on Man”, and copied it from a textbook, and memorized the lines.
“All nature is but art, unknown to thee;
All chance, direction, which thou canst not see;
All discord, harmony not understood;
All partial evil, universal good;
And spite of pride, in erring reason’s spite,
One truth is clear, Whatever is, is right.”
Divine Mother’s creativity makes my soul sing!
I did a 40 minute Yoga Nidra Session and then I went outside for a walk in a park. It’s hard really describe but I felt at one with everything. Everything was perfect.
I was walking in a park recently, and I noticed, above me, perched on a structure, was a huge hawk, maybe eight feet from me.
I was so grateful that I was given the opportunity to see one of the great creatures “up close and personal.”
It was a sacred moment of “connection.”
Thank you so much for this. Very beautiful.
Nature is full of the mischief of life. Beautiful as it seems one creature is preying on another. The strong feed on the weak beneath the illusion of peace. Plants are peaceful, animated life is not and I am animated life.
Beautiful! Could relate to it, as nature gives me utmost pleasure, bliss……..
This is so moving. I can really relate to this. I often feel that connection with nature and animals. I will do the suggested exercise. Thank you! Nayaswami Bharat touched me Divine Mother. Thank you!
Blessings to you
Thank you very much for your inspiring mail. I am obliged. Thank you once again. Jai Guru! Namaste!
A beautiful article, inspiring and uplifting as the crystal sound of a singing bird. I clap my hands and sing along: “Well done, Lord, well done!”
Thank you again for this Bharat. I’ve read this again after practicing these exercises. I’m blessed to have these teachings! From Joy we’ve come!
Thanks for the enlightening article I really feel light after experiencing the article.
I accept the blessings of Light of Mother nature
Very very inspiring,beautiful article.Loved it.
Nature is one with soul and god. nature is a bliss
thank you for the inspirations you always share. i just returned from a week of walking in the beautiful fall colored forests of the Pfalz, where i visited with one of my brothers and his wife. We talked about the beauty and how it formes us. When mentioning a beautiful outing with you in the Sacramento delta, Rosel said you know this man? It came out that both of them , retired teachers, used your books with a lot of success in their classes. Thanks to you for them.
I hope you and Anandi are well.
Blessings of Light from Assisi
Inspiring article.Thank you for making me vibrantly alive and appreciate God’s creations.You defnitely can see changes in me. Please write more.
Wonderful article ! I feel myself drawn to nature and feel a kind of forgetfulness of self. Rains, thuderstorms feels me in awe. May we all get the opportunity to live close to nature.
“All life leaps like a dancer when gazing I see only Thee.” (Swami Kriyananda). When the consciousness expands, and all nature becomes one’s body, one feels oneself moving in and delighting in everything. This strikes a chord on this cold night. What to do? Listening to the Aum-waltz of the heart and perceiving it to leap.
All that. Came to the Camp when I was shown the masters book of self realization/introduction by a carpenter who was doing office remodeling work for the bottling company I night loaded for. It was Las Vegas 1963. He was a parttime author of a set of instructions on breathing as absolute restorative and conductance to full Self Realizatiion as a Life Mission. I was converted from an intellectual dalliance with Atlas Shrugged. The carpenter was in his late fifties and in tiptop shape. I wish I remembered his name.. Could have been Jesus. It took me years to absorb the Yogananda gospel. In 66, my armor was stripped away by A sandoz pharmaceutical and many mansions sought my attendance. Something in His words touched my deepest soul and I am happy again in fullknowing of this blessed work. Much thank you.
you gave me nature’s intrinsic beauty vividly described – an area I failed to realise.Thank you so much … all God’s creations we fail to appreciate…