Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Holy Trinity: Now, Nature and Love

Let’s say that it’s our job as human beings to live a full and rich and good life. And to invent and discover our own religion, as it were, or perhaps, more accurately: our own spiritual path. Over the years I have discovered a holy trinity for my spiritual path, and the holy three are, as the title suggests: Now, Nature and Love.

Now is how we are all born and how we spend our childhoods, some more some less. When a child is playing with a ball or a sock or a pan or a rock or a piece of water or a puddle of water or a leaf, that child is jus there, right there, in the moment with the water or rock or pan. They aren’t worried, am I playing with this pan / water / rock the right way? They aren’t competitive: no concern to be a better rockpanwater player than the next child. They are now, the world is good, life is being lived.

And then we get trained out of that, get worried about what others think get addicted to competition and outside approval.

For me, in college, the discovery of Gestalt therapy and Fritz Perls’ use of being present as the curative tool, and then the discovery of meditation some years later all brought me to a realization of the great happiness and ease of a life lived in the present.

Nature is both big and small. Big nature is being outdoors in the real air and on the real earth, growing real food in real soil, putting feet down on the soft sweetness of ground that hasn’t been covered by concrete, laying in a field looking up at a sky blue and clear and showing us how big we are, how big the world is, how bright and clear and magnificent. The ocean, the rain, the grass, the trees, all that wonderful stuff.

Along the way I discovered organic food, raising my own peas that tasted so good and real after all those frozen peas I’d eaten all my life, how fine and magnificent was the taste of a ripe tomato, grown in fresh soil fertilized by goat manure. I discovered Permaculture, a system of rebuilding and designing our world in harmony with nature.

And there is the smaller earth we carry around with us, our bodies, our bones the mountains, our blood the ocean, our lungs and breathing the air of life. To move this small earth, to walk, and jump and roll, to build a house, make a garden, make love, ride a bike, dance, skip, hop, ski, golf, play tennis, do yoga: all magnificent and part of the heaven of this life.

Along the way I have discovered the Feldenkrais Way and the Anat Baniel Method and yoga and the conscious meditation of the Gurdjieff work (sense both arms and both legs and be aware of light coming in eyes and ears, a meditation in the now, and in the nature of being in this small earth of our body.)

And then love. To get along with others, to enjoy others, to create joy for others and ourselves in mutual interaction. Sometimes through touch, sometimes pleasant and open conversation, sometimes structured listening and sharing, sometimes song.

Along the way I have discovered the Byron Katie work as the path back to love when it slips away. The path of admitting our hatred and annoyance and judgment and anger and then giving ourselves alternatives to that slavery to feeling bad and dislike, which will lead us back to love, not by trying to be loving, but by showing us how much better certain ways of feeling and thinking about the world work. How much better we feel without the story and stories that are blocking our love.

This is just a taste. All this book is about now, nature and love. Enjoy.


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