Monday, April 27, 2015

Back to Nature: Balancing Our Stress Level with Mother Earth

The Taoists teach that humans must come to understand that they are a part of the natural world and that living in harmony with nature brings the world and people into balance.  But as Eckart Tolle points out, humans “can no longer perceive the sacredness that is there in nature” because we are instead “living in the prison of our minds.”

Where we once slept in the forests and mountains under the stars and moon, along with all the other living beings of the planet, we now sleep in artificially heated and cooled environments, and work with artificially powered lighting, eating artificially flavored foods, and our sleep/wake cycles are controlled by the noise-pollution of our environments, as well as the thought-pollution of our racing minds. 

Evidence of this imbalance is revealed in the rising stress and anxiety levels among the people of the world.  Our need for finding balance with nature is now higher than ever, and seeking ways to get back to nature may be the very thing many of us need to bring our own levels of stress to a more manageable place.

Getting back to nature can be as simple as finding a local pond or stream to spend time by, as well as watching the wildlife that frequents these places and listening to the sounds created by the natural surroundings there.  We can break away as far as the mountains and deep forests, or as close as local hiking trails.  If all else fails, we can at least find a local park where the grass, trees and ponds—as artificial as they may be—can give us a place to pause.

Other ways to get back in touch with nature are activities such as gardening, hiking, camping, or doing something as simple as climbing a tree and feeling the bark of its trunk on your hands.  Any of these can help you reconnect with Mother Earth and the natural elements you have in common with her.
Thanks to  Nicholas A Tonelli for his great photo "White Deer Creek", a tributary of the West Branch Susquehanna River