Everybody loves to get out into Nature. In New Zealand, where I live, we are fortunate to have much beauty and splendour of Mother Nature all around us. Have you ever contemplated what lessons in your own life Nature is trying to teach us? Here are a few I have discovered.
Nature teaches us that for everything there is a season and the right timing. Sometimes in our life we want certain things to happen right now. It is hard to wait for the fruits of our actions and we expect results immediately. This is especially ingrained in us now with the fast results of the Internet, where you can look up questions and get instant answers. But the really good things in life – self-discovery, meditation, contemplation, self-transcendence – are not like instant coffee. They take time, practice and effort.
In Mother Nature’s natural cycles of weather and seasons, there is an all-important flow – the bitter cold of winter is followed by the blossoming beauty of spring. Then follows the warmth and light of summer, followed by the colourful changes of autumn. For everything there is a season and a reason. If we did not have cold winter, the wheat would not be able to grow strong. The seeds planted beneath the soil lie waiting to flourish. New birth occurs in spring in the flora and fauna around us. Try to follow the example of Mother Nature’s divine timing to increase your own capacity for patience. All good things come with time. There really is the right and special time in your own life for every event and achievement, both inner and outer.
Nature teaches us to be humble. There is a quiet strength in humility. It is not a passive quality. Humility is needed in our everyday lives in many encounters we have with others. Where most can we see this divine quality in Nature? Just take a good look at the green grass beneath your feet. Grass portrays humility, as countless pairs of feet, walk all over it every day. It doesn’t complain or wither away. In fact it usually springs back up, unharmed each time. How wonderful is it to walk barefoot on soft green grass? This is something that can be very healing to do and ‘earths’ you – giving you a feeling of replenishment and grounding in your being. Try it, and contemplate the humility of the grass. Oh, if only we could all increase this quality in our own nature, the world would be a more peaceful place to coexist.
In your own life, the quality of self-offering is most important. When you look at a mature tree, it stands straight and erect, with its countless leaves providing shelter for anyone who pauses beneath its branches – whether the homeless beggar or children playing. Then when the divine timing is right and the tree becomes laden with fruit, the branches bend down to offer this fruit to all. A tree embodies the quality of self-offering. It provides homes and shelter for animals, birds and insects, as well as offering shade and fruit to us humans. The Buddha sat beneath the great bodhi tree and reached his state of enlightenment there. Next time you walk through a park, breathe in the beauty of the trees and perhaps offer a moment of gratitude to them for teaching us the divine art of self-offering.
To be self-giving in your own life and to offer things, services, smiles to others unconditionally will make you happy.
Beauty in Simplicity
This is perhaps the most obvious thing we receive from Nature. As long as you are receptive to feeling it, and don’t just walk on by with your head down and your crowded thoughts in the puzzling world of the mind. Everywhere around us the beauty of nature resounds! When you take a walk, practice quieting the mind, focusing on your breath and really pausing to smell the roses. There is so much beauty all around us. Take time out to be in nature and experience the vastness and depth of the blue-green ocean. Enjoy the beauty in the simple and natural things in our environment.
Make time to catch the sunrise or sunset – glorious! Walk or run through a forest of trees and ferns – magical! Gaze at the vastness and beauty of the blue sky – uplifting! The possibilities are endless.
Renewal and Restorative Powers
Finally, search for healing in the natural powers around you. Nature teaches us much about how to renew and restore energy in ourselves. Take a healing walk and time to sit in a green forest. Plunge into the refreshing coolness of the salty ocean – so restorative for aching muscles. Breathe in the beauty and splendour of the sunset and contemplate the subtle colours of another of God’s great paintings across the sky. Above all, remember to take time in your life to renew and restore yourself – by replenishing your energy stores from Mother Nature herself.
Meditate in nature. Be happy. You are cradled in the strong embrace of nature all around you, and its Supreme Power is flowing through your life, taking care of every concern and flooding you with Grace and Light.