“Most people do not hear the song of nature, but, if you sit in a special place, and notice everything around you, sometimes you hear it. It’s not like hearing a bird sing, or bees buzz, it’s rather a song of understanding, warmth, and feeling and not of notes and words. So, have you heard the song of nature?” Andy Davidoff.

While at the monastery I enjoyed cultivating the energy of mindfulness through many formal practices such as sitting, walking and eating meditations. While I really do enjoy the ritual of zen practice at the monastery I found my practice, more and more, taking me out into the 'wild places'. I allowed spirit to guide me to various ‘sit spots’ and spent more and more time in these power places in communion with the natural world. When I first entered these areas it seemed as if there was little animal life around but as I continued to return over time – mornings, evenings, during rains, at night – the wildlife starting coming out. They began to recognize me as part of the natural environment. Rabbits would come and touch my feet with their noses and birds would land on me, jump around for a few moments before flying away, only to return again.

This is some of what I learned; Humans have evolved with original instructions designed for dynamic awareness of nature. With dedicated practice remembering original instructions will happen on it's own. Each human being comes into this world with an ancient blueprint for connecting with the natural world that has it's own timetable for learning. Let it flow. Find one place in your natural world that you can visit all the time and get to know it as your best friend. Let it be a place where you learn to sit still, alone, often and quietly. This will become your place of intimate connection with nature. Dear friends this is the magic pill if ever there was one. When you become comfortable with just being there, still and quiet, the lessons of nature will seep in. This sit spot will become personal because it feels private and intimate; the place where we can meet our curiosity; the place where we can feel wonder; the place where we get eye to eye with the diversity of life forms and weather patterns; the place where we face our fears - of wild animals, of being alone, of the dark, and move past them; and the place where we meet nature as our home. Your powere spot in nature will have more to do with your development as a human being than anything else. This place will become forever a part of you. The essential attitude of this practice is getting to know one place really well - one biome, one community of soils, plants, animals, trees and birds and weather systems - at all times of day and night, and in every season and weather. In other words, the place becomes your nesting niche, your study site, your tracking playground and your retreat and renewal center - your base. The spot itself becomes the home base from which you explore outwards - where you leave your upright human self behind and get down and crawl on hands and knees, racoon style, to sniff and feel around. Another part of this is about sitting, about stillness. On the simplest level to sit silent and still for long periods of time will open the door to a world that most humans will never know. Sitting still initiates you into natures undomesticated realm, a wild place that plays by different rules than the human world. Sunrise and sunset are especially magical times, When nature actively pulses with life force.

We're intimately connected with every aspect of life. By activating and awakening ancient celular memory of our interconnectedness with all of the beings on this planet, we come to realize how Gaia and all of her children are profoundly interrelated, both physically and spiritually. We come to appreciate how everything on our living Earth, including our bodies, are made of the same stuff of which the stars are made. As we integrate this understanding into our hearts, minds and being, the many realms of spirit make themselves available to us in a variety of ways, and we come to truly know the interbeing nature of all things. With the conscious awareness of this reality we can not only more deeply appreciate the inherent magic in everyday life but also discover how to collaberate with Creation. With this expansive awareness we can also receive continuous, loving guidance from the various manifestations and expressions of Mother Life, both visible and non-visible. Our own life becomes the instrument through which we experiment with truth.

Raven is a resident of Carlsbad with his wife and two sons and is the founder and director of the Deep Ecology Institute and the Gaia Mystery School. He enjoys practicing the art of mindful living and sharing mindfulness practices with individuals, groups and businesses
"Let us put our minds together and see what life we can make for our children."

           ~ Sitting Bull, Lakota Sioux, 1877