In Naturality, I have found a way to be in the world that is simple, pure, and infinitely rewarding. Naturality is neither a religious faith nor a political ideology. For me, it represents the ultimate homecoming: a rediscovery of who I really am at the very core of my being. This is my true essence.
Here are some fundamental principles and practices associated with Naturality:
Nature is dynamic wholeness. In moments of Nature inspiration, I live in Nature, and Nature lives in me. When I am inspired by Nature I embody its essence fully. I feel that I am whole and that I am home. I reflect the dynamic wholeness of Nature as the moon reflects the light of the sun.
Connecting with Nature in this way, I know that I am impermanent because all things are impermanent. The Latin root of “Nature,” which is Nasci, means to be born, to come into being. Everything that is born must also die. What exists today may be gone tomorrow. That is what makes Nature so dynamic.
Nature is also the common thread that can be found in all form, throughout the universe, everywhere and always. Embodying Nature, I am beyond impermanence because that is the wholeness of Nature. The formless essence of the universe is Nature, which has always been and always will be.
At every moment, the universe is being created and re-created. In my moments of Nature inspiration, here is the process as I feel it in my body:
OM is the vibration of this dynamic process: Nature bursting into form, melting into formlessness, being and becoming, becoming and being. By chanting OM, by visualizing the transformation that OM entails, or by sensing the vibration of OM in my body, I am drawn fully into the creative process of Nature. For me, the beauty of OM lies in its capacity to transport me into the pulsing, juicy heartbeat of creation.
We humans tend to create from a place of fragmentation. Our minds are adept at dividing and severing the world. This capacity has an important place in our lives, but now it has gotten out of balance. It is time to create from wholeness rather than divisiveness. With everything we create, we can ask ourselves: What effects will this have? Who will benefit and who will be hurt? Let’s create in a way that maximizes benefit, minimizes harm, and eliminates waste.
In a world where eating requires killing, this seems impossible. Can anyone ever benefit without causing harm to another? Sustenance means sacrifice, which is different than harm. When the rabbit gives its life to provide food for the coyote, it can do so openly, selflessly, and even willingly.
Now is our chance to embody Nature in this way, giving ourselves completely to everything and receiving everything in the universe with total acceptance. We begin by doing this with our Beloved, whoever or whatever that may be. I feel that I became whole when I found my Beloved wife, Maria, with whom I have learned to do this. On a daily basis, I give myself to her completely and receive her completely, which means that I live in her and she lives in me. In this exchange, I am no longer simply “me” but something much greater than myself. I am the dynamic wholeness of Nature.
To create from wholeness, you develop a set of qualities that includes passion and quiescence:
A universe emerges from this wholeness and merges into it again, over and over again. The practice of Naturality allows the cosmic cycle of creation to unfold within me. In moments of Nature inspiration, I can experience this dynamic process as various forms of bodily sensation, including the way it looks, tastes, smells, sounds, and feels in my body. Each of us has to discover these sensations for ourselves. But I can offer a few ideas to help get you started in the experience of Nature inspiration:
1. Take in OM fully. From ancient times, OM has been known to signify the creative power of Nature. What we call OM is more accurately represented as AUM, which has four parts: a) A—the act of creating, when the universe of form emerges from wholeness; b) U—the act of sustaining, when this wholeness enfolds itself into the entire universe; c) M—the act of destroying, when all form merges into wholeness; and d) the silence that abides when only wholeness remains.
2. Contemplate the kaleidoscope. In an animated series of images such as the one shown here, the kaleidoscope appears to be spinning at first. But as it draws your attention more fully, you will notice that the entire display emanates from a central point, in turn expanding out to infinity and contracting back to center. The kaleidoscope offers a beautiful visual representation of the creation cycle.
3. Consider the torus. This donut-shaped field conveys the same cyclical dynamic as the kaleidoscope, only from a different visual perspective. One way to think of the relationship between these two representations is as follows: Imagine that the kaleidoscope offers a top or bottom view of the creation cycle whereas the torus is showing you a side view. Of course, all of it is just metaphorical—a way to experience in the body something that is ultimately transcendent.
4. Try whirling like a dervish. The act of whirling or spinning, which most of us pursued in childhood, provides a kinesthetic sensation corresponding to the cyclical dance of creation as it unfolds in Nature. There are certain things you can do to keep from getting dizzy. Focus your eyes on your lead hand as you spin. Move slowly and change directions when you feel yourself starting to feel dizzy. As you whirl in either direction, imagine that you are cycling between two poles: one corresponding to formlessness and the other to form.These are just the beginning.
As you learn to embody Nature, always keep in mind that the notion of dynamic wholeness has two components and that you can experience both. First, there is a sense of wholeness, of being one with all that exists. That sense is conveyed by the core statement of Naturality, which is: NATURE AM I. But there is also the dynamic of change and transformation. Make sure to balance stillness and movement in your experience of Nature. And most importantly of all: Have fun with it! The experience of Nature inspiration, like all forms of play, is compelling in its own right, regardless of outcome. It just so happens that the outcomes can be profoundly transformative, both personally and collectively. That will be the topic of upcoming blog posts and podcast episodes. Please stay tuned.
I feel a personal obligation to share with you something extraordinary that has been unfolding in my life over the past few years—but especially in 2020. A new life path has presented itself to me, opening the door to experiences of bliss and ecstasy that are unprecedented, at least for me. In the midst of a global pandemic that has challenged me just as it has everyone I know, the power of this path has been unwavering. Regardless of what is happening around me, I consider this to be a golden age in my life.
I feel obliged to share this path with you for a number of reasons, the most compelling of which is that it would feel selfish and heartless of me not to at least try. This is not about personal gain. I am giving this away to you, my friends, with an open heart and expecting nothing in return.
This is entirely about you. The path of Naturality that I am about to describe is something you do for yourself. Nobody else, including me, can dictate how it should be practiced. All I can do is share what has worked for me, with the intention that you may benefit from this knowledge if you would like. If not, may you find a path that is as fulfilling for you as Naturility has been for me.
So, what is Naturality? It is the practice of embodying Nature. Before I delve into the basics of that practice, please let me explain why anyone would want to embody Nature in the first place. For me, any life practice that encompasses essential wisdom while offering genuine grace begins with one simple idea: This moment is the main event! You do not need to seek elsewhere for joy, love, or fulfillment. Many eminent teachers have agreed with this idea, which is why they have focused on “the power of now” and reminded us to “be here now.” For several years now, one of my personal mantras has been: “Here and Now, Baby!”
To know if Naturality is worth pursuing, ask yourself: Does this moment feel like the main event? If you are living fully in the present, savoring all that the experience of life has to offer, then say YES. Otherwise: Say NO. Then make it so. Find what it takes to enrich the life you are leading right now so you can know this moment to be the main event, beyond any doubt.
Where can you find that? Happily, the world is filled with wisdom teachings that can help you be present in the present. I have had the great privilege and honor to experience a number of these. For a lifetime, I have been an explorer of inspiration, which I see as the experience of being: fully alive, awake, alert and aware; connected to a limitless source of creativity and delight; and aligned with one’s core essence or true nature.
Of all the paths I have explored, none can compare with Naturality. Remember, I am speaking only for myself. As I have learned to embody Nature with more consistency, I feel that I have struck a vein of gold in terms of my capacity to experience inspiration and live fully in the present moment. When I embody Nature completely—something that seems to be happening with increasing frequency, intensity and duration these days—I know what it means to live in paradise, perfectly aligned with Nature.
To me, Nature is the wholeness that connects everything in the universe, including humanity. Even though we humans have come to see ourselves as separate from nature, this dissociation is just an artifact of our own minds. As has been discussed previously on this blog, there is no doubt that we live in nature and that nature lives in us. This being the case, how could we exist as anything other than Nature?
And that raises another question: Is Nature conscious? Of course it is. Even if consciousness is only to be found in the human realm—a proposition that seems dubious, at best—then consciousness exists in Nature to the degree that we humans are conscious while also being a part of the natural world. Given that Nature encompasses everyone and everything, if there is something to be, feel, think, know or sense, Nature can be, feel, think, know, or sense it.
When I embody Nature, I am able to experience whatever Nature can experience, and I do so here and now, in this body. If you think about it, this is a heavy, heavy notion. In Nature, there is illness, pain, suffering, despair, aging, death, decay, imbalance, ugliness, toxicity, hatred, selfishness, aggression, competition, and other qualities that we seek to avoid. It makes you wonder why anybody would want to experience that.
At the same time, there is also: health, pleasure, inspiration, joy, vitality, birth, growth, balance, beauty, nurturance, love, sharing, peace, and cooperation. And Nature clearly favors one end of the spectrum over the other. That is why, when you look at the natural world, you will find more flourishing than languishing, more benefit than harm, and more community than isolation. Nature seeks not only to sustain itself but to thrive, tending towards the qualities that maximize its capacity for both.
That is why moments of Nature inspiration, when I embody Nature fully, are such peak experiences. I describe what I undergo at those moments as “the greatest feeling in the world.” If there is something greater to be felt in this life, I have yet to discover it. I surrender to the rhythmic, cyclical pulse of creation that reverberates throughout the cosmos. Nature is constructing this dream we call reality in perpetuity and in every corner of the universe. I happen to know what that feels like because when I embody Nature, all of it is happening in me.
At those moments, everything that exists or that can be known lives in my body. Do you know what I am talking about? If not, I look forward to clarifying this experience in Episode 7 of the NATURE AM I podcast, which will come out in early August. Yes, I am claiming that in moments of Nature inspiration, you can gain access to all the knowledge in the universe. That does not mean you will retain it. The capacity for retention depends on a set of mental abilities, called the Deep Six, which I described in great detail in Deep Creativity. All of these abilities can be cultivated.
I will continue on this thread in my next blog post. In the meantime, here is something you can do to open yourself to the practice of Naturality:
1. Find a comfortable position: seated, reclining, or lying down.
2. Focus on your breathing, making sure to breathe slowly and deeply through you nose.
3. Repeat the following words to yourself (at least five times), either silently or aloud:
I LIVE IN NATURE.
NATURE LIVES IN ME.
NATURE AM I.
4. Take in whatever feelings or sensation are happening in you.
5. Stay tuned for Part 2 of this post.
A few weeks ago, I proposed a Global Reboot on this blog. My blog post led to an international conversation about what we can do, both as individuals and collectively, to bring our communities and our global society more in harmony with nature and to make sure that future generations have a real chance to thrive.
I want to share what I took away from this important dialogue:
1. It's a time to build a coalition among the many groups and organizations that are working towards similar ends. In the past month, I have been in contact with a number of them, including the Biomimicry Institute, Ecocity Builders, and the Post Carbon Institute.
2. The process of aligning our society with nature involves at least these three steps:
a. Learning how to do this in ways that promote peace, sustainability, and balance.
b. Applying the lessons we learn on a local level while inviting others throughout the world to do the same in their communities.
c. Sharing what we discover with future generations so that they may not only continue on this path but actually expand upon our knowledge and vision.
To apply these ideas, I propose the development of a 1000-Year Plan that any community can adopt in order to align itself with nature in positive, lasting ways. This plan will have two parts: Principles and Practices. Groups from around the world will be invited to take part. They can do so by: 1) submitting in writing what they wish to be included in this plan; 2) helping to decide what Principles and Practices get adopted; or 3) doing both. We also welcome individuals to serve as Gleaners. Their role is to seek out, study, and communicate to us the most effective strategies that already exist. And anyone is welcome to connect us with groups that they feel have something important to contribute to this 1000-Year Plan.
Our plan will only be meaningful if it is a living entity capable of growing and evolving over time. What we have to offer is simply a set of guidelines based on our shared wisdom and life experience. The 1000-Year Plan will serve not only as a template but also as a starting point to an important continuing process. It should not be thought of as a finished product because we cannot anticipate all of the ways that the world will change or the challenges that future generations may face. We want to draw upon a very broad coalition to envision this 1000-Year Plan. Some groups and communities are far ahead of the rest of us in aligning themselves with nature. If you know of or are part of such a group, we want to hear from you!
Please fill out the Contact Form or email us. The reason to act now, according to author and educator Richard Heinberg, is that these unprecedented times represent "a perfect opportunity for an idealist intent on changing the world."
Lets face it: As deadly, destructive and scary as this pandemic has been, it has also been a blessing in many ways. COVID-19 has brought corrupt governments and an unfair, unsustainable economy to a halt. It has reduced gun violence, gotten people out of their cars, and given the natural environment a much-needed break. Cities like Los Angeles and New Delhi are reporting cleaner air than they have in decades.
Those of us who have been seeking positive change in this world have wondered how we were ever going to stop the insanity. Then this infectious disease appeared and it managed to shut down the whole world in a matter of weeks. Yes, it may seem frightening and lonely to think about what's going to happen next. Far too many people are barely making it, with no safety net, and that must change.
But we can also see this virus as an opportunity for us to claim our power to create a global society where EVERYONE can thrive. The world needed a major reboot, and the first step of that reboot has already happened. Everything has been shut down temporarily.
Now, we have to do our part. Let's come together to decide what kind of world we want to create. If you are committed to a more peaceful, sustainable and balanced global society, we want to hear from you. We invite ALL INDIVIDUALS AND GROUPS that are working to make the world a better place to join in this Global Reboot. Let's generate a shared vision for the future of humanity, including the specific outcomes we want to attain: End global hunger? Bring climate change to a halt? World peace? Clean air and water? Human rights? Let's envision the world we want right now, together, at this key moment in time.
We have to move fast. The idea is to keep the machinery unplugged until the changes we seek are put in place. This is going to take sacrifice, courage, and tremendous solidarity. In essence, we are organizing a movement of nonviolent noncooperation. We have no idea how long this pandemic will last. Those in power are getting restless, and they want to reopen the economy regardless of the human cost. They know that their power structure is in jeopardy. The longer things are shut down, the less dependent we are on them. Millions of individuals, families, and communities are becoming more self-sufficient during this outbreak. We have to be. And we must look out for each other, too. The key to the success of this Global Reboot is a spirit of interdependence—a commitment to sharing and caring for one another. We must do what we can to make sure that the people in our lives don't go hungry or homeless during this critical time.
Now comes the most important step in this Global Reboot. Once we are unified in our determination not to go back to the way things were before, and we have the attention of the power elite, we must have specific initiatives to put in place. This is not simply about making demands. We must offer selfless leadership, as well as wisdom and guidance, showing the world how it can thrive. Here are a few suggestions of what we can put in place right now: sustainable local economies; basic human rights to food, shelter, healthcare, education, and free speech; protection of habitats and biodiversity; communities free of garbage, landfills, and toxic waste dumps; and a plan to guarantee that future generations will have the opportunity not just to survive but to thrive.
If your heart has longed for a better world, not just for yourself but for your children and grandchildren, now is the time to act. Contact me. Just say, “I'M IN!" or if you represent a group or organization, “WE'RE IN!” we will then send some guidelines for secure channels of communication. Let's do this!