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.