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Weekly Practice in Conscious Living

Week 662: Nature’s Astonishing Intelligence

Walking through Central Park in the rain one morning, I found myself pondering the astonishing fact that the planet figured out how to generate water, and then to evaporate it so it could come down as rain and nourish a wide array of life forms as they emerged into the ever-expanding family of planetary life. For the entire walk, I felt amazed at what our beautiful planet has created as its dynamic and ecology, with all the systems that generate and support such a diverse array of life forms. I felt the same way the first time I learned about the crucial role of bacteria in supporting life on our planet, and continue to be moved and inspired by the complex intelligence that keeps us all alive.

This got me to thinking about the theme of last week’s experiment, where we explored paying attention to moments that bring delight. For this week’s experiment, I find myself wondering what it would be like to spend a week orienting to the creative mystery that is our home, to the incredible intelligence and generativity of our planet, the source of our physical life.

So, for this week, I invite you to orient to moments of inspiration and flashes of insight about our amazing planet, about the complexity of the ecological processes and systems that have emerged over the course of billions of years. For me, this represents a mystery I don’t ever expect to understand, but for which I feel profound awe and gratitude.

Many of you have already seen these videos on youtube, but I wanted to include them here in case you haven’t. First are two videos of people who are working to restore nature to the abundance that used to be present, working with trees:

Replanting Redwood Forests:

The Forest Man of India:

Here are some videos of nature, narrated by Julie Roberts, Kevin Spacey, and Edward Norton. They are part of a series put out by Conservation International and are a call for people to wake up to what’s happening to our planetary home:

Part of this experiment also includes noticing the quality of your relationship with nature and the ways in which you support nature’s health and well-being. It can feel overwhelming to think about what we can do as individuals, but when we seek to live consciously, we can take time to notice how we move through our world and how we treat the world around us. For example, do you recycle? Do you honor and bless the water and food you have available to you, giving yourself an opportunity to not take it for granted? Bringing a sense of the sacred and gratitude into interactions with food, the air we breathe, water, the life around us can enrich our experience in surprising and beneficial ways.

As with all these experiments, please remember to bring along curiosity as your constant companion, as you explore perhaps a bit more deeply your relationship with our earth and allow yourself to feel maybe even a bit more awe than you already do. We are part of Nature’s Intelligence, and can enrich the quality of our inner lives by nurturing and promoting a sense of connection with, and interdependent relationship to, the world around us.

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