A Sensuous Landscape That Stimulates Movement
By Clay Miller
The healing power of the mother earth is strongly present in Sedona and the Verde Valley. This is a magic and a presence that is felt in many parts of the Southwest, unique to the soul of this land.
It is certainly once of the most beautiful lands in the world. A place not only rich in color and texture, but where one is surrounded by the ancestral forces of rock and people. It's easy to have that experience of having left the ordinary world behind and stepping into the non-ordinary world. Because the natural world here has such a strong presence, it invites us to be present also. The natural world is particularly a mirror of our own soul. Thunder and lightning, rivers that rage or gently meander, trees shimmering in the breeze with sunlight. Blue skies and gray skies are mirrors of our own moods, emotions and energies.
Most of us get stuck in the contractual downward movement of the spiral and by making the active choice to extend our awareness into nature and become the dead leaves on a fall day or a butterfly flitting through the air, the more we open to our own inner life and imprisoned energies. It's as if we are walking through a living soul journey. Without needing to understand how or why, if we just practice this becoming, we can break the downward spiral free of its inertia, free of the accumulated mass of the lies that we have told ourselves about who we are. We are choosing to feel the many emotional textures of world around us and to let it into our core where it can resonate with these lost parts of ourselves. If we welcome this into the heart of our pain, we can become more resonant and radiant with our own truth, our soul. It's as if the natural world provides us with a multiplicity of vibrational remedies for the soul.
Natural herbal remedies are no longer a secret to most people. There probably exists or did exist a natural remedy for every ailment on the earth. Not only as a physical substance which pharmaceutical companies have found chemical equivalents for, but as the vibrational substances which is the science of homeopathy and flower essences. The natural world is resonant with the energies we have chosen to deny in ourselves. It is indeed music to the soul, and the music of the soul. This is the healing aspect of visiting sacred places. This practice of becoming in the natural world translates into soulfulness. So go to a mountain top and stretch out your arms. Become the mountain and let the sky in. Go to the stream and lie down amongst the rocks and the rapids and let it flow into all the spaces. Or stand in the rain and drink it in with your heart.
This also leads to an expansionary movement in that spiral . We are extending out of ourselves and lifting out of our self-preoccupations. We take in what allows us to be resonant with our own pain, breaking the inertia, letting the spiral wind naturally down and fulfill its contractual movement. Where upon the expansionary movement can spring from this completion. Becoming the world encourages the expansive movement where there are no boundaries. This is how landscape itself can stimulate movement and how it is used as an addition and extension of the soul journey sessions.
But how does one practice becoming in a place like New York City where the natural soulfulness of the earth is not as available and requires much more effort to connect with? First of all, living in these types of urban environments tends to add inertia and mass to the downward spiral since one is so bombarded with a multiplicity of unpleasant sensory and psychic stimuli. Unlike being out in nature where those sensory experiences are pleasant. Unless one goes into that urban environment with a discipline of facets of presence in some way, an unconscious choice is to set up a barrier to keep those things from coming in. But that barrier is not selective. It prevents a lot of things from coming in: We are not as open, we are not as curious, we lose our sense of wonder. So in traveling to a place of natural beauty like Sedona, this world of natural feeling , sensuousity and soufulness is so present and so available to us, that even if we are in that stuck place, it's much more easy to practice this whole idea of becoming and presence in that environment.
However many people come to places like Sedona expecting it to work a kind of magic on them with out their own prayerful intention. And some, in fact, may have a short reprieve from their distress. But this is more a case of being medicated by the land and will not be a catalyst for lasting change.
But does that mean that anybody that wants to be present in life has to live in a place like Sedona or Santa Fe? Absolutely not. The goal is to live without walls no matter where you are , allowing all of life to move through you. This means the sound of traffic and construction, the heavy psychic atmosphere of a city full of people who are walled off. What ever comes into the world that is your present. And it may sound like you are taking on all this stuff, that it's going to stick to you and drive you crazy or make you sick. But it won't. In fact its quite the opposite. It only sticks to you if you resist it. If we keep the walls up if we remain invulnerable and all these things we are keeping out hit our walls like huge spit wads. The stick and harden. The walls get thicker, gain mass, until they are impenetrable. But without a wall and in a state of presence, they simply pass through us and dissipate because we are no longer at the affect of them. They just can't stick to us.
The bottom line is that this outer world that we put up these defenses against, these things that we grow to hate are just another form of self hate. So by being able to allow the world in no matter where you are, by practicing this becoming even in an urban or metropolitan environment we are continually reclaiming ourselves.
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