Being with Nature improves observing & listening skills

By Sanjeevi Prasad

We have explored in the earlier articles, how being with Nature improves understanding of oneself and why the ancient people could give more attention to Nature than the modern people. Then we also saw how the present generation, especially the youth, can be motivated and encouraged to give more of their attention to Nature. We will continue to explore various ways to bring our attention back to Nature consistently in our daily lives.

People belonging to the generations before the industrial age and the electronics & technology age watched the sky and developed the panchangam (calendar and almanac). A lot of stone sculptures too were built by our ancestors around the world; The archaeological evidences still  exist. A few of our ancestors painted on the walls of caves based on their observations and insights. Certain buildings and temples were built in alignment with their observations of the stars, sun and moon in the sky; Examples: The Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt, a few other pyramids in South America, the famous Angkor Wat temple at Siem Reap in Cambodia, Jantar Mantar in New Delhi etc.

What do we modern people do when we observe the sky? We stand in front of the sky, take photos of ourselves and post them in our social media accounts There is nothing right or wrong about our behaviour. But the key question is: “Is our attention shifting from Nature to popularising oneself by using Nature? Or are we expressing our oneness with Nature by these photos? Or are popularising Nature as well along with oneself?”. It would be lot better if we post the photos in the social media and then get back to observing and listening to Nature silently. By doing so, our ability to listen and observe with total attention would increase resulting in improved interpersonal relationships. Being with Nature would ultimately activate intuitive insights and inspire us to be creative and artistic.

What are the primary reasons for the modern people losing touch with Nature? The probable causes are industrialisation and corporate work culture, which have been focusing solely on economic and financial goals and objectives. As a result, our attention has deviated away from Nature.

How can the children and the youth be brought back to Nature? First of all, it is extremely important to make “Being with Nature” a relaxing and fun activity. There is no need to make it serious like preparing for the career examinations and there is also no need for control and quick results. It is lot better to approach the subject in a relaxed and joyful manner so that spending time with Nature becomes attractive without compulsion and fear of punishment. When compliance is based on control and fear, it causes psychological problem due to suppressed desires and conflicting thoughts. On the contrary, when compliance is based on mutual understanding and agreement, compliance happens naturally without any undesirable psychological side effect. After all, each one of us is going to be alive for maximum few decades and it makes sense to enjoy living instead of torturing oneself for the sake of success.

What can we do to remain in touch with Nature on a daily basis? One way is to wake up from sleep and start with a heartfelt thanks to Nature for keeping the body alive during deep sleep. If this practice could be introduced at a very early age, then the habit of treating oneself as an integral element of Nature would be inculcated during childhood itself.

The reason for human disconnection with Nature was beautifully explained in an audio recording of a speech by Alan Watts, a popular philosopher and spirituality teacher of yester years. His explanation is simple for everyone to understand. We consider the skin of the body as a boundary between oneself and one’s environment. So we think we are not connected with Nature. The fact is that the body is alive and in good health because the skin is porous and the body is an integral part of the Universe. Scientists have confirmed a few decades ago that the body is continuously changing due to the constant regeneration of the cells. The human eyes are not capable of seeing these changes. Our sense organs have limitations. For example, dogs can hear a lot more wider range of frequencies than us. So our skin is not like a compound wall between the body and its environment. Therefore, this fact should be told to the children from the time they can understand human language. Then the chances of their growing up with belongingness to Nature are extremely high. If popular sports persons and movie personalities could be involved in this campaign, the process of remembrance of our connection with Nature could be more effective.

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