Thursday, October 13, 2005

Spiritual Joys of Examining Nature

Good morning, Happy Souls!

Are you feeling motivated this morning? I certainly hope so. I know that I am!

Did you ever marvel at the delicate beauty of a snowflake on your windshield?

Have you ever been fascinated by a rock crystal?

Does the delicacy of a flower delight you?

Do you like to drive in the country after the leaves turn colors?

If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, you've come to the right blog post.

Today, we'll look at how you can enjoy more spiritual satisfaction from examining nature.

Let me begin by acknowledging Dan Wakefield, author of The Story of Your Life and Going All the Way. I took a course in creativity with Dan a number of years ago, and this blog is heavily influenced by what Dan taught me about nature study.

The intricacy of nature is beyond what we normally perceive. Our minds are organized to only grasp fully what we focus on. Nature is usually in the background so we capture less than one percent of what we are seeing.

Take the time to study nature, and your noticing can increase by more than 100 times.

Study nature in the right way and think about what you have seen . . . and you can increase your spiritual delight by thousands of times.

No mere billionaire can do nearly as well. All of their material cares and concerns will distract them from what you will imbibe so deeply.

These activities take a little time so I suggest you pursue them on a quiet day off.

1. Start with a flower.

Few people take enough time to enjoy a flower in the right way. Take the flower to someplace where you can be alone and undisturbed for at least two hours. Make yourself very comfortable . . . but not so comfortable that you fall asleep. Add good light.

Bring a pad of paper and a writing instrument.

Begin by writing down at least 200 things you notice about the flower. If you can write down 300 that's even better.

At first, you will have lots of ideas. Then you will slow down. But you'll suddenly begin to notice new things. And this process will repeat itself.

If it takes you more than two hours, that's all to the good.

2. Write down what you've just learned that's not about the flower.

You will have had many thoughts unrelated to the flower that generalize or move laterally from your flower observations. These insights will usually be of profound spiritual content.

Capture those thoughts after you've finished your flower characteristics list.

3. Meditate after you finish.

If you know a meditative discipline, use that one. If not, just sit quietly with your eyes closed, breathe from your abdomen (rather than the top of your lungs) and concentrate quietly on your breath. Do this for 20 minutes or so. If you fall asleep now, that's great.

4. Go for a leisurely walk outdoors by yourself.

Examining the flower meant that you used your eyes and your mind a lot. We're going to give those senses a rest now.

Focus now on the aromas you perceive. Walk in no particular directly except to find new aromas.

These aromas might come from plants (you may have to get close and crush a leaf), animals, materials (various soggy woods have different odors), someone's fireplace (different woods exude different smoke odors), the exhaust from someone's kitchen or water.

Do this for an hour. Keep going if you're having fun.

5. Go to a place where there's falling water.

It's time to listen now. Go upstream from the waterfall and hear the gentle movement of the water.

Gradually approach the waterfall and begin to hear its contrast with the sound of the moving water next to you.

Spend a half hour at the waterfall itself listening to its sound from different directions and distances.

Finally, move downstream and let the sound of the waterfall recede.

If you can do this while actually on the water in a canoe, that's an even more delightful way to enjoy this experience. Naturally, you have to carry the canoe around the waterfall before you're done.

6. Taste the outdoors.

Chances are that you don't know which plants are available to be eaten without negative consequences. Before you start, arm yourself with materials that are relevant for your region. In North America, consider The Encyclopedia of Edible Plants of North America
Supplement that with the relevant field guide to help you identify the plants. In North America, consider either The Field Guide to Edible Plants: Eastern and Central North America (see or Edible and Medicinal Plants of the West (see

Start with a list of the plants you want to taste. Find them and munch away.

7. Caress yourself with Nature.

Now, you are ready to delight in Nature's gentleness. Caress your skin in different places with various delightfully delicate items you find outdoors. Be sure to try your palms and your cheeks. It's the best self-massage ever!

Be sure to spend at least 20 minutes doing this after you have gathered the materials you want to try.

8. Meditate again.

You will now have absorbed many new experiences from nature. You'll need time and space to absorb that experience so be quiet with it for 20 minutes or so.

9. Pray and thank God for Nature.

Even if you are not a religious person, you'll find that a little prayer will complete your experience in the most positive way.

10. Repeat the process at least once a month.

A lot of people find this works better than any other spiritual practice they use. You won't know until you try, so why not begin today if it's a nice day where you are?

Can any billionaire use mere money to do better? I think not!


N.B. As you can tell, I'm experimenting with color. Let me know what you like and what I should change about my use of color. Many thanks to Linda Grace for her suggestions which I am following!

Please let me know what else you would like to learn, and I'll do my best to help in future blog entries.

Thanks so much for your support of this blog. I'm delighted that so many tens of thousands of people have made this blog part of their regular reading habit!

If you like this blog, please let others know who might also enjoy it. E-mailing your favorite post to them is a great idea.

Thank you to my many friends, students, clients and blog readers who are spreading the good word about this blog.

If you are visiting today because someone invited you, I'm delighted to meet you! Let's stay in touch.

Remember to also visit

Be More Successful than a Billionaire at,

Enjoy Mansions Better than a Billionaire at,

Enjoy Football Better than a Billionaire at and

Be a World Hero Better than a Billionaire at

I am available to you as a speaker on these subjects. You can find my background at

May God bless you.

Donald W. Mitchell, Your Dream Concierge

Copyright 2005 Donald W. Mitchell


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