How to Cultivate Right Relationship with Nature
Lee Ann Dzelzkalns, M.S.
We are learning to cultivate a higher understanding of sacred sound, sacred symbol and right relationship in our daily existence. By measure, we may not be conscious of this happening, but this is a natural phenonmena. Vibration creates the foundation for life. A geometry of symbol births from the vibration of sound, as we see the amazing birth of starlit crystals form in molecules of water. RIGHT RELATIONSHIP in The Nature of ALL Things is the perfection of symmetry expressed. This creative expression displays a nondual state (through duality); fashioning the story-line of AND; which synthesizes This AND That. A beautiful expression of truth is created out of the sacred sound current (harmonics and overtones) yielding a sacred geometry pronounced in right relationship. The prevailing keynote of right relationship represents a balance, center, alignment, unity, unification, synthesis and harmony in the Nature of all things.
NATURAL CONTEMPLATION (The Nature of All Things & the Cosmos) —
In my studies I have referenced many traditions, philosophies and teachings to explain the concept of unity in diversity, healing into wholeness and the oneness of life. As I have progressed in my spiritual life, embracing interfaith and interspirituality, meditation, symbols and nature have elevated my consciousness. I would like to share the guidance and words of a gentle, yet powerful spiritual teacher, interreligious monk and mystic, Brother Wayne Teasdale. With excerpts from his book, “The Mystic Heart” I am able to convey to you the truth of nature’s impact on our expanding consciousness through his Eyes.
When we contemplate, absolutely anything, we are taking the point of focus to its essential essence. I have learned through my son, the poet, what it takes to study a topic, synthesize the words, trim them down, from a paragraph to a few sentences, from a few sentences to one, then ultimately one sentence to one word. Then the poet takes that one word, as the contemplative person would, and translate that word into a look. “That is what natural contemplation does in relation to the symbols embedded in the universe. A contemplative person perceives that ‘look’ of the symbol present in the actual entity.”
Symbols abound everywhere as images. The tree can represent one’s entire life or the cosmos itself. An eight segmented seedpod can express the rhythm of life. A flower can represent enfoldment of self, the spider’s web symbolically expresses the interconnected-ness of all of life, known to some as the web of life. Numbers, animals, clouds in the sky can present before us to share a story or an essential meaning.
Wayne Teasdale expresses it beautifully in his book The Mystic Heart about our connection to Nature and through our contemplative state, the ability we have to deepen into the Oneness of Life through symbols.
The following is an excerpt from his book:
“In terms of symbolism and how it operates, nature tells us a story about being. It reveals certain metaphysical and spiritual truths, principles, and insights just by being. In this sense, the nature world is revelational and sacramental. It is always unfolding the meaning of existence literally before our eyes, could we but see. And to see, we have only to really look.” Really look!
So the challenge for us is ‘how to look’, how do we really see what is real and what isn’t?
Brother Teasdale says, “In the English mystical traditional they speak of contemplation as ‘a long, loving look at the real,’ and that is surely where it must begin. Natural contemplation is something to be exercised. We must look with our heart, our inner vision, our intuition. The truth is the whole system of cosmos and reality, and everything always refers back to the source. Nature teaches us, through its intrinsic symbolic function of portraying reality, that to be in a sense means to signify, as everything naturally implies the source. All things have an individual being and a symbolic function.”
I recognized I have been cultivating this understanding since I was a young girl. It isn’t a new concept to me, but convincing others is another journey. I have come to find that those interested in natural contemplation and symbolism gravitate to each other. So here I am for those of you interested in this truth.
Wayne goes on to share, “The significance or meaning of existence is intrinsic to each being; to really know any one thing will result in a knowledge of the whole. For everything anticipates or adumbrates ultimate meaning, and cannot help but reflect the whole. This entire symbolic function of natural contemplation is actually a form of illumination, a different, extraordinary state of consciousness. Yet it is really as natural as breathing once it awakens in an individual.”
THE NATURE OF THE ROSE. Let’s contemplate the nature of the rose.
“When we examine the rose with our intuition through a long, loving look, we find that it is pregnant, like all of creation, with meaning, hidden truths, and practical wisdom. It participates in the whole symbolic order of nature, which is itself a kind of divine algebra in which certain truths and mysteries are concretely embodied. Whereas mathematics concerns principles of structure and relationship, symbolism concerns ultimate meaning. When we awaken to this dimension of experience in nature, being, and life through a contemplative, encounter with creation, or through a natural object like a rose, we enter into an illuminative state, and this state is natural contemplation. The rose, or any other natural entity, can trigger a stream of metaphysical and mystical illumination.
In the rose’s development from a tiny seedling all the way to its ethereal bloom and beyond to death and decomposition, a very basic metaphysical truth is being portrayed; that reality, life, and truth are essentially invisible, intangible, and mysterious, yet are subtly revealed in a dynamic process of unfolding, a gradual manifestation over a period of time. We might ask: What is the rose? When is the rose a rose? Where does it begin and end? Is the rose the seedling? The shoot? The stem? Or perhaps it is the bud, the stamen, or the final bloom?
Actually, the rose is all of them, all of its stages, from seed to blossom and beyond. The growth and development of the rose suggests and reveals the essential principle that the mystery of life, reality, and being is a process, a process not fully actual in any one of its moments. The movement of reality, being, and life aims at totality, which is expressed in the rose’s full form when its bloom opens. Reality, the secret of being itself, is hidden in the process, which is always moving toward a goal, like the flower striving toward the perfection of its full bloom.
The fragile beauty, fragrance, and symmetrical form of the rose in its completed being, reveal as through an allegory that the progress of life is moving toward a definite purpose. Life has a goal, and this goal is thoroughly spiritual, a truth exemplified so eloquently in the compelling perfection of the rose’s goal: the blossom. In the blossom, we see its petals arranged in perfect relation and harmony to one another, as if designed by an artist who is also a skilled mathematician. Nothing is the rose in haphazard; its form and structure are perfect. This perfection of form indicates a comprehensive purpose at work. It suggests a spiritual purpose to life, the truth that we are in transit on our earthly pilgrimage towards the source, the origin of that very perfection that the rose and all creation reflect.
And yet the exquisite beauty of the rose in it blossom gives way to decay as the petals fall one by one, and the rose succumbs to time. But this is not the end of the process. The death of the rose expresses that the rose is only a symbol of ultimate purpose and perfection, not the purpose and perfection of itself. It thus bows to the mystery of the source, the divine drawing all things to itself first by the interconnectedness of everything, then through its cosmic symbolism, and finally through the communion and union of the mystical journey itself.”
In time we come to discover, uncover and recover our original state of unity consciousness. We come to realize the Oneness of Life and the breath of God are a seamless reality. We are the threads woven into this fabric of life. We are it!
(Reference: The Mystic Heart by Wayne Teasdale)