A Walk In Nature

Vol. 5, June 2003

*Column A Walk in Nature
*Article Five Simple Steps into Enlightenment
*Guided Meditation Into Your Blossoming
*Feature Article Brennan, Siegel & Walsch: Dialogues with the Divine
*Endquote Charles Fillmore on Spirit

A Walk In Nature

Feeling low the other day, I picked up pen and paper to ask my still, small voice for higher insight. My conscious mind, always ready with an opinion, ticked off logical reasons like dreary weather, fatigue and worry about loved ones. I scribbled these down and then came the wisdom I sought: "Underneath every appearance of pain and desolation is the beginning of a new stage in one's life, for here is the upheaval which moves the body into new growth and what comes next."

Such impulses arise in the soul, I was told, in the changing seasons of our lives. Winter’s long rest of integration ushers in the flowering of spring and summer to stir soul-growth; our souls and nature flow together in harmony with the One. I was advised to decide upon the context of my soul growth and to align my conscious mind with it, for it is resistance which creates the pain and difficulty in our lives. If we allow each aspect to cooperate, growth is not painful at all. It is a joyful adventure in consciousness.

The impulse of growth is irresistible, isn’t it? In spring and summer, we feel the urge to clear away what is old and unwanted, to walk in nature and the silence of the deeper self and listen to the thoughts emerging from within. In this way we awaken to the still, small voice which makes itself known as the heart’s desires; these ripple into our thinking minds to move us to concerted action. Inside a sunlit cathedral of stained-glass trees or the wide-open horizons of desert and seashore, we drink in nature’s beauty, a magic elixir poured into the cup of love to nourish our growth. If we are feeling empty and drained, Spirit outstretches the cup to us.

Back in 1988, the beautiful, lyrical images in my earliest meditative writings called me out of my terminal busy-ness and back into the heart of nature. Sitting on the porch of a rustic cypress cabin, watching the play of light on the rippling currents of a river, I read the truth of my life in nature’s stories and slowly opened my heart to a Source of love and wisdom that grows more vibrant in me each day.

Years later, while writing a book at the seashore, I asked to understand this process and am still receiving the most amazing answers, like evidence last night intended for you, too: how, in Kirlian photography, the energy fields of leaves shrink in winter and awaken as light tendrils in April, bursting out in June as a full, bushy halo lasting until September. I am ever grateful to this Goodness which has attuned us to the cycles of nature: peaceful evolution rooted in joy.

The late psychic healer Edgar Cayce called us to nature as a way to commune with God, and decades later, the brain wave science of meditation researcher Anna Wise showed that using our senses to perceive images of nature during meditation creates a relaxed, detached state opening to the deeper, enlightened mind of creativity, empathy, intuition and spiritual connection. A walk in nature brings about the same effect by synchronizing us with Mother Earth. Our magnificent planet emits a dominant pulse frequency that induces the same relaxed, detached awareness that is the doorway to higher consciousness and lasting growth and transformation.

When we rejoice in nature with all our senses, the voice of soul is able to impart what we need to know. Everything affects us in this way, including people and events who serve as mirrors to us. Gradually, we climb the mountaintop of consciousness and in the panorama of creation, we perceive the divine right order in all of life. Separation and judgment drop away so that Light may shine fully upon us.

The only thing in our way is negative thoughts, emotions, attitudes and beliefs which, projected outward, create conflict in our lives. Yet it’s easy to release snarled thoughts and emotions, for the healing power of nature is within us, too. Simply find a quiet space outside or in the landscape of your mind, set a healing intention, and spend a few moments in loving communion with a white light that is slightly above and toward the back of your head.

Every walk in nature is a healing experience, especially when we gather earth energy with our feet (or minds) and breathe it from the ground upward through the spiritual centers of the spine to the top of the head. Native people dance in a circle to build up this energy so the shaman can draw from it to heal the person at the center of the circle.

Why don't you be the person at the center of that circle? I am determined to be, as I am so often reminded by my still, small voice that beauty is the music of life and our dance with the divine. When we live in beauty, radiant light illumines our growth and lights up the world.

Five Simple Steps into Enlightenment

(It's just a jump to the left...)

Back in late 1987, the beautiful nature imagery in my meditative writings easily convinced me of their source in higher consciousness, since my feeble attempts at poetry always resulted in weak prose that I helplessly edited to death.

Within just a few months, I regained my childhood appreciation for the divinity of Earth as these inspirational writings expanded my consciousness into what I call "symbolic seeing": the ability to look into nature’s stories to glean life lessons from her universal principles. Rich metaphors, parables and allegories spring to life when we are quiet and receptive during our walks in nature, and this is Spirit’s compassionate invitation to all human beings.

It wasn’t until the summer of 1999, while writing my book, The Voice of the Soul, that I asked for objective proof of my personal claims and during the next few days felt a powerful urge to go to a certain bookstore for a certain magazine. In it was an article on Anna Wise, a humanistic psychologist, 20-year meditation teacher and leading brain wave researcher, whose book, The High-Performance Mind, proved the truth of my story and of every seeker’s psychic pathway to higher consciousness.

What’s more, I was astonished to find that the sensory images in my meditative writings had quite literally opened my consciousness to deeper levels of mind, where we encounter everything from our creativity, empathy and intuition to our spiritual connection and psychic abilities. My writings had not only called me to nature’s pathway to higher consciousness, but had served as nature for me until I set out on my walk and, later, took up the practice of meditation.

This and two other pieces of evidence on how psychic phenomena works should have been enough to satisfy me, but no-o-o, the skeptic’s thirst for proof is unslakeable.

Recently, I asked during meditation for objective proof of my intuitive teaching on the "symbolic seeing" that is developed in nature and for evidence that symbolic seeing is the catalyst of our expansion from five-sensory to multisensory perception: that is, from ordinary perception through the five senses to the clairvoyance, clairaudience and clairsentience (feeling) of higher consciousness.

Upon emerging from my meditation, I opened my "soul eyes" and found them darting toward a book, Frontiers of Consciousness (ed. John White, Avon Books, 1974), in the bookcase next to me. At first, I refused the guidance, thinking this was a Seth book, but upon feeling an urgency about it, I picked it up and discovered that I’d bought this brilliant little paperback at a book sale years before and had never read it. In it is a wealth of exactly the proof I’d requested--which shouldn’t surprise me at all, yet somehow always does.

The book’s introductory section, titled "Transpersonal Psychology," features an essay by psychologist and Eastern scholar A. Reza Arasteh, who studied spiritual masters in many cultures and distilled this information into several stages of evolution leading to the "final integration" of enlightenment. Here are his stages:

1. We become aware of multiple realities, that there’s more to the eye than what appears.

2. Values, interests and action all submerge into one so that behavior is spontaneous: the function of insight–sudden awareness–is rooted in the creative force that man’s essence shares with the cosmic essence. We’ve switched on; now we tune in to spiritual reality.

3. We become increasingly creative and begin to integrate with the higher self and God. Now tuned in, we slip into a "flow state" with the divine and materialize Spirit, like the Magician archetype in the tarot deck. This attunement "spiritualizes" us, as Edgar Cayce put it, and we live in an anxiety-free state of consciousness. We create and express ourselves openly, enjoying positive feelings and spontaneous expression. This stage correlates to Anna Wise’s "Aha!" state of consciousness: it is the awakened mind running on all four pistons.

4. Through these intuitive flashes of insight, derived from the cosmic essence, separation of subject and object cease to exist and union takes place. This is the early stage of Anna’s evolved mind, wherein we have done our inner work and there are no barriers of separation within our minds or between us and anyone/anything: only a profound sense of unity and feelings of bliss. We merge with cosmic consciousness and, in turn, our unconscious minds become conscious so that we are able to instantly access all love, joy, wisdom and knowledge.

5. In the final state of evolution, or enlightenment, we become a constant creative attitude. Here, we find joy in deeds that benefit others regardless of hoped-for rewards. We function naturally and spontaneously without wanting to record, write or create. The creative attitude itself produces joy as we experience life in its entirety. This is what I call "the blossoming" of personality into the soul-self: our unique, individual spark of the divine.

While this model is fascinating enough, I was even more impressed with the qualities of masters in this final stage of evolution. See if any of this strikes a chord in you.

* The enlightened person possesses insight into all human lives and is able to write a detailed life history of his/her own journey.

* This master possesses enormous energy and the abilityto carry the pains of others without burden.

* The enlightened master sees fully into people, history and the nonhuman environment. Natural phenomena become symbolic of a universal communication. Or, in my terminology, the master develops symbolic perception, wherein natural objects resemble life–as in the world’s greatest poetry and art.

Let us walk in nature, then, to enjoy the beauty of the sensory world and every joyful step into enlightenment as we merge ourselves–the created–with creation and the Creator.

Here is why sages, monks and mystics have sought quiet wilderness since the beginning of time. Enlightenment itself awaits us in nature’s open, loving arms.

Brennan, Siegel & Walsch
Dialogues with the Divine

A few years ago, I attended a panel discussion featuring Barbara Brennan, Bernie Siegel and Neale Donald Walsch at an Omega Institute conference in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

It was a stupendous cast of teachers: Brennan, an atmospheric scientist, medical intuitive, founder of the Barbara Brennan School of Healing, and author of Hands of Light and Light Emerging; Bernie Siegel, M.D., holistic pioneer and author of the classic Love, Medicine & Miracles; and Neale Donald Walsch, author of the Conversations with God series and co-founder of the Global Renaissance Alliance.

You could hear a pin drop in the audience, even with several hundred people sitting on the edges of their seats, intensely listening to these compelling stories of personal guidance.

Barbara Brennan, a nature lover, first heard words of guidance when the sun was at a certain angle. Early in her career, while working as a massage therapist, spirit guides assisted in her work with patients: "beings" with and without wings.

Later, while living in a spiritual community, she heard a voice that said, "Go into the woods and sit." Once in the woods, she looked up and saw a silver cloud with words written on it: "We give you strength for what you are going to experience." In the next two days, she lost her job and her husband, and she moved house.

One day, she was told every single movement to make: how to get out of bed, what to wear, which shoe to put on first. She knew that this "was a training to show how specific guidance can get." In fact, while doing hands-on healing with one patient, she received guidance for the patient to reduce her thyroid medication by one-third. "The guidance became very specific and moreso in my healing practice in New York City," Brennan recalled. During that 10 to- 15-year period, she heard guidance to the effect that, "Your third client today will have cancer and will ask you to discuss choices of prescriptions for chemotherapy."

Today, Brennan’s trances are much stronger and she channels energy to 800 people at a time. During these healings, she explained, "I’m connected to a broader world that includes all of my senses. I can feel, hear, see and interact with all of the people present."

Siegel’s spiritual guidance reaches back to his lifelong love of art. "The first time I had a vision, my art teacher said, ‘Do guided imagery!’ "I didn’t have the courage to stare back," he laughed, "so I shut my eyes. Suddenly I had visions of all kinds of things!"Once he was jogging down the road, singing "I am strong, but thou art weak," and he heard a voice say, "You have the words wrong! Well, perhaps I’ve taught you well and that’s right!"

Feeling like a TV antennae, Siegel was undoubtedly a magnet for the paranormal because of his work with terminal patients. He established an organization called Exceptional Cancer Patients, which used therapy centered on dreams, drawings and images to bring about personal change and healing. "My medium patients brought messages about my dead patients–names, what was wrong with them, things they wanted to tell their families," Siegel chortled. "These things turned out to be true! They weren’t coincidences!"

Siegel got so accustomed to an inner voice and its guiding intelligence that he planned to write a book titled Conversations with God. He announced the name of the book during a talk, and afterward, Neale Donald Walsch’s daughter hurried to the podium and pleaded, "Please don’t call your book that!" It was her father’s name for his upcoming book.

Siegel’s inner voice "isn’t always friendly," he laughed. "It has said to me, ‘Look at the way you dress! Go get some clothes! We love you!’ Most of the time, though, it was a guiding, helping, directing voice that was telling me about a patient.

"If you keep your antennae up and open," he added, "you hear these things. We’re all the same species. Nothing has happened to any of us speakers that can’t happen to you. Just take time to listen. You need to stop and listen."

Neale Donald Walsch picked up where Siegel left off: "What has happened to us speakers is happening to you, whether you know it, believe and accept it or not," he declared.

Walsch listens carefully to what life is saying to him and writes it down, as he did for his trilogy of Conversations with God books. The dialogues in these books came out of a "great depression" in his life. "I had lost four relationships–I’m a serial monogamist–and was at the end of my rope," he said. "I cried out to God that nothing was working at all."

Walsch woke up at 4 a.m., angry, and went looking for answers in his refrigerator. "There was nothing there," he deadpanned, "so I went to the couch instead. I cried out and said I didn’t want to go on anymore. I said I was through, I wouldn’t go on anymore. God said, ‘I don’t think so.’"

Finding a yellow legal pad on the table, Walsch began to write out his anger. Since then, his whole life has been a conversation with God. "Just listen," he told the audience, "and know that you are God."

This prompted a pithy question from an audience member: "How do you know the voice is not just an aspect of your ego or your darker side?"

Brennan, the scientist, offered a logical way to discern the difference. "You go through several stages of learning, and you learn to trust what you hear," she said. "I tested it for myself. I learned that if you feel it deeply in your heart and are at peace, in love, when the guidance is occurring, then it is good."

"I also developed the other senses, though," Brennan added. "I could see and feel who was talking to me and interact with the voice. That direct dialogue helped me a great deal. As a scientist by training, I was cautious by nature. So I checked and checked the information, verifying it with three different senses and always checking the outcome. The most important thing is your sense of connection, heart to heart and soul to soul."

An audience member directed another question to Brennan: Where did she get her courage?

"I needed to be myself and follow the deepest longing that I had," she replied. "Later on, I had to make changes and utilize what I knew about light instruments in relation to what I was observing in the auric field. I used information from science, and I applied that to myself as the instrument. It seemed completely normal to me."

Siegel added, "To me it’s not about courage, but about how miserable you are. You change because you are in pain. Remember, ‘He who seeks to save his life will lose it.’ What I see is, you lose your life and save it.

"I talked to God all the time, from the time I was a kid, because of Judaism," Siegel went on. "But then I got to be a doctor and it hurt like hell to see the pain and suffering. You injure a child’s facial nerve in surgery. You try to quit, but the patient says you can’t. So if you have the self-esteem and sense of self-worth, then you don’t care what anybody says, anyway. You need to be who you are."

The last question rang out: "Where do I find help?"

"You look inside yourself for answers," offered Walsch, smiling gently.

Siegel added, "You listen and do God’s work and then creation goes on."

Brennan’s response wrapped up the session. "It’s about acknowledging the divine in you," she explained. "Reorienting yourself and focusing upon yourself as the universal divinity. When we get guidance and information, we can then center in divinity and be human beings with passion in our hearts. We are both divine and human, in this wonderful love we create."


On Spirit

"To trust Spirit you must know of its guidance by experience...Does that same Spirit pervade man’s consciousness? If you decide that it does, and you have made up your mind to cultivate its acquaintance, you may rest in the assurance that the proof will be forthcoming. Spirit is modest; its voice is silent in a turmoil of argument about its existence. It is not found on the housetops proclaiming its presence. It is Spirit. Spirit is the omnipotent, silent principle pervading Being. You are Spirit, and must find yourself before you can communicate with universal Spirit."

Charles Fillmore,
o-founder of the Unity religion
From Talks on Truth (p.22)