Why Getting Back to Nature is so Important for our Wellbeing

Having just recently returned from guiding my first meditation and relaxation trek in Croatia, I am yet again reminded of the tremendous benefits of spending quality time in nature.

How easy it is even for a fairly veteran trekker like myself to so quickly become somewhat numbed to our natural surroundings by the distractions of our so called civilised every day existence. When I am close to nature it’s as if my whole being, mind, body and soul finds a renewed lease of life, it is such a deeply subtle yet profound experience that it is beyond the reach of words to explain. During and after such experiences I am lead to wonder WHY on earth we would even want to cut ourselves off from our natural way of being in exchange for what amounts to purely selling our souls for a man made concepts of happiness?

“It is not just a question of simply trekking through nature, but rather attuning to nature.” – John Christian

When I allow myself to throw off the trappings of materialism and to immerse myself in nature (all be it for short periods of time) the rewards are immeasurable. It was because of such experiences that I was first inspired to organize and lead meditation treks. Now I have the extra blessing of sharing a transformational journey with others. It is not just a question of simply trekking through nature, but rather attuning to nature. Through proper stretching, breathing and physical and mental relaxation exercises, we can quickly re sensitize ourselves to nature, and the place to do that is in nature! It is no wonder that the indigenous peoples of the world have such a different understanding of man’s correct relationship to nature.

In Croatia this April, for the first two days of the trek in the mountains the weather was overcast. This was perfect as it drew people inward and was supportive of a reflective mood allowing the mind and habits of activity to start slowing down. I lead the group in various exercises designed to support overall relaxation and calming of the mind. We started each day in beautiful surroundings with my leading a group of 35 people in yoga exercises, proper breathing and meditation. Breakfast followed, which in itself was a feast for the senses and the soul (as were all the meals). Late morning and afternoons were alternated between two to three hour workshop sessions and trekking. I allow flexibility with regard to workshop content so as to accommodate and address the needs of the group at the time. Our evenings were either spent singing or dancing, laughing and storytelling around the camp fire under the light of the moon or in the mountain lodge.

To allow the widest possible experience for the group to touch the various forms of nature, we spent time in specially selected areas, from the mountains to the valleys and the ocean then finally into the womb of the earth, a cave in the national park. This was a profoundly moving experience for many of the group, as we were allowed to sit in silent meditation in the pitch darkness of the cave. Emerging into the light after an hour and a half of such deep silence and magnificent darkness, the senses are greatly enhanced. I had intended before leaving the cave to request of the group that they remain in silence as they exited the cave and to meditate on the myriad forms of life, light and colour all around them. As I didn’t get the chance to do this and was last to leave the cave, I was delighted to discover on my exit that each member of the group had been so deeply touched by the experience that they had all spontaneously gone to various spots on the mountain side and continued their silent reflection.

It is no wonder that wild animals live and move with such respect in and through their environment!

I am truly grateful for such opportunities to address the balance in my own life.

I cannot speak highly enough of the quality and presentation of meals and other services provided by my support and organizational team. My sincere thanks go to Vesna Brkiĉ, Nataŝa Kern of www.harmony.hr and all concerned with making this first trek a huge success.

I can’t wait for my next experience as I will be presenting a week long retreat programme on a beautiful Island in Croatia in August – and I invite you to come along too: 6.8.-13.8.10 For Full details go to: www.harmony.hr

If you and your family and friends want a very reasonably priced holiday and workshop experience then Croatia is a very economical place to go to, and this programme can provide that for you.

Best wishes,

John

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  • Why Getting Back to Nature is so Important for our Wellbeing
  • June 1, 2010
  • When I am close to nature it’s as if my whole being, mind, body and soul finds a renewed lease of life, it is such a deeply subtle yet profound experience that it is beyond the reach of words to explain. During and after such experiences I am lead to wonder WHY on earth we would even want to cut ourselves off from our natural way of being in exchange for what amounts to purely selling our souls for a man made concepts of happiness?

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