Who is the best teacher you ever had? Maybe you’ll think of a favorite primary school teacher or an inspiring professor you had in college. These people were probably great, but they cannot compare to your first and greatest teacher—nature herself. You might have forgotten about this teacher because she gives so ceaselessly and so generously that she is easy to take for granted.
Our First Teacher
Mother Nature began teaching you the moment you were conceived in the womb. She has instructed your body how to do so many miraculous things that no human ever had to teach you: how to grow, how to breathe, how to heal, how to digest, and much more. And when you were born into this world, she taught you important things about how to survive. For example, you instinctively knew how to suckle and to grab onto an object. She does the same for other living beings, too. From her, birds learn how to build their nests, and caterpillars know when it is time to spin their cocoons.
These things are all wonderful for our physical lives here on earth, but what about our spiritual path? Spirituality is something above and beyond this earthly plane?
In fact, spirituality is not separate from the world; our lives here on earth are a spiritual experience, even if we don’t acknowledge our spiritual nature. We are divine beings, and this world is like a training center designed for our spiritual growth and development. Yes, this life can seem very rough at times, perhaps even cruel. But everything here on the world teaches us something and guides us toward choosing according to our True Selves.
Your Best Spiritual Tool
Mother Nature gave you amazing tools to help you on this journey of Tao. Most importantly, she gave you a brain. All we need tools to help us on our path, and the best tool is right there in our brains. All we have to do is uncover and awaken its best attributes.
Despite the many ways human beings end up acting against their True Selves, all our brains contain an innate desire to become the highest version of ourselves that we can achieve.
Dacher Keltner, a professor of psychology at the University of California, Berkeley, says that this is build right into the neurology of the brain and is thus present in every human society on earth. In his book Born to Be Good, he shows how humans everywhere demonstrate positive traits like cooperation and a preference for fairness, and he references many scientific studies of the brain that show how and why being good to one another is good for the brain.
The brain is in fact the place where enlightenment occurs. During my own awakening process, I felt it almost as an explosion, a massive expansion suddenly occurring in my brain. Immediately before this experience, I had finished a very long, difficult training on Moak Mountain in South Korea. I then felt a sudden explosive pressure within my brain; I really thought that I might die. But in that moment, something else was happening. I was suddenly and completely aware of my connection to everything—every human, every animal, every flower and tree. Even the cosmos beyond this planet was right there with me, connected as though I were one and the same with it. At that moment, my brain rewired itself to take full advantage of its potential, its natural ability to understand and to be awareness of the greater Truth of being.
Nature Holds All Wisdom
Since that time, I have come to realize that all of nature is constantly speaking to everyone of this Truth that I discovered. Actually, it was all right there all along, and it is always there to remind me—or anyone else who cares to listen to its message—that everything is connected and that all is one. That’s why I recommend that everyone find some special place in nature to meditate and to contemplate their place in the universe. For me, Sedona, Arizona is a special place, which is why I wrote about that place in The Call of Sedona, but the same thing can be experienced anywhere on Earth, although places of great natural beauty are especially inspiring.
The next time you are out in nature, notice how everything is connected. Everything that you see is dependent on the whole and nothing is separate or alone. Everything flows naturally and easily, even when the conditions are stormy or harsh. This is the simple truth that we humans need more than any other truth, the truth that we are not separate from each other or from the earth. Everything works together in a beautiful, harmonious dance, and we can join in any time that we want.