When you spend enough time outdoors with nature, you will begin to hear its language. And if you hear its language long enough, like any other language, you will begin to discern words, sentences, and, finally, meanings. Many ancient and a few remaining cultures are known for their ability to communicate with nature, animals, and weather. While this may seem like quite a mystical feat, it is one of the easiest qualities to recover within oneself. It is also an excellent exercise to use to train oneself to pay attention.
The most obvious way the earth and nature communicate is through repetition of cycles. This is often taken for granted and forgotten about because it’s so common place—the rising and setting of the sun, and so on. But this reminds us to stay in tune with our needs for activity and rest.
If you were to go and sit in the same spot every day at around the same time for a given period of time, you couldn’t help but start to notice the ways in which nature communicates: How animals communicate with each other, how the earth communicates with animals and with the sky. Coming to recognize nature’s rhythms is the beginning of learning the vocabulary of how the earth begins to communicate with you. I mean this in a very literal way. Have you ever had the experience of walking in the woods and coming to a spot where you could stay all day, where you feel peaceful and relaxed? Or of coming upon a place where, for no apparent reason, you feel nervous and anxious, and can’t wait to get out of there? What you are picking up are vibratory rates, the energy patterns that these places hold.
Q: Some people might feel intimidated starting out this way. Is there another way we could ease into this?
If the issue is that you don’t trust in or believe that you have the ability to listen on your own, there are many courses and people who can guide you. If you feel more comfortable starting in a more intellectual way, then take up the study of the earth and nature—a geology or plant biology course, a birding course, etc. There are schools that teach survival in various natural climates, and animal tracking. You could study biodynamic farming. You could do a web search under outdoor and nature schools and you’d be flooded with ways to start.
While these studies may give you a jumpstart in what to look for or listen to, they cannot replace the work of spending time outside and simply paying attention and observing.
Q: If we went out and listened, what does the earth talk about? What would the communication be about?
As we talked about in the subject of friendship, everything emanates a vibration or frequency, including every place on earth. One of the more practical uses of communicating with the earth is to know where you should live in order to draw specific situations and experiences, such as health and happiness; and where you could avoid struggle and blockages. Most people don’t choose the place they live because of an awareness of these influences, but because it’s the place they were born, or went to college, or where their job is, or some other equally disconnected reason.
To begin simple conversations with the earth, start by paying attention to how you feel in any given location. At first these will be one-way conversations with yourself. You’ll start noticing that you feel good in this place, and in another area you feel tense and agitated. Some people might want to attribute this to the visual appearance, and some places are more visually appealing to look at. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s emanating a positive vibrational rate for you. To know that would require that you spend time in that place and pay attention to how you feel when you’re quiet. Do you feel energized, or muddled and confused?
One of the difficulties that many of you face is that you’ve been raised in dead structures. Dead meaning artificial man-made housing materials that do not help you feel connected to anything natural. You’re so removed in many ways. You’ve lost the ability to listen because you’ve spent more time indoors than outside. You’ve become used to a sterile or an unhealthy vibrational rate feeling normal.
A simple, fun exercise for parents and children together would be to spend a certain amount of time outside everyday to see if you can begin to notice what signs in nature tell you about the coming weather. It’s a great game because it’s very easy to get good at quickly. Notice how the animals move, how the trees stand, or how the leaves move or don’t move. Learn to feel how the different kinds of air feel on your skin. Listen to the sound of the sky and the earth. Before you know it, you’ll be as proficient as many of the old tribes were.
It would also be very healthy for people to walk barefoot outside as often as they can. There are many cultures still connected to nature who feel it’s quite bizarre to cover the feet, to prevent them from touching the earth. So much of the vibration of the earth comes up through the feet. Those who’ve developed an especially acute sensing of the earth’s vibration can tell where animals are, by what they feel through their feet.
By becoming sensitized to the earth’s communication, you would sense change coming. Not only in the weather, but in your personal life as well. You would experience surges of energy, and know how to use these advantageously. When the lulls come, you’d know how to relax when the energy is not present.
One of the distractions that keeps us from being in tune with the earth’s cycles is artificial light. Another experiment that would prove valuable would be to use no electric lights for a week. Use only candlelight, though using no light would be preferable. Go a week letting your body recalibrate itself to natural light and dark, and see how much more relaxed and sensitized you feel.
The earth also communicates when it has something to give and when you should leave it alone. It will tell you what food can be taken, where water can be found, and so on. Spending a minimum of an hour a day outside will also increase your physical energy.
Q: What would going outside for an hour each day do?
It reconnects you to the earth’s regenerating effect, which is like plugging yourself into a battery recharger.
Learning the language of the earth holds many benefits to an improved quality of life. Much of Feng Shui is really based on communicating with the earth and the way energy falls. It’s knowing where to go on the earth to get the kinds of energy you might be looking for: To be able to determine cycles and to prepare yourself for the best use of each cycle; to be able to choose a location where you could live healthfully and happily.
For many people in the modern world, there is no place that can fulfill all of their energy needs. They may need to travel to other locations to get those needs. People looking for a spiritual lift, often travel to so-called power places in the world: the pyramids, Sedona, etc. Yes, some of it is because they’ve been told that those are power places. But they do hold a certain kind of energy for those seeking spiritual renewal. Some people need the ocean, and so they make their annual trips to the ocean. Each of you will find that there is a specific location on earth where you remember feeling the best. That is a power spot for you.
Q: For someone who needs the ocean, will any ocean do? Or is there only one ocean for that person?
For that person, all oceans have benefit, but the greatest benefit may be felt at a certain kind of ocean, such as a cold water ocean with waves. Others may seek the placid warm aquamarine oceans of warmer climates. They don’t give off the same energy or vibration. But an individual will know which one is right for them. Just think for a moment where you do the best—in the meadows, woods, mountains, deserts, or water. Next, consider which specific places energize you even more.
Again, the beginning step of communicating with the earth is simple observation. Sit by a pond for an afternoon and see what you see. Sit under a tree in the woods and let yourself notice. If you keep walking, you’ll find that your mind is inclined to stay stuck in its mental thought loops and you won’t be paying as much attention to your environment. But if you sit and allow positive boredom to enter the thought processes, you’ll begin to mentally relax and start paying more attention to the insects in the leaves, the birds in the trees, and the small creatures scurrying. You’ll begin to notice markings on the bark that indicate which animals have been eating them, scratching themselves. You’ll start noticing worn paths that animals trace daily.
You will hear many thoughts in your head and think you’re making them up, that you’re reverting to childlike fantasy, that a tree is talking to you, or that a rock is sharing a story, or that the sky is telling you about a coming event. Make note of these quiet whisperings without judgment, and just let it be. Over time you’ll begin to trust not only your own voice, but also nature’s voice. When you let it be, this voice of nature gently but powerfully becomes louder and louder until you couldn’t miss it if you plugged your ears. It is such a wonderful sound.
This experience is an essential part of the equation for mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual balance. It’s one of the essential equations to life itself.