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Teaching Hut

Village Gate


by Kapua Gregory

Somewhere, tucked away in some special corner of your mind, is a scene of incredible beauty, a moment when you experienced nature at her finest. Call that memory up and look at it now...what was it about the moment that so captivated you? Was it that perfect shade of blue in the sky? Or the sparkles of golden sunlight on clear water? Was it the sound of wind murmuring in the trees? Or the deep earthy fragrance of pine needles crunched underfoot? Was it being surrounded by birdsong at dawn? Or the softness of sand between your toes on a secluded shore? Was it the smokey fragrance of a wood fire? Or the scent of jasmine carried on an evening breeze? Perhaps it was that sunset when the whole sky filled with golden light for a few brief moments. Or the night you saw the full moon rising, huge, a deep orange, hanging just above the horizon, seeming so close you could reach out and touch it. Or maybe it was the endless horizon seen from a mountaintop that captured your gaze and made time seem to stand still. Do you remember how you felt?...the peacefulness...the sense of wonder? Tucked away with this picture you have kept in your mind is a quiet knowing, from somewhere deep inside, that these things are important, that they somehow touch you in ways you cannot describe, that they feed your soul, that this is how life on earth is supposed to be.

The poets and the artists gather these moments, reminding us of their beauty. And in this modern age there are others who write of nature as well--the scientists, the environmentalists, the ecologists. They write to warn us of what we are doing to Nature, of the consequences of our habits and lifestyles in the industrialized, hi-tech society in which we are enmeshed. They tell us it is time for us to begin to take some action on nature's behalf.

A little voice inside reminds us, occasionally,"It's up to us," --we who have known nature's beauty, who have been touched by wonder. It's up to us to see that Nature thrives on this planet that we share, knowing even as we do so that our own survival depends on this as well. The voices inside argue. "I'm too busy," says one. "I'm only one person," says another, "What difference could I make?" Yet another protests, "I don't know what to do." And yet one more voice speaks from within, "If I don't do my share, who will do it for me?" And if we listen even more carefully, we hear the voice of Gaea whisper in our hearts, "Now I need your help." We know that there are ways to start...recycling, re-using, re-thinking some of our purchases, devising more energy-efficient ways to live, teaching others, taking political action, boycotting serious polluters, and so on. You know all this.

I would like to discuss another approach, not as a substitute, for all those things are vitally important, but as another way of acting, also important. Mother Earth needs someone to envision the positive. Someone must create the images of how we can live in harmony with Nature. What will it be like, when we humans are not polluting and destroying, not overburdening the earth with excess population, not wildly wasting resources? What will it be like to be connected to nature, in touch with her, in cooperation with her, instead of dominating or fighting? Someone must create the visions, giving us something to work toward, giving us a focus point toward which to direct our positive energy. And the more of us there are creating these visions and sharing them, the faster the healing of the earth is likely to occur.

The horror stories of scientists and environmental studies have to be told, it seems, to wake us up, to startle us out of apathy. But there is the danger, if that is all we hear, of thinking that it's all too late, that it doesn't matter any more. Well, "it ain't over 'till it's over." And we and the earth are still there, so it's not over. So perhaps its time for us to work on creating that vision.

We're being told from so many different sources these days that what we think, what we believe, affects the world. It's in the words of ancient prophets and modern religions, in new age mysteries and quantum physics. What we believe influences the choices we make and the actions we take, both conscious and unconscious. It influences our interactions with other people and our interaction with nature. It influences the energy we project and what we receive. Fortunately, our minds and our belief systems don't come to us permanently pre-programmed. Though we are strongly influenced by our culture, and by other ideas presented to us from many sources, we ultimately choose what we believe.

Those of us who are Shamans as well as nature lovers know how important this is. The first prinicple, IKE, tells us "The world is what you think it is." Are we "thinking up" a world that is destroyed and hopeless, or are we "thinking up" a world of beauty where we feel Nature's presence? MAKIA, "Energy flows where attention goes"--is our attention on the terrible state we have created, wallowing in hopelessness? Or is our attention on the state of balance and harmony which we are now creating, bit by bit, moment by moment? Just think, with a little focus, what we can do!

So I am suggesting to you:
Choose to believe that man and nature can live in harmony.
Choose to create a picture in your mind of us doing that.
Choose to hold that image in your mind, and work toward it.
Visualize it. Meditate on it.
Deep within yourself, know that we are creating it.
Become an Envisioner for the Earth.

And one more thing. Go out there...visit Nature, be with Gaea, touch the earth, tell her you love her, listen to her, open your heart to her, share your energy with her, let her know you will help, and see whether she suggests anything to you. She will renew you, and encourage you, and give you inspiration. For the earth's sake, and for our own, those times spent with nature are precious, valuable and necessary. Besides...that's when you receive her wonderful gift, those magical moments to tuck away into your memory.

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