Connecting with nature
I was at a Chi Gung seminar on Crete last week. We were in a really beautiful wild part of south west Crete. Mostly we practiced in the olive grove just across the road from the hotel, but for a few of the days it was too windy, so we practiced in a big room inside which had a lovely sea view.
On one of the days when we were inside, after practicing a particular exercise for a while, we were asked to go outside and not talk to anyone or make eye contact with anyone and to look at something without any filters, just to see it for what it was, without caring how it related to us.
I went out the the terrace and looked at the hill across from the hotel. The olive grove we used to practice in was at the bottom of this hill. Then it rose upwards, with the sea on it’s left and a bigger mountain on it’s right. The hill was covered with olive trees and I noticed for the first time that the olive trees were growing all over the hill, even all the way up to the top, where it was very rocky. I hadn’t realised this before, even though I’d been looking at it for days. The branches of the olives trees were blowing in the wind and they looked so wild and free, yet sturdy and rooted at the same time.
I said to the hill (meaning the hill and the rocks and the soil and the trees), ‘you’re beautiful’, the minute I said this, my *Tantien started to fill up and expand. Then I said ‘I love you’ to the hill and my Tantien started to react even more so.
It seemed to me that the hill had heard me, and it was giving me the response or acknowledgement that it had heard me in my Tantien, or I was receiving it’s response in that way.
Then I went around to the other side of the terrace and really looked at the mountain that was to the right of the hill. It rose up quite steeply from the hotel car park. The olive trees didn’t grow all the way up, and the rest of the mountain was covered with small clumpy bushes of some kind. I could hear the bells of some goats or sheep, but I couldn’t see them. The mountain looked so serene and beautiful, yet stately and self contained and a little bit mysterious. I said ‘you’re beautiful’ to the mountain and I got the same reaction in my Tantien as I had with the hill. Then I said ‘I love you’ and I got an even bigger reaction, like I had with the hill. (The mountain is more to the right in the photo below. This photo shows more the road between the hill and the mountain.)
My experience gave me a strong sense of connection to the elements of nature around me, and instead of thinking of the hill as an ‘it’ or the mountain as an ‘it’, I thought of them as live beings. I felt they were teeming and pulsating with life and energy.
One of the three main Taoist Texts was written by Chuang Tzu. He thought it was of great importance that man should reestablish his connection with nature.
Your Tantien or Lower Taniten is what anchors you to life. It is the balancing point between Yin and Yang, substantial and insubstantial, thought and form.
I felt the hill and the mountain enjoyed being appreciated and that they were there, ever ready, waiting to respond and connect directly to people who noticed them as living beings and wanted to connect with them.
*Our Tantien is our main energy centre situated in our abdomen.
If you’d like me to send you 5 Posture Tips To Enhance Your Chi Flow Riding, please click here