Yesterday at Coles, a man asked if I knew the shops locally; he wanted to know where he could get some earphones. I did my best to direct him, but I’ve only been a local in Noosa for 6 months. There may have been the exact shop he was looking for on the corner, but I may not have known. Feeling slightly inadequate about my lack of local knowledge, afterwards I wanted to add, “but I’ve walked all the paths in the National Park, I can tell you about those!!”
It’s a regular occurrence, my walk through the Noosa National Park. Today I was greeted with the usual beauty and magnificence of nature. The rain from yesterday was still glistening on the trees, dancing in the sunlight of the late morning. It just makes me happy to be walking in the forest. It’s why I moved from Brisbane to Noosa; to be more connected to Nature.
As the birds were chirping their way through the day, I emerged from thicker forest onto the hill where I get my first view of the ocean through Banksia bush. I pondered about the happiness and joy that was arising. Perhaps it’s all the fresh air; the oxygen rich environment that makes my system thrive. Perhaps it’s just simply paying attention, being mindful of my surrounds. Perhaps it’s about the way I pay attention, inclining towards the beauty that is enveloping me. Perhaps it’s because I’m alone, have left my phone and other “connective” devices behind. I feel free to explore and just be. Perhaps it’s all of these things together and more.
What I noticed about my pondering was, that if I looked hard for an answer to find the causes of my happiness and joy, I seemed to lose the connection, lose the immediate experience of happiness, the joy. This phenomena happens also in my meditation practice of inquiry. Trying to find an answer is not the same thing as opening to the question. Stephen Batchelor taught me how to work with a koan in this way.
I am also reminded of one of Ram Dass’ quotes that has stuck with me through an eon of practice. “It cannot be found by seeking, but only seekers will find it”.
So; beginners mind; back to the breath and just paying attention, creating space to experience here and now…. Ah…
There are no words for this…. just breath and being…..
I love this quote from Pierre Teilhard de Chardin –
“We are not born into the world, we emerge from it like a wave,”
He evokes for me, a connection that has never experienced separation. I don’t need to “reconnect” to nature, he reminds me that I am already part of it. All that I need to do pause long enough in my searching for an answer to inquire deeply into my experience directly; to notice nature, and feel it viscerally reflecting my own beauty and radiance from the inside.
Because of many days remembering connection, experiencing happiness, joy and vitality here, I’ve organised a one day walking retreat; a Yatra. It’s on Saturday 1st August. I hope you’ll join me. Learn more about the day here and book here.