Day 5: Widening your awareness to the land around you
Being conscious of the rhythms, pattern in the landscape was a matter of life and death to our ancient ancestors. The scent of deer musk on the breeze could indicate the location of prey or sudden flurry of motion could mark the presence of an approaching predator. When I place my awareness on the wider sensory landscape, noticing the ebb and flow of bird song, the wind in the trees, and kaleidoscope of smells, it helps me feel more part of the natural world.
During the time you’ve been in your spot, it’s entirely likely that the plants around you have been talking about you!
Day 6: Extending to the edges & beyond
Beyond the natural soundscape and man-made noise, there is an all-encompassing and ever-present sound that envelopes the entire globe. Because our attention is naturally drawn to whatever is in the auditory foreground, we largely remain unconscious of it. Behind the bird-song, gusting wind, passing cars or over-flying aircraft, is the sound of infinite natural silence. When I tune my hearing beyond the audible soundscape, focussing on the silent canvas that gives it form, I experience a profound feeling of peace.
The more you listen the more you’ll hear. And if you’re listening really consciously, you might hear natural silence!
Day 7a: Immersing in sensory magic
There is something about letting nature fill our senses that is just fundamentally good for us. Filling our noses with the scent of a beautiful flower, the crunch of autumn leaves beneath our feet or the sound of waves rolling into the shore for example, just make us feel better. Whenever I immerse my senses in nature I feel my breathing and heart rates noticeably slow down.
The importance of the presence of green spaces in our lives is becoming increasingly understood:
Day 7b: Bathing in musical magic
For those who are more auditory than visual, try the exercise below as an alternative.
We may be more indebted to bird song than we know!
Earth is in constant song. As sunlight travels across her surface it is accompanied by a perpetual wave of birdsong. Below is a map of open microphones live streaming sounds around the world. If you click each mic at that right time, you can tune in to the dawn chorus across the world.
Now imagine you are following that dawn chorus around the world. This is what it would sound like.
Day 8: Back to basics
Air is the most vital element in Earth’s unique life support system. Without it we would be dead in seconds, and yet, it is the element of which we are probably most unconscious. On the occasions when I do wake up to the miraculousness of the presence of breathable air, I sometimes find myself laughing out loud at the astronomical improbability of it.
This truly miraculous natural wonder deserves our conscious attention, and in return life can measurably improve.
And if you’d like some wind in your trees...