Nature is a unified, organic organism that is well organized.
The more we observe it, for example during our walks in a forest, we begin to perceive how each unique individual detail has a purpose on the grand scale of the whole. Every needle of every pine tree has its place in the ecosystem of a forest.
Somehow in the forest, as in nature in general, it can be seen how the sum of unique individual parts forming a whole that has something more than the sum of its parts. There exists harmonious wholeness along with separate parts. All ultimately working together for a shared purpose, that a philosophical mind could deem as “just living. Being and doing what they are.”
Nature is a fantastic environment for deeper meditation and effortlessly connecting with our deeper nature as living human beings. One of the reasons is the fact how both, individual parts and a harmonious whole are simultaneously (and somewhat even paradoxically) present at the same time. Something that is so often lacking in any man-made environment we spend our days in. The effects of this are by itself healing to our inner lives and minds.
Seeing nature as a community formed by its parts, individual trees, and whatnot, as well as a well-functioning organization of organisms, has a special something to give to anyone in a management or leadership position. Especially to those who are drawn to deeper connectivity and perhaps meditation.
A Simple Guided Meditation – Nature as an Organisation (10-60minutes)
- Choose a location in the nature that somehow you feel drawn to. Preferably a location where there are not man-made structures, traffic, or even other people. It is beneficial to choose a location which has both, green and lush vegetation, as well as a sense of safety for you personally.
- Choose a spot where you can comfortably sit down and remain seated for a while. As effortlessly and relaxed as possible, yet with your spine straight. Close your eyes.
- Allow your attention to move and rest in the sensations of your body. Be mindful of how breath moves your body, and how your body moves the breath. After a while, bring your palms on your lower abdomen and let them rest there for a moment. Feeling this part of your body and let your attention guide your breath to effortlessly move all the way to the bottom of your lungs and expand your abdomen. Let the breath continue like this for a while, as long as you feel comfortable and appropriate. You can also utilize more active exhalation, thus bringing your navel towards your spine with each exhalation. Really pushing the air out. This way the inhalation becomes more passive by itself. Be aware of the body and its needs. Do not use violence or excessive force when breathing.
- Bring your attention to your sense of smell. Have no interest in labeling or otherwise evaluating your sensations. Merely be aware, open, and curious. It matters not “what” you smell. After awhile, let your curious attention shift completely to your sense of hearing. Again, allow yourself to be aware of the totality of what is carried to your ears. No single sound matters so much that it needs to be defined. (Ok. unless it is a roar of a bear or any similar life-threatening sound..;))
- When the time is right, let your attention relax into your body again. Allow it rest there, as it is possible for you at this very moment. This time, be aware of the seamless experience of your physical body together with your inner sensations.
- Open your eyes. Let your attention together with your vision to move freely in your surroundings. Bring the same approach here, not to focus on naming or evaluating anything you see. Become aware of the whole of your surroundings while your eyes constantly focus on new unique and even surprising visual perceptions.
- Understand that the whole is larger than its parts. The whole is not the sum of its parts, but a field that comes into being through the sum of its parts being connected together in a harmonious way. This is like the welcoming and safe atmosphere, a subtle sense of community, that can take place among people as well. In an organization or otherwise.
- Become more aware of the details present in your surroundings. Bring slightly more focus to your vision and attention. Allow it to become slightly more fixed to any individual parts you may see. A needle, ants, leaves moved by the wind, soon-to-be blooming plants, the play of sunlight on the different shades of green present.
- Consciously appreciate every detail you perceive. You can understand that every detail is an important part of the whole. It has meaning and value, inherent in itself and through its purpose. Have the feeling of appreciation or gratitude awaken in you towards every detail you see. You may also say “thank you”, or “thank you for being part of this”, or something similar in your mind and direct it to that particular detail you see. After thanking it, allow your vision to move to another detail and repeat. Similar to what any leader could, and perhaps should see and do to individuals forming an organization. Continue this as long as you like, but not less than it takes for the appreciation to become a genuine feeling within you.
- Finally, realize that you are as much part of the whole that you have been perceiving and appreciating. While sitting in the nature, you are just as much of an integral part of the nature as the needles, cones, and animals are. Forming the whole together with them. Just like a leader in any organization – a unique individual with inherent value, a specific task and purpose, and an integral part of the whole. Not in an ivory tower, distant and separate from the rest. Touching the ground, yet capable of perceiving the big picture. The whole.
- Now become aware of yourself as a whole. Extend the appreciation and gratitude that comes through the recognition of your value and importance in the whole to yourself as well. Be grateful. You too are important, meaningful, and valuable.
- When you finally stand up again and start walking away from the natural location you chose, let the feeling that has taken place to remain with you. Remain aware of your body and inner sensations throughout the day.