Stop Hunting for the Next Sound

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Find the intersection of sustainability and meditation, where spending time in nature can help connect you with your inner wisdom. 

“The truth can be found right here. The Great Spirit is within and that’s the truth.”

Bob Berkebile shared this wisdom at the 2013 Omega Center for Sustainable Living Conference: Where We Go From Here. The teaching comes from one of his most influential teachers, Iroquois Chief Leon Shenandoah, who National Geographic referred to as the “chief of chiefs.”

Shenandoah also told Berkebile, "If you have a question about the environment, about your decision for a project, or about your life and loved ones, ask, but get quiet enough to hear the answer in the truth.”

His teaching sounds a lot like meditation, where we work to quiet our minds and slow down our breath so that we can access inner truths.

Meditation does not have to happen on a mat or in a sanctuary. It might come while looking through a microscope or standing on top of a mountain. Conference speaker Janine Benyus offered another sacred spot for reflection: nature. She calls the following exercise “Eye Sight” and recommends spending about 15-to-20 minutes alone in nature to complete it.

Here are her instructions:

  1. Go outside, sit down, and be very quiet.
  2. After a while, organisms will begin to relax and do their thing. All you have to do is be there. Watch. Look for mutualisms. They’re everywhere. Look for ubiquitous community patterns.
  3. Practice deep observation and listening. We were taught in school to hunt for something. Quiet your human cleverness. Listen. Emulate. Give thanks.
  4. As you sit there, listen without hunting for the next sound. We often do that. We hunt.
  5. Listen without hunting and it will come to you for sure.