Nature Centered Spirituality
Within Nature Centered Spirituality one accepts that everything is alive, conscious and interconnected. The stones, trees, clouds, land , animals, stars etc. are living conscious beings, at once individuals and part of an infinite whole. That which some call God is usually seen as an all encompassing, inclusive Life Force , Intelligence, Will, Spirit, Force, or Source which is manifest and inseparable from anything else .
Nature Spirituality necessitates respect for the natural rhythms of the Earth and the Cosmos. One participates in a conscious dialog between nature and the self. Nature, including humanity ,animals, organic and non organic physical matter as well as non physical entities and energies is seen as living expressions and or literal embodiment of the Sacred, essential truth, wisdom, and power. Nature is seen as, experienced, and known to be sacred.
The Nature centered spiritual path is not based on the teachings of an organized church. The cultural manifestations of this spirituality are developed from the mutual collective experiences of our participation in communication with all the aspects of the whole. Personal faith is formed from the individual experience of communion with nature and the cosmos. Nature centered spirituality can be found in branches of most organized religions and does not have an inherant conflict with the basic tenets of most faiths.
Nature Spirituality: honors the interconnectedness of life not only on Earth, but throughout the Universe/Cosmos. This is more encompassing than Earth centered Spirituality which honors the spiritual interconnectedness of life on planet Earth .
There are many different forms of Nature based spirituality. Shaman Paths, many of the Pagan paths, Animism , Pantheism, Druids , Wicca and many forms of what is often dismissed as "primitive" religion can fit into this category to various degrees.
As an Animist everything in Nature is seen as having an indwelling spirit/soul, including the plants, rocks, waters, winds, fires, animals, humans, and other life forms. Animism is considered the earliest form of human religion on planet Earth. and is at the heart of shamanism.
Shamanism comprises many animistic spiritual healing practices often involving ecstatic trance and spirit world journeys. Many Forms of shamanism are rooted in specific indigenous tribal peoples cultures, there are also contemporary forms that integrate old and new spirit wisdom from more than one culture.
Several terms you may encounter associated with Nature spirituality include Pantheism in which the Divine is in everything and everything has a Divine aspect. Panentheism includes a transcendent component conceptualized as the Sacred Whole. Polytheism which honors Divinity in two or more forms. belief in and or worship of multiple aspects of a particular deity of Goddess and God; or of many Goddesses, Gods, Nature Spirits, and/or other Divine forms. Some, but not all, polytheistic religions acknowledge an all encompassing Divine entity or force.
In the practice of Nature based spirituality we seek to participate in our life and existence and the totality of all life and experience as spiritual practice. We are inside and part of a whole, seeking harmony, balance and unity toward the highest manifestation of spiritual realization.
Peggy Jentoft ~
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