All spiritual traditions draw wisdom from Nature because Nature is the original teacher.
Buddha, Mohammed, Jesus, John Muir, and other mystics all wandered in the wilderness to get closer to Spirit— to talk with God, whatever that was for them.
When I step into Nature I enter a holy house —like a zendo, mosque, church or temple.
People sometimes do things when they enter such buildings: make the sign of the cross, remove shoes or bow.
To acknowledge my entrance into Nature I do something I learned from a powerful teacher, Steven K Harper. I encourage you to try this the next time you find yourself at the threshold of the Wild World.
I stop at the threshold and stand solidly on the Earth.
I breathe deeply and slowly.
I bring awareness to my feet. I imagine roots growing out of them into the ground. I bend my knees slightly and feel the Earth below.
I bring my hands apart and then clap them once together. This initial clap announces my presence and my intention. The clap says, "Hello Nature. I am here—to connect—to listen—to be one with your sacred body."
I bring my hands apart and clap them together again. This second clap reminds me, "I am here to connect. I intend to be mindfully present in this natural area. My senses are awake. I am open."
Lastly, I bow— to the immensely powerful, life-giving, numinous, ever generous Earth. I humble myself before her.
Then I step across the threshold, into Sacred Nature.
I walk quietly. I move slowly...
I look around.
Taking time to acknowledge the threshold with this simple ritual adds significance and potency to my time in Nature. When I "bow in" like this I pay attention differently.