It is often prescribed for people who feel ungrounded or lost to return to nature. Because it’s pretty? Sure. Because it’s quiet? Ok. To see that there’s more birds in the world than just NYC pigeons? Eh. Because we are organic beings living in a society that devalues any consciousness that does not relate to the production or consumption of material goods, stigmatizing devotion to the reality that we are spiritually and energetically connected to something greater than ourselves? Bingo. Being around the vastness and beauty of nature offers the humbling power of humility. There is no heart consciousness in a devotion to consumerism. It is our responsibility to be mindful to the ecology of our hearts by being devoted to and balanced with our true nature.
First let’s understand something about ourselves. Our brains are divided into two hemispheres. Not just in theory, but literally, our brains are two separate pieces that communicate with each other but perform two very different functions. The right side of our brain sees the present. It sees itself and the world as energy. It sees in pictures and images. It learns kinesthetically, through doing. Everything is beautiful and whole. The left side operates very differently. It is only concerned with the future and the past. It picks out details from this big picture creating the past, and categorizes them in order to project future possibilities. Most significantly, it says “I am”. It sees itself as separate from the whole, creating an individual identity.
While the left hemisphere helps keep us organized and safe, it doesn’t allow us to remain equanimous in our nature, or to be humble city dwellers connected to the source. It leaves us suffering from its attachment to future projections and past relations. In yogic terms these afflictions which keep us bound are called the Kleshas:
Avidya: Ignorance- unwillingness or inability to see the truth due to the lenses we see the world through. Asmita: I-ness- egocentricity, seeing yourself as separate from the whole. Raga: Attraction- desiring only that which brings you immediate pleasure. Holding onto memories and wishing to recreate them. Judging things as desirable or good. Dvesha: Aversion- pushing away anything challenging or difficult or not immediately pleasurable. Judging things as bad or undesirable. & Abhinivesha: Clinging to life & fear of death- being obsessed with your own mortality. Fearful that your death will mean the end of you. This is all you are. All you are here to do is create and consume.
It is the false sense of permanence that our left brains give us and the need to control our futures that bring us suffering. Obviously we need the function of the left brain to help guide us towards decision making, but it is the balance of the left and right hemispheres that removes these afflictions. This mental harmony generates humility. It restores our trust in the grandness of the universe and it’s plans for us, and moves us past the file-o-fax of generated outcomes we have predicted for ourselves that creates fear. It opens us up to trusting that our actions, when performed selflessly, will further us down our intended path with far greater fruits than we can predict on a charted map. Let the fullness of the right hemisphere release your afflictions. Allow the balance of both sides to release deeply calculated expectations. While the hand is a separate body part, it is also part of a whole and must exist to selflessly serve the body. So must your brain.
May this balance bring you all the lessons and gifts waiting for you in your life, and my the humbleness created by that allow you to share all that you have received. Wishing you a most balancing and bountiful fall.