Friday, May 2, 2014

This is the last in the series; 

Opening the Heart and the Six Pointed Star

We are all one, though not the same. The Ancestors

This is not just a theoretical dissertation on universal spiritual principles, but a practical way to enter the sanctuary of wilderness if one wants to connect with the higher Self of our inner wilderness. By paying attention to some of these concepts we can facilitate our journey on the path and that of our companions as well. The heart chakra, compassion and love are indeed the key to taking the high road in the wild outdoors and although unconditional love is a major hurdle for all but the enlightened, unconditional positive regard for others is more easily achieved. We need to remember that an aspect of the divine exists in each of us. We are all special.
The other techniques we can use to amplify our wilderness journey are as follows: connecting with the cosmos; meditative; dietary; group dynamics; nature and the five senses; shamanic techniques, and awareness of energy systems.
Mental: Relaxation, reflection, contemplation, meditation, breath work, art, writing, poetry
, song
, prayer, guided imagery
Physical: Yoga
, Tai Chi and Chi Gong, 
, hiking, climbing, swimming, massage, body work, Zen-like minimum- impact camping
Connecting with the cosmos: Daily cycles
, celestial events, seasonal changes
, the four elements; earth, water, fire, air.
Dietary: Avoid: Excess sugar, caffeine, alcohol
, red meat. 
Food should be just enough and nutritious. Consider a fasting solo or vision quest.
Group Dynamics: No judgment or lavish praise
, be aware of the shadow, transcend ego - humility, control desirous attachment, egalitarianism
, sense of community
, sharing, truth
, awareness
, love or unconditional positive regard, no duality - all for one, one for all, wilderness ethics (leave no trace.)
Nature and the five senses: Smells, sounds, sites, touch, taste
There are more than five senses and hence to appreciate the sixth and the paranormal we need:
Awareness of: Energy systems: the Chakras and The Tree of Life, the Five Sheaths of Patanjali
, masculine and feminine, sun and moon, ying and yang, light and dark, other polarities
, signs and metaphors
, power animals, archetypes.
Shamanic techniques: Ceremony, rituals, chanting, drumming, sweat lodge,  pain, vision quests.
The power of nature involves the polarity we are able to see at any point during our journey. The balance of opposites is around us continuously: hot/ cold; wet/dry; hard/soft; satiated/hungry; exhausted/rested; terrified/tranquil; windswept/serene; dark/light; lost/found; steep/shallow; high/low. In addition, we could add a range of opposing emotions we might feel as we walk the valleys and mountains; the deserts and jungles. With the meditative effect of wilderness and the help of the group we are able to integrate these facets like masterful mystics and stay in the middle path as ancient traditions have taught us. The wise trail guide balances these to the group's advantage. No one objects to slogging through the heat if camp is made next to a river and the day ends with a swim. The difficulties of a climb are forgotten if one has an awesome vista from the top. We have a different perspective of a grueling day if it ends in an exquisite meal. We can use the psychological effect of this dynamic to get the most out of our journey. Our basic human nature yearns for contrast to differentiate and feel alive, vital and vigorous. This is one reason why it is so easy to be in the present moment in the wild outdoors especially in a fresh, new and exotic place. The joy that results from this experience makes it easy to open the heart and contact the higher Self.

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