Nature [is] the best book of all!
- Edgar Cayce reading 903-6
For the month of August, our Enlightenment Series focuses on Communing with Nature with the overarching theme of how this contributes to our body, mind, and soul. That might seem like a lot to ask, but I believe Nature is up to the challenge!
First let me start with some of my favorite Cayce quotes about nature.
Know this in self; that ye may never be so worldly wise that ye may not learn something from the viewing of a sunset, listening to a strain of music, the laughter of children, the song of the bird, the babbling of the brook...
-- Edgar Cayce reading 2869-1
The song of the bird, the beauty of the rose, the buzz of the bee, the activities of those things that give forth in themselves the expressions of the joy of just using--for the time being--a portion of God in their activity. Would that all men everywhere could gain but that consciousness in life and life's experience...
-- Edgar Cayce reading 410-2
And in this next one, Cayce said, “… whether it is mineral, vegetable or animal, these are spiritualized in that ability of using, doing, being all that the Creator had given them to do.” (281-54)
What the Creator gave them to do... The kingdoms of the earth understand their role and accept it. They are authored by and at-One with the Creative Forces. They are living in the flow.
It’s worth asking ourselves, what might we learn from the natural world about being at-One with the will of the Creative Forces?
Cayce was also very specific about the health benefits of spending time in the outdoors, such as in this reading:
The best way to keep yourself young… [is] to stay close to nature, close to those activities in every form of exercise that breathes in the deep ozone and the beauty of nature. For you may breathe it into thine own soul, as you would a sunset or a morning sun rising.
- Edgar Cayce reading 3374-1
Cayce may have been ahead of his time as studies today show how the readings’ recommendations have been proven to be healthful.
In Japan, the practice of spending prolonged periods of time with trees is called “forest bathing” or shinrin-yoku. This practice has been shown to provide a positive impact on people's health through numerous scientific studies—many of which are highlighted in the book Forest Bathing by Dr. Qing Li. Those studies concluded that forest bathing reduces stress, anxiety, depression, and anger; increases energy; improves sleep; and boosts overall health!
Dr. Li says, “The forest is like our mother, a sacred place, a gift to us humans from the divine. It is a paradise of healing. Mother Nature fills us with wonder and curiosity and invites us in … She works in harmony with us… The art of forest-bathing is the art of connecting with nature through our senses.”
He goes on to suggest that the key to unlocking the power of the forest is in using our senses. He says, “Let nature enter through your ears, eyes, nose, mouth, hands, and feet.”
Even if you can’t get to a forest, you can still engage your senses with nature. Here are nine ways you can bring nature to you:
Nine Ways to Bring Nature to You
- Maintain a birdbath (birds need water for drinking and preening!).
- Add plants that feed birds, attract butterflies, and attract bees.
- Build a bird house and/or a bat house (hardware stores can help outfit you with the right materials).
- Go camping—even if it’s in your own backyard! (Of course, I recommend our very own A.R.E. Camp—the perfect place for communing with nature and embracing the Cayce lifestyle!)
- Nature isn’t just found on the ground, look up! Be a cloud-spotter, a star-gazer, and a bird-watcher!
- Plant a garden. (And you’ll have the added benefit of locally grown, organic, and fresh vegetables—just as Cayce recommends!)
- Skip driving if you’re close enough to walk! Cayce recommended “…a good brisk walk morning and evening, even though it is only for a short distance; and in the open when practical.” (816-13)
- Get to know a tree! Cayce suggested we could even communicate with a tree if we would spend 20 minutes with one of our choosing, every day, for 20 days!
- Bring the outdoors in with house plants, rocks, water features, terrariums, flowers, and more!
How to Meditate Upon a Tree
Perhaps you are limited in access to the great outdoors, are experiencing bad weather, or live in a city with not too many outdoor options. Here’s an exercise that you can try from inside your home by connecting to nature through meditation.
In your mind’s eye, envision a tree and hold its image during your 15- to 20-minute meditation:
- Find time, space, and silence and sit in active patience.
- Think upon your tree. Listen to your tree. If your mind wanders to everyday life, try the following:
a. Imagine your spiritual essence in the roots of a tree.
b. Imagine your spiritual essence enmeshed in the tree’s trunk.
c. Imagine your spiritual essence rising within the branches of the tree to the very top of the tree.
- Think on this:
a. What do you see?
b. What do you feel?
c. What do you sense?
Great wisdom can be imparted to us through the divine presence found in nature if we will but listen.
There are several readings that reiterate the oneness of all creation:
In ALL NATURE the Spirit of Creation is EMANATING!
- Edgar Cayce reading 345-2
The source of all life, and life in every form...is of one source, God.
- Edgar Cayce reading 4047-2
For Life as it manifests, whether in the grass, the rose, the tree, the dog, the cat, the bird, the animal, IS a manifestation of that ye worship as God.
- Edgar Cayce reading 1367-1
One reading even instructed us exactly with:
Hence the beauties of outdoor, the harmonies of the actions in nature, are ever … as lessons for life's own experience.
-- Edgar Cayce reading 69-1
I’d like to end with this note created by Gladys Davis Turner in the readings report section of reading 3374-1. In 1971, Gladys’ added a poem to the file along with a note that read, “Today a student in Shane Miller's A.R.E. Bible Class in N.Y. gave me the following GOD'S prayer TO MAN, written by Shane Miller, which I think is pertinent…”:
GOD'S Prayer TO MAN
Hear this, my children -
Certainly I am aware of your sufferings in the earth. I hear of little else these days.
But can you honestly say that I left you there without a star to steer by, or left you ignorant of the Law? If I had not allowed you to do as you wished, wouldn't you have said that I was spoiling your fun? So I gave you free will. No one can walk off a cliff or a tall building without expectation of the consequences. Gravity is one of My Laws, too, you know, just like all the others -
What I really want to know is, O man, have you noticed any of my sunsets lately? Have you thought about the delicate balancing of forces that go to create a flower? What about the tears in the eyes of a beautiful woman or a baby's smile? Whole symphonies are composed and performed by the seas in their movements. Have you stopped to listen? Why not? I made it all for you -
This blog is part of our 2019 Enlightenment Series. Members can access all of the available material, which includes an online video and downloadable monthly lesson, in the Member-only section of our website at EdgarCayce.org/members. Not a member? Join now.