– Heartwood Path Waypoint 67 –
Important Considerations At The Trailhead
Here we review some weighty topics: the Ego, Oneness, and Suffering. In preparation for what follows, consider what the man who said “The menu is not the meal,” and “You are the aperture through which the universe is looking at and exploring itself,” has to say about our present topic––“Man suffers only because he takes seriously what the gods made for fun” –– Alan Watts (Goodreads Website).
Consider The Ego
The Ego drives one to excel. But the spoils of the Ego such as the motivation to achieve or the motivation to make one youthfully attractive ought not be regarded as highly as the timeless rewards that are available as one develops spiritually. The spoils of the Ego are tools that can be used for immediate but temporary personal development, but they are not timeless. They will, in time, disappear.
If this is not a day when you prefer to spend time in nature without an agenda, do the following activity:
Natural Systems Reflection Process
For best results, write down your impressions of this activity in your journal using as many of the following components as you see fit, afterwards, share your interpretations with others.
The Heartwood Path Exchange:
Swap Your Ideas, Impressions, Photos, And News With Others
Your input is vital. Enjoy sharing!
Consider Your Own Shame, Good Deeds, And The Ego
HumaNatureConnect Activity: Consider Your Own Shame, Good Deeds And The Ego. With pen and journal in hand, go to an attractive natural area and, in a spirit of appreciation, look around you to find something that is attractive to you. Once you find an aspect of nature that is attractive to you continuously for at least ten seconds, use the optimal functioning you receive along with your continued attraction (which can be thought of as your consent to do this activity with the help of the attractive natural being) look for evidence of any lack of shame in your chosen natural being or its place. Then write down how your Ego makes you ashamed of things you do not know, ashamed for not being able, and ashamed for not being pure. After listing what you are ashamed of, think of the wisdom you would like to achieve, think of the vows you need to make or remake, and consider what you can do to be more compassionate towards all sentient beings. Are there apparent good deeds associated with your chosen natural being or its place? Find a giver and a receiver at your natural location. Do you see any psychological attachments to givers and receivers in Nature? Write down your answer. Make a list of ten planned good deeds. Write down how reacting to your shame by seeking wisdom, making vows, and planning good deeds allows you to counter the negativities of shame that come from your Ego. If you are attracted to take an extra step, write down how nature handles the act of giving and receiving in terms shame; diligence; accommodation; the impermanence of the giver, receiver, and thing given; and non-attachment to results.
A wider identification, the realization of the “Deepest Self,” and a deep ecological consciousness all refer to essentially the same perspective—the one that minimizes boundaries and separateness. I like the term “Deepest Self” because it implies a self with depth. This “Deepest Self”—often referred to as the “Highest Self,” the “Higher Self,” or the “Greater Self”—is not interested only in acquiring things, is not interested in being better than anyone else, and is not interested in defeating others. Acquiring things, out-doing others, and defeating enemies are some of the defining interests of the Ego. The Deepest Self may enjoy possessions, but will never be possessed by them. Make sure it is the Deepest Self and not the Ego that is running your life. You know it is the former when you feel expansive.
It is next to impossible to realize your Deepest Self when you are angry, when you are stressed, when you are not thinking clearly, when your speaking is ineffective or hurtful, and when you are excessively tired. During these times you may feel that your breathing is shall, rapid, tight, or tense. The following activity, adapted from the book Stress Free For Good by Dr. Fred Luskin and Dr. Kenneth R. Pelletier, will help you improve your breathing so that you can lower your stress enough to perhaps realize your Deepest Self.