It is lunchtime. But it can be anytime. Somewhere a quiet corner is waiting to be found. It was quiet there yesterday. In this quiet corner is conjured from the imagination a forest world of magnetic insects, running streams, forest fantasias, winds tolling leaves until they talk, the restless undergrowth, birds; the forest fragrance, the feel of damp on naked skin. In a quiet half hour away from city and country work, how can one imagine the forest’s distant din? If one can safely annihilate the moment and call for nature, its forests which mimic the disorientated self, then one can be what the forest is for a short while. In this half hour perhaps an electronic device could be used to augment the imagination. This might be the earth-heaven firmament a quiet time needs. Outside one’s eye which sees the universe’s art, what else is there? Here is a chance for nature to seed one’s daily life, the lunch-timer imagining it, and through it joust with life’s associated pressures.
In this half hour the spirit of childhood returns. Here is wonder without judgment, interpretation, background knowledge, analysis; just a simple awe when immersed in beautiful surrounds. Here one tries to transcend ordinary life and join with nature in a simple childlike way, and sit for the half hour under the sky, trying to capture the feeling which silence feeds. Having got away from urban din and stresses, from drought and stresses, the worker, the farmer, are human again, and they wait, and they are calm, and the half hour feels kind of enchanting. They see something in nature that is their nature, the driver of work and progress, but it is flux and with hidden processes akin to the forest, by day and by night. When one does this, one does all, and for this short time it is right.
Malifluent noise interferes with natural sounds. To temporarily get away from it one needs to find a space in the imagined forest to find rest in, for the mind to become still. When one has got away from the disquiet, the distractions, and struggles there comes a wish for the forest to expand, and bring with it new energies.
When quiet fills this time, the forest will engage, but in a different way to when the forest might test one’s endurance. Instead one becomes as though a trill in the music of the forest, and as such joins in the melody, and absorbing the forest’s ecology, an act as vital as eating and sleeping. This half hour away from family, friends, daily routines, work and play brings in nature to disorientate one’s comfortable patterns.
One might feel youthful, and vital and fully engaged in this way of life. But inside, during this half hour, one packages this identity and hands it over to nature. In these moments, by returning to it, the source of its presence is revisited. A natural essence is transformed and nature abides in it. There is nothing to ask of it, except to act in its stirring; to create an interior and make it a part of a normal life.
One can live consciously, seeking only the essentials, and to grow from them, and say this is living, and when reflecting on life in old age, a life that has been well lived. By being in nature this is the way to prepare for death. Outwardly one can appear to conform and wear contemporary fashion, listen to trending music, watch TV programmes one’s family and friends might talk about. In designer clothes hanker for takeaways. Walk the streets navigating by I-phone. It is in between, in the empty and silent spaces, in safe solitude when one reconnects with nature.
The beginning of a peace is where the pleasures of nature are indeed felt. But these pleasures depend upon one’s feeling for nature. No individual is the same. Nature is anything one wishes it to be. And a kind and sweeter life, to be in humour, without necessarily walking the paths of others, consists of a special yielding to the wonders of nature. This is a possible ideal.
By yielding to nature’s ways one can calmly engage with the seasons as they pass. The forest’s air can be turbulent. Shelter will be necessary. The senses are extended; nature’s offerings are absorbed and ingested. There is a half an hour available today and tomorrow and thereafter for imagining this. One need only make small times to allow in natural surrounds. There are forests and horizons which have been long serviced by nature.
For this half hour one is wild like nature can be. Nature is mysterious and uncontrollable; it is ambient and benevolent; it is impossible to understand since one struggles to understand oneself. It would be a great gift to simply allow it. Let things be as they are to be, even if it were painful, and abandon oneself to the uncertainty of order.
How can one bring into the self, the inspiration around, the forest’s nature? And where can it dwell? In veins, in muscles, in imperfections? As there is an end, when time for thinking ends, there is nowhere in the body it cannot be imagined to dwell. And from the effort of absorbing it, the insides become clean and toxic free, regularly ingesting nutrition, then voiding and staying healthy. And guilty pleasures and weaknesses have their place; one is quiet over fear; empty of affectations, anxieties, self doubt; and peaceable enough to stave off boredom and wishful dreaming.
In this quiet half hour an inward joy tickles the mind. In this stressful life there is room for imagining forest fragrances, forest textures. And the fragrances and textures are deemed essence, a little immortal, if one wishes. To an imagined end nature, and its forest, is seated in the body, the heart kept peaceable astride disquiet, troubles, complexities. One need only come into it, and make an abode with it at lunchtime. Nature is the centre of habitation, and is indeed habitation itself. Therefore, to the end of this half hour nature rests on the seat of individuality, and with the help of nature one temporarily clears guilt and stress; is quiet from fears and anxieties; and settled in family and relationships.
One keeps the heart at peace which keeps pure this individual temple of nature; and with a right and pure intention for work, rest, and play, and suffering also, without being in the least stressed, it pleases the self when it activates within. For the good of the body, and for health, there is a natural constancy present, cheering up the mood despite what baggage may cause stress to the mind. One enters these troubles, that one might overcome them, for within is an individual fortress, grown from one’s knowing, which defends, protects, and fights. Retreat to nature within during this half hour and all will be quite secure, peaceable, and calm.
In this half hour one need not feel discouraged when feeling faint-hearted; nature, and its forest, is there to make quiet, and stir energy within; because it is alone with one, to rest in one’s body, and form a rich vestibule for inner peace; that within one’s own heart, by means of internal recollection, one looks for silence to fend away tumult, solitude in company, light in darkness, forgetfulness in pressures, vigour over despondency, courage over fear, resistance to temptation, calm over anger, and quiet in tribulation.
One ought to persist, and not draw back, when expansion and engagement with the forest is the goal. Some short, great happiness comes, when the mind appeals like a humble supplicant before nature, as a vulnerable child who snuggles into the sweet and safe bosom of its caring mother. The imagination must expose the tricks of supernatural belief, and the melancholy it brings, since the porous mind is easily disturbed by this, wrapped up in speculation, reflecting on itself and of all the wrongs surrounding it.
What nature might intend, in an extraordinary manner imagined, is to guide the mind into the mysterious schools of the wonderful and dynamic intents of nature’s stimulus. What should concern the open mind most, is patience, and to observe one’s surroundings, and by contemplating nature one can better connect with nature’s many lovers.
When walking with nature one is safe in its hold, temporarily lifting the being which is slowly dying in itself, exposed to social artifices sucking the life from it. The walker trusts that nature intends to encourage by example how one can live well in it. One who is alienated must need some direction; and how badly is time employed when the mind is deadened, or numb from noise, and in the absence of nature, resigned to the influence of clutter and distractions. The senses are most capable of receiving nature’s blessings: to feel happiness at times and wise, but one must have patience, and be confident while walking further on. It is good to hold oneself in peace, and to let oneself be guided by the hand of natural occurrence, rather than controlling it. And though it might seem that little is going on, and disquiet is subliminal, making one restless, yet in this quiet half hour at lunchtime unknown pleasures ripen when walking with nature.
One takes care to not hesitate nor withdraw wonder in this free time, even if the way of growth might become blocked by distractions, otherwise the way of discoursing with nature may be lost. Living sometimes requires that one suffers and is unhappy, but apparent in the presence of an imagined forest is perseverance, and trust in oneself, the true one, and with a little help from family and friends, a certain faith, true light, and natural grace is forthcoming. Walk as if one went about blindfolded, weakened and left to thinking and feeling; and animated by the mind, there grows one’s knowledge of how to live a full life.
Nature can help lift the veil of alienation, and if one doesn’t understand what nature is doing within, something imperceptible and magical is working; and there are future rewards for the experiences from living many emotions encouraged by it. The canny investor sows in one time, and reaps in another: so nature will help one to resist self delusion, instead comes an understanding of the most effective reasons to live well.
The goal of the seduction of materialism is to inspire consumers to do nothing but spend, and waste time with it, and neglect the free offerings of nature. From the healthy mind there extends a need to imagine nature, and its forest, and loathe useless things. Reflections on one’s consumer failings is learning about basic values again; whereby consumer necessaries might esteem nature, and a love of freedom, and with a firm resolution not to misinterpret the value of goods and chattels.
Thought brings forth questions, when one sees oneself shrouded in darkness and isolation, because these are instruments to heighten vulnerability. What is the goal of every extremist for instance? Darkness is misery and yet it can demonstrate happiness. This darkness arises from righteous brooding which stupidly leads the dark mind to a cliff over which any positive self regard is thrown, along with its victims. But there are many others who live with sad feelings, but who ground them for the potential to grow anew: out of darkness comes positive actions, because melancholic feelings enlighten and fortify, and cause greater understanding within.
One must try not to perpetually grieve, nor be angry from seeing oneself as a tragic, or judge oneself a failure, the light of good experiences having then dimmed. Rather one ought to, in a quiet half hour, persevere with the idea of the forest, it being a manifest sign that its nature is an inward path leading to a happier way of living in modernity. And to do it when one remains vulnerable through stress; in its total presence one is living acutely attentive to what matters most. And while desiring to know just enough, searching less for exotica and distractions, one is doing natural good and taking pleasure in doing it.
That the mind may attain internal peace through nature shows how it is attuned to one’s own needs and less of others, for it finds the individual and brings forth certain positive attitudes. As soon as one firmly resolves to negate external influences, one may advance towards one’s unique union with nature, and minimise distracting material inclinations, unwelcome desires, self love and pride, and other nihilisms.
Nature, and the forest’s ecology give greater rewards by means of sounds and movement, decay and growth, if one pays close attention to its works. All one need do is to choose to imagine oneself as a useful and connected creature living in a great forest. Nature will then guide one to suspend one’s fear of dangers and to get on with living. Being still is the means by which one’s mind is capable of borrowing from natural influences, which exposes internal and external tensions to their better management.
Urban gardeners place equal esteem upon the plants which they sow in their backyard as upon those which grow in the wild, because all have the potential to arrive at a seasonable maturity. In the same manner urban and rural dwellers esteem the virtues of living which they sow into their minds, nurtured by their own reflecting, calm and quietly retreated within the mind’s centre, and with little disquiet. In this state might the mind act like a blank slate, wherein a little of nature’s influence may imprint behaviour to one’s liking and in mindfulness of others.
How great would it be for one’s mind to spend hours at one with nature and its forest, humble without acting, knowing, or desiring to understand anything about it! With new efforts one might exercise oneself, contrary to being competitive, consenting to receive nature’s secrets, to be polished and purified by them, whereby one might become cleaner and minimise ignorance and alienation. However one need be mindful of sorrows, of internal and external sufferings, whose torment might pierce the most inward parts of body and mind which can eventuate into inertia and illness.
What is necessary for clearing the mind, and making it known to its turmoil, is to sensibly understand the passions and discordant appetites the mind sparks within the brain, actioning the body to go on a variety of journeys. The natural mind shouldn’t be quelled when it is assaulted by the human and natural world. Admirable is the one who endures troubles and disabilities associated with sickness and aging. One’s personality can show baseness, pride, and ambition, and be so full of itself and its own judgment and opinions, that when the unexpected happens, and all else unravels, and with the remedy of stillness lacking, it means there is nothing natural to deal with their consequences, instead relying upon artificial remedies such as drugs and alcohol.
The healthy mind exposes one’s troubles and impulsive inclinations, forcing compassion to well spring from the heart through which the bearer heals for awhile. Imbalanced and melancholy troubles naturally get their grip and one can become lost and alone. And these feelings are not helped if assaults against self empowerment made by judgement, political correctness and evangelized beliefs, then lead to feelings of impatience, anxiety, rage, despair, inertia, and other difficulties, and inner peace is lost where nature shows it.
Contempt for others is like parading through slums in Cardinal wear, bearing the strains of vanity, conceitedness, and supernatural-love; displaying which is falsely superior to nature. It is necessary that this way be cleansed with wind and swamp, to make oneself a better person, though realistically never perfect, think of the heretic de Molinos, but agreeable to the sense of oneself, who knows one’s limitations. There is the chance, by nature’s example, of the mind cleansing itself, and polishing off a little of the roughness of pride, avarice, vanity, ambition, presumption, and self-conceit.
To gain internal peace a good and unpredictable nature humbles and challenges the self; since one’s mind develops an inner knowledge, measuring itself against the lowest common denominator, the most impious, and which remains up standing, different. How happy would people be if they, in their quiet half an hour, learn that their daily challenges are beset by the unexpected, buddied with the unpredictable, and that these can be managed with quiet acceptance! Chaos is indeed organized enough to suit every individual.
One might think of a unity with nature with reverence, humility, and awe, beholding the experience within the recesses of the mind, without form, likeness, manner, or figure. And to bring in all the senses, trusting oneself with the confidence of a pedestrian or paddock walker, and temporarily minding nothing of surrounding modern life.
One can resign oneself with vigour, endurance, and persevere in nature’s presence. Nature has no regard to the confusion of words, but to inspire a human need for clear discourse and conversation. How much happier and well-applied would one be if, by retreating within oneself and simultaneously imagining the forest, and having no words to describe the experience and yet know the experience is being shared. Nature is both in its centre and superior part, without minding what it does, whether it recollects or not, whether its horizon’s are narrow or wide. One is less likely to be manipulated by outside distractions, premonitions, dreams, or an awareness of the supernatural when vivid nature is present.
Within that moment the intellect works like art, and the will loves with good love, without impediment, imitating that pure and continued act of intuition and love for another person nearby. That the mind, without any active advantage, even of itself, might give itself in tranquillity, let it be silent and do nothing, forget itself and plunge into a palliative state of aloneness. How secure and safe it is being inactive and doing nothing, even if the experience was brief, if it is proved worthwhile by a satisfied mood, by feeling content.
How the mind, in the presence of nature, with perfect composure, by the pure act of stillness, works well in virtual and real contemplation. By a perfect situation one is in the presence of it by means of an intense connection, self improvement being worked on because of these interactions. It is after imagining nature and its forest one learns to be regularly fixed upon it. A quiet half hour is more certain to be the half hour of happiness.
Although the imagination may scramble over an infinite number of things, one tries not to shift from that resting place, not intermit with foreign surrounds, nor change the first intention of being with nature, in spirit and in truth, for one enters this state with the spirit and intention of staying, though it is inevitable afterwards that thoughts will again wander over into the needs of daily life.
The inward mind, resolved to think that nature is all of it, and that it will not desire, nor act anything but through it, ought to become used to the intentions of nature’s works, and form better ideas of living with everyday complexities. This true animation serves the times of reflection, by night and by day, at all hours, and in all the daily functions of one’s calling, duty, and situation. If in many times if nature is forgotten during the day, there will always be opportunities to renew the relationship, and another quiet half hour is created. And though there will always be diversions from the experience of nature by the occupations and needs of daily life, something of them will not be corrupted even if others are. Occupations are not contrary to nature, nor contrary to one’s abilities, it being certain that it has one doing these things, and done pleasurably, along with pains, and so on. So that to perform these exercises, which conform to one’s will and decisions, there’ll be no departing from nature, until the cycle of life comes to an end. And if in thought, or out of it, and if one is diverted or distracted, to be transported into any passion, then it is good to know that nature is nonetheless present.
There will always be new answers to replace old answers to the same questions. But in this quiet lunchtime there were none.