Poets and mystics down the ages have recognised the healing power of nature.
How ironic then that now, just as this ancient wisdom is being acknowledged by scientists, we find ourselves in an increasingly ‘denatured’ environment suffering from what one author has called ‘Vitamin N deficiency’.
And this has happened so very recently in the history of humanity. Did you know that the first ‘synthetic chemicals’ were created in the late 1800s, as industrialisation gathered pace? And that the word ‘artificial’ only emerged in the 1930s – that’s less than 100 years ago – to describe these substances.
Now, increasingly, every corner of the living world is tainted with these artificial chemicals. Even human breast milk has been found to contain glyphosate.
And worse still, we now we see synthetic biology emerging which, along with chemistry, will no doubt lead to unforeseen and unwanted consequences.
It is in this context that we have decided to focus our work here at here at North Farm on what we are calling the ‘Loving Nature Retreat Space’.
The phrase ‘Loving Nature’ has two meanings for us.
First, it is about expressing and experiencing our passionate love for the natural world and all that lives in it, a passion that we love to share with kindred spirits; and
Second, it is about honouring the deeply loving nature that so many people have and that perhaps the Dalai Lama had in mind when he said ‘my religion is kindness’.
In our experience, what makes it possible to fully appreciate these two dimensions of loving nature is ‘slowing down’ and tuning in to the rhythms of nature and our own higher nature of loving kindness.