So called civilized culture today is so busy doing, doing, doing, in many cases a giant heap of doo-doo is being created.
Americans are so busy doing, they have no time for relationships, for people, for peace and reflection. In a time some have called the communication era where others can be reached in ways never before possible, an entire population is left staring at screens, feeling empty, and utterly void of any substance.
A rural lifestyle can help greatly to alleviate this problem. Folks who care for the land, plants and animals under their stewardship often share a closer relationship not only with the natural world surrounding them, but with the people who are at their side.
Rural people often find it easier to enjoy what most of our culture is starving for, communion. Yes, communion. Not the religious practice, but rather the sharing or exchanging of intimate thoughts and feelings. As has been said, “… the deepest level of communication is not communication, but communion. It is wordless. It is beyond words, and it is beyond speech, and beyond concept.” – The Asian Journal of Thomas Merton
For those wanting more communion here are four practical tips:
Get away from screens. This includes TV, movies, Internet, Facebook, and phones. Communion takes time and not being distracted with these things will provide the time needed, not to mention limiting these practices will begin to force brain engagement.
Simply sit outdoors. Sure hiking, sports, picnics and such are all good but again, do, do, do, makes doo-doo. Toss into this tip to sit on the ground rather than in a rocking chair, hammock or swing and the experience just might begin to match those of the Lakota Sioux people. As Oglala Lakota Chief Luther Standing Bear said, “It was good for the skin to touch the earth, and the old people liked to remove their moccasins and walk with bare feet on the sacred earth… the old Indian still sits upon the earth instead of propping himself up and away from its life giving forces. For him, to sit or lie upon the ground is to be able to think more deeply and to feel more keenly. He can see more clearly into the mysteries of life and come closer in kinship to other lives about him.” In short, the old Lakota could better commune when contacting the ground with his posterior.
Spend time in the presence of an animal. Ever wonder what the difference is between animal lovers and the other kind? Animal lovers recognize people talk too much. They enjoy the communion so easily possible with animals. As Winnie-the-Pooh said, “Some people talk to animals. Not many listen though. That’s the problem.” If no pets are available, try simply listening to the birds, crickets and other critters nearby. All animals have a language, take the time to listen and try to understand.
Practice hospitality. Wow, now there is an art form rarely found today. Keep it simple. Remember, doo-doo. Just sit around a campfire and roast hot dogs and marshmallows. It is amazing how even the most introverted of people will eventually become comfortable enough around a campfire to begin to share some of their deeper thoughts and feelings about life.
Finally, remember where there is no listening, there is no learning. Where there is no learning, there is no hope. Now turn off this screen and start communing! Wait, first leave your comments and share with your friends so they too can commune.
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