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Remembering The Old Ways, Newly

By Mushly.

Published on 18 September 2023

Nevertheless, studies consistently highlight the physiological benefits derived from related practices, such as forest bathing. Also known as shinrin-yoku in Japanese culture, forest bathing immerses individuals in the natural world through their senses, fostering a profound connection with nature's rhythms.

O’Brien elaborates, “Forest bathing mirrors the origins of our indigenous languages and cultures. Everything sprang forth from the land – a result of sitting with the land, listening, and awakening our senses.”

How did we get here? The proverbial moment where we have journeyed from complete secularisation, all the way to saturation. Paralysis analysis is becoming evident in each moment, as we have countless pointers, teachers, and reminders resurfacing. Left right and center we see an insurge of appreciation for indigenous knowledge, which is amazing.

At this point knowing someone that has done ayahuasca is becoming a commonplace thing. A complete shift in culture and experience is happening. In fact, it seems like everyone wants to do ayahuasca, sooner or later. Not everyone wants to do the dishes. This is a pointer to a very deep issue, that we all want to heal, but we don’t all want to do those things that are just plain unpleasant. There lies a problem, as we cannot truly move past the problem if we are unwilling to address it.

Often we wish to access what others have done, without embracing the most basic elements of life. To be so filled with opportunities that we get to pick and choose across so many different paths and possibilities. This brings us toward responsibility once more, to look at all the different cultures we are influenced by, and to recognize what we can do with these multiple parts and pieces.

Really we have all the possibilities in front of us. Now it is simply about learning to sequence these together that we are progressively refining the process we live through. Continuing to improve this whole chain, that all the parts of our life are connected, and working on these pieces together is the way to progress.

A Path to Wholeness: The Gift of Holistic Living

The view of holism is that all parts are in intimate connection and have constant effects on one another, which is critical. We live in a largely allopathic society, where we see a constant look at the symptoms and an attempt to create a large change almost instantly, disregarding what that process could be throwing out of balance. So we load our plates, constantly putting different flavors and combinations all in one dish, being surprised when the flavors don’t blend well. Needless to say far from Michelin's star-level taste.

However surely if we are the experiencers of our lives, we have an invested interest in creating something of value, something enjoyable beyond what we are currently experiencing. While I may personally find enjoyment in all I do, there do seem to be some key pointers and places where this could be improved quite significantly. It sometimes feels like we are all choosing to be in avoidance of and toward these elements. This is where I believe that we have forgotten and this remembering is so important. We are nature and can therefore learn endless amounts from and with nature.

Although the way we look at nature and importantly ourselves in that perspective is an important piece within the puzzle. We are nature. An important reminder that the same cycles we see occurring outside of ourselves, are simultaneously occurring within ourselves. These cycles are pointers also, to teach us how our consciousness is shifting. To see the way that we are learning to once more look at ourselves and what is beginning to die, what cycle may be ending? That we are as nature is, naturally and wholly.

This view I feel is a part of the gift we receive through plant medicine. A chance to remember where we live and the importance of correct living. This in turn reminds us of the plethora of ways that we can work with our environment, as a means of creating healthier living in and around all spheres. Part and parcel of this remembrance is that this energy we experience is in motion.

That we are custodians of the spaces we exist in and it is in some way then, our responsibility to look at how we may learn to better exist in and for these spaces. Is the energy in motion? Is it stagnant? Either way, okay, now what can we do about it? How can we use these learnings to support ourselves and the worlds we live in? What is the best way to nourish ourselves? We can then nourish the land, which in turn nourishes us.

A Beacon of Hope: The Fusion of Plant Medicine and Holistic Practices

So here we have the opportunity, nuggets of gold in the mud. The opportunity to return back to a more natural way of being. We get to come into ourselves and artfully realize that, while we may have thought that we knew the way, we were misleading ourselves. To recognize the prideful nature, and method of operation that we have used in this space, and to allow ourselves, artfully, to come out of this. This is an allowance, for ourselves to be compassionate toward ourselves.

This really is a massive turning point, one I know has and continues to have an enormous shift in my life. For me this has played out in a manner that I think is completely invisible, however turned out to really have the most profound shift in my life. Subsequently, it has and continues to lead to vast changes in my own life. So I challenge you, as we are seeing present in all the thought leaders, relating to psychedelic therapy and beyond. Set & setting, and as an example, a key point within this, is that of our environment. There is an incredible saying, that our environment is an expression of our internal environment.

The willingness we have toward cleaning our space is in direct relation to the willingness we will also exhibit in cleanliness of self. There is an important distinction I feel to share here, which many of us would have experienced through plant medicine, that we do not actually need to do anything when it comes to internal “cleaning”, in fact, it is as simple as allowing ourselves to be aware of ourselves, and from this space, “The light of consciousness washes away”.

So I am laying down the challenge, to one and all. How much work can you do, internal, shadow, self-expressive, creative? Whatever work it is that you feel is the important sphere for you to focus on, put your attention there, and go. Work as hard as you can, as diligently, persistently, and earnestly. An important reminder to work smart and not hard. However, you can challenge yourself. This allows you to really begin to get an idea of what you are truly capable of, beyond the assumption, presumption, or ideal.

You can then see how your connection with yourself and the world around you begins to change, removed from the suddenness of a shift, resulting from plant medicine. This is not to vilify plant medicine, far from it. Rather looking to wholly keep in awareness that it is something to be in complete reverence of, knowing that the more work you put in, in between, the more work can be done in that journey.

This is truly the gift of realizing that we are in communion with nature. We are a part of an ever-unfolding, unfurling masterpiece of existence. We are allowed to be in reverence and harmony, cooperating with whatever is appearing and learning how to better share this revival of ancient wisdom now in a modern context.

Start small, stay consistent, and let the magic of life in

I know that all of this may sound like a lot to begin to integrate, to wake up to the fact that the ways we have been trying to live, our whole lives, are only a part of the puzzle. I know that when I first began to realize this, I really struggled.

In fact, that may be quite a bit of an understatement, I fought. Tooth and nail, against what I could quite clearly see was a way that I could help myself. It took me quite a long time, a lot of fighting, and a lot of getting a result quite different from what I wanted to tune into, to eventually realize that I can do things differently. In fact, I get to.