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Monday, October 20, 2014

As John Muir Would Say

The Sierra Peaks - View from him to Cloud's Rest

"Walk away quietly in any direction and taste the freedom of the mountaineer. Camp out among the grasses and gentians of glacial meadows, in craggy garden nooks full of nature's darlings. Climb the mountains and get their good tidings, Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves. As age comes on, one source of enjoyment after another is closed, but nature's sources never fail." - Our National Parks, John Muir

This quote, written by the naturalist, explorer, writer and conservationist, John Muir, is one that fills my soul. I believe that nature is medicine. When was the last time you trudged up a mountain peak, and felt the weight of natures gravity as you stepped one foot carefully in front of another? When was the last time you took a deep clean breath of natures fresh air in your lungs as you marveled at her vast valleys? When was the last time you allow the breeze of natures breath blow through your hair and past your skin as you sat peacefully on top her peaks? Nature truly is medicine to the body, mind and spirit. 

"Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul alike." - The Yosemite, John Muir. 

Nature is a one of the greatest forms of medicine you can take. Nature is vast, always growing, always adapting and always relentless. I have just come back from visiting Yosemite for my second time this year, and I continue to be in awe of its pure beauty. The granite slabs that grow up to 10,000 feet are so magnificently carved out by the glacier that passed through them thousands of years ago. I love to be present with them. The things they have witnessed, and the beauty they have created. It is so magical, so real. 

Half Dome in background, hike to Cloud's Rest

"The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness." - John of the Mountain, John Muir. 

The yogini within me is always trying to find a place to practice and meditate. Nature is the greatest place to do that in my opinion. Nature provides a realness of our world that is untouched by so many of us. We are so drawn in by the lights, sounds and safety of our cities that most of us rarely explore the beauty that is our earth. Yosemite provides a type of nature that remains magnificent to the beholders eye. Though tourism is a part of its culture in the valley, hike past the falls and up the steep mountain switchbacks to find life at its most real. The depths of the wilderness can be scary, and the most safe and comforting place I know. 

Backpacker love to each other 

"Most people are on the world, not in it -- have no conscious sympathy or relationship to anything about them -- undiffused, separate, and rigidly alone like marbles of polished stone, touching but separate." - John of the Mountains, John Muir. 

As our dear friend John would say, choose to be in it. Choose to be with it. Take your practice outside, be with her. Take care of her and love her. She is a beauty that has seen more then you will ever know and will see more than you will ever know. Be in awe of her. 


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