"I'm here then!" Hikes and experiences with the landscape soul - Part 2

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(Back to part 1)


A primordial trust

In this intensive connection with the inner spaces of the world everything that is needed is available at the right time. Everything that is to meet me is supplied to me so to speak by itself. I do not have to make an effort. Everything is available. Life makes everything available if I am open and permeable to it. Seen in this way, everything is incredibly simple!

Perhaps this sounds a little euphoric and dreamlike. In contrast, I would like to affirm that the intimate connection with nature, that the empathy with the forest allows this primordial trust to become a real experience. This trust wants to be born in us and for this it creates entanglements, resistances, adversities that we rub up against, that we can grow and mature from.

A concrete example of this: I got lost during a hike in the Black Forest in a vast forest area. All the paths looked the same and my water supply was running out. When my hiking app failed due to a low mobile phone charge, I was without any orientation, almost without food and above all without water. As it got darker and darker and no more paths were visible, I was simply forced to trustingly "surrender" to the forest. I set up my hammock somewhere in the middle of the thicket. Just as the last tether was tightened, the sleeping bag unrolled, I heard a gentle babbling brook 10-15 metres below my sleeping place. In the middle of this unimaginably large forest area, a spring was bubbling out of the ground at this exact spot, a clear stream of pure water.

At every moment everything is provided for ..., and all the more so the more we can stand apart from ourselves and breathe without fear.

Indra’s net

"There are two plans for each day, my plan and the plan of the mystery", say the indigenous people of Greenland, the Inuit. They have retained the awareness that in every moment we are intimately involved in a wholeness. Everything in this wholeness lives, breathes, weaves in the great web we call life and affects us.

In Hinduism and Buddhism, this net of wholeness is called "Indra's net". It is said that the deity Indra once wove a net, and that each knot in it is a jewel polished to many surfaces. Each jewel reflects all the others in this net. Each diamond represents an individual being, a cell, an atom, and is closely connected to all the other jewels in the universe. A change in one jewel means a change in every other jewel. So when a movement, a change in consciousness takes place in a human being, it is perceived and reflected on by the living beings around him.

During my meditative walks I constantly experience the work of Indra's net in a very concrete way. The silence of the forest causes an increased openness and permeability for the innermost being. In this openness, in this radiation from within, a completely new quality of the eyes comes about. I meet other people. In a fraction of a second – usually a brief glance into the eyes of the other person – it is decided whether an encounter will take place, whether a conversation will be started and deepened. So in the middle of the forest, at the edge of the forest or in the next village, I meet foresters, hunters, forest owners, tree cutters, shepherds, gardeners, farmers, healers, theologians, mayors ... The chain could be continued endlessly.

Spontaneous dialogues

Every day, spontaneous dialogues with people who are complete strangers to me arise from the magic of the eyes. I take a lot of time for these conversations. Sometimes it's 30 minutes, sometimes it's 2 days. I try to listen and find out what moves my counterpart. I provide them with a mental space in which they can express themselves, in which they feel perceived. I connect with the different perspectives and motivations of the person I am talking to. In a dying spruce forest, for example, tree-cutters, foresters, hunters and forest owners have very different motivations and perspectives on what is happening. In this way, overall patterns become discernible.

The landscape soul now speaks to itself, so to speak. It expresses itself through one of its elements – and I, as a sympathetic element, can reflect other perspectives, other motivations from the overall fabric.

It is simply wonderful to observe how, while wandering through the middle of the landscape soul, one always encounters exactly those people and circumstances that correspond to one's own resonance. Indra's net can be experienced concretely every day.

This net is a great mystery.

Often I meet people who are complete strangers to me, and three days later I meet other people who are related or known to them. Sometimes I can recommend certain doctors and healers to people I don't know, who just "happened" to meet me a few days ago and who can help these people in their serious illness. Often my conversation partners and I realise in a very deep, touching dialogue about life that although we have never met before, we "know" each other in the depths of our being, indeed we are familiar with each other, indeed we have almost "waited" for this moment of encounter.

These experiences inspire me, they make me "jump" with happiness on my hiking path. They make me feel: There is this net that is stretched between mineral, plant, animal and human. Everything is taken care of in this net. We can experience a fullness that provides us with the energy and creativity we need in every moment of our lives.

And every new experience affects the whole net.

Individual soul, landscape soul, world soul, the cosmos are intimately interwoven. I am a small but not insignificant part of it, also one of the jewels.

Being present

I believe that this presence, this essential being present, this openness, simplicity and devotion to life are of the utmost importance in the time ahead of us. They are future key qualifications for our life journey. 

15 years ago, Hape Kerkeling gave the description of his pilgrimage on the Way of St. James the title: I’m Off then.

I have come to perceive my hikes not only as leisure time pleasure, but as an „obligatory trip“, where I let myself be guided in Indra's net to certain nodes, where my perception, my attentive listening and my support are needed:

The motto of my life journey is then: "I'm here then!"

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