Tag Archives: nature

Walking alone

The ancient masters of all the great religions recommended time alone as a crucial means of discovering true self.

It was the 40 days that Jesus took for time alone in the desert to confront his own shadow and the demons of temptation.  Moses removed himself alone to Mount Sinai to receive the ten commandments from God.

It is in the time spent alone that we come closest to the divine and our life purpose, especially if it is time alone in nature.

IMG_1676 (1)

The Chinese masters of the body arts such as Tai Chi and Qi Gong called the empty space between the spokes of the wheel more important than the spoke itself.

It is in that empty dark space between the stars where you touch the divine.

We as a society are obsessed with what the wise ancients called the distractions of the 10,000 things.

The news media feed on negative news, the constant subliminal messages working our emotions instill a need for material things we mostly don’t need. There is confusion between necessity and want.

It is no coincidence that with the addiction to distraction there are very few people who can truly bear to spend time alone.

We are thus constantly seeking the accolades through social media as a reassurance. But it will seldom lead you onto the path of deeper spiritual experience.

It is during the walk alone, the time-out during a silent retreat and the alone time in nature where the gateway to the soul opens and you begin to realize who you truly are.

It is during the alone time that we discover the heart, the love and the divine within. It is who we truly are and that which soul wants to illuminate.

Reino Gevers – Author, Mentor and Consultant

https://www.reinogevers.com

     

Leave a comment

Filed under gratitude, happiness, lifestyle management, psychology, raised consciousness, self-development, spirituality, Uncategorized

Yielding to Nature

Our ancestors and the ancient tribes were firmly entrenched in the philosophy of the yielding to the forces of nature as opposed to the modern mindset of conquering and extracting from the earth.

img_1685

On some of my lengthy hikes on the Camino in Spain, the routes inevitably take you along busy country roads. Tons of rubbish including plastic bags, tin cans, plastic bottles and cigarette butts are carelessly thrown out of car windows by passing motorists.

It has a devastating effect on other living beings. I’ve seen cows and goats munch plastic bags and hedgehogs trapped in rubbish. More disturbingly sacred crosses and way markers are defaced by graffiti.

Much can be attributed to the disconnect of modern man to his natural surroundings. Nature is a manifestation of God and not without reason have the wise teachers of old described time spent in nature as our best healer.

Any person who has spent alone time in the African bush or hiked alone for hours in pristine nature will soon become aware of the awesome marvel of creation and the inter-connectedness of all living beings. God can be seen live working in slow motion.

Humanity will only survive when we recognize that the sacred within is also the sacred without.

For centuries Christianity has had a false understanding of man’s role in nature based on misinterpretation of the old testament of the bible in Genesis 1:28 in which man is given the cultural mandate to subdue and rule over the earth:

“And God blessed them, and God said unto them, be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that (Heb. creepeth)  moveth upon the earth.”

Especially the translations of “subdue” and “dominion” from the Hebrew have different meanings. Rather than exploitation and domination the call to humanity by God is like that to a king to take care of the weak and poor in his kingdom. Man is called to preserve the natural beauty of the environment entrusted to him and to restore those places that have been harshly affected by force and hardness of rule.

The lost gospel of St. Thomas, that was discovered in Egypt in the 1940s, has a far more mystical interpretation of many of the biblical interpretations. Rather waiting for the Second Coming of the Christ, the lesson espoused here is all about nurturing and discovering the Christ Within−closely resembling what is described in Buddhism as discovering the Buddha Nature.

The Medieval interpretation of Nature was that of a harsh alien environment, that needed to be conquered. Paradise and a life of bliss could only be expected after death and resurrection.

In contrast the eastern Daoist tradition is all about the yielding to the laws of nature. The philosophy of the Five Elements in essence is about the right timing in accordance with the laws of nature. The harmony of objects and things in Feng Shui, the cultivation of the life-force energy of Chi in the body with nutrition, Qi Gong and Tai Chi and the ancient Book of Wisdom, the I Qing, all are built on the foundations of the Elements.

Likewise the Greek, Roman and Medieval cultures placed great emphasis on building their temples and cities in harmony with the natural environment. These cultures were still steeped in myth and legend while the modern world is dominated by the economic.

Modern man’s environment−often in an urban concrete jungle, is very much a contributing factor to the alienation from nature and the loss of soul purpose. It is beginning to change. As humanity moves to a raised consciousness we rediscover old teachings that were anything but primitive.

Reino Gevers – Author, Mentor and Consultant

https://www.reinogevers.com

      Yield_and_Overcome_Cover_for_Kindle (2)

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Camino de Santiago, environment, happiness, lifestyle management, plastic, psychology, raised consciousness, Uncategorized

Abundance and gratitude

The rise of extremism in much of the western world comes at a time where there has never before in the history of mankind been so much material abundance which bodes the question why many people remain frustrated and angry.

Obviously the comforts of the modern world are not providing the contentment and inner peace that is desired.

Even until the late 1960s owning a car was regarded as a luxury. If a family owned two cars it was considered extremely wealthy. It wasn’t until the  mid 1970s that most households started owning a TV. I grew up in South Africa which only introduced nationwide television in 1976. Travelling abroad for a holiday was likewise considered a privilege for the very few.

When I tell the youth of today that we always carried a pocket full of coins for the phone booth around the corner, they look at me in disbelief.  My grandparents were self-sustainable farmers. My grandfather was regarded as progressive because he produced his own electricity from a water wheel. Few people owned cars and most traveled with a horse cart or ox-wagon.

Technologically mankind has made a huge stride forward but it has come at huge personal and environmental cost. Our lives are extremely high-paced and stressed-out. We have more time than any other generation at the same time it has become our most precious commodity.

rawpixel-611119-unsplash (1)

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

Most people live in crowded cities, resulting in a disconnect with the natural rhythm of nature. Modern man is constantly in a hurry, anxious and fearful. It is the perfect breeding ground for frustration and radicalism.

We can’t go back a generation. We are rather at the threshold of another technological revolution that will create and destroy jobs.  Much of the social frustration we encounter probably stems from the cultural gap in absorbing the changes of the past decade – Donald Trump`s most ardent supporters are from the rust belt and coal mining areas.

The technological revolution confronts us with the age-old question: What makes me a contented and happy person? The fascination with a shiny new object at most lasts a few days.

Every extreme carries the seeds of a new beginning. The technological revolution rides the wave of left-brain analytical, “excel-sheet” thinking while the right side of the mind lies neglected. It is the intuitive side of our human nature that needs more attention.  As human beings we have a “juvenile” playful, creative, spiritual and artistic side. Bringing both sides of the brain into balance is the challenge.

I only need to look at my dog’s joyful playing with a simple stick to appreciate that frustration, happiness or contentment is all in the mind. Appreciating that moment of deep gratitude of what we already have is the first step. Happy Thanksgiving!

Reino Gevers – Author, Mentor and Consultant

https://www.reinogevers.com

     

 

1 Comment

Filed under contentment, gratitude, happiness, humanity, life vision, lifestyle management, spirituality, stress, Thanksgiving, Uncategorized

Climate: No time to lose

Two weeks ago the northeastern part of the Mediterranean island of Majorca was hit by a freak storm. Within a matter of hours the area was hit by so much rainfall that dry streams were soon flooded and a five-meter high wave swept away cars, bridges and buildings. Twelve people died.

Such a catastrophe hits the world headlines for a day or two and then is forgotten. In this case it happened only a 40-minute drive from my home on the island.  It was a stark reminder that climate change is real. It is happening and it is affecting all of us.

Behind the news of hundreds of thousands of people fleeing civil wars in Latin America and the Middle East is the story of agricultural devastation as a result of unprecedented drought.

Unfortunately the debate on climate change has become so partisan and emotional that even sound science is losing the argument.

mathew-schwartz-698735-unsplash

Photo by Mathew Schwartz on Unsplash

When I was working as a journalist for an international news agency, I attended the first series of conferences of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) nearly two decades ago. In one of the workshops climate scientists were showing slides of predicted extreme weather patterns by the year 2030. Freak storms, floods and massive hurricanes would become the norm, they argued. The sad truth is that they were wrong.  These weather patterns are already happening twelve years ahead of time.

Nobody in the year 1996 could predict that the fast growing-economies of China and India and the unprecedented destruction of rain forests would fast-track carbon dioxide emissions. In the year 2013 they surpassed 400 parts per million (ppm) in the atmosphere for the first time.  Now get this: For ten thousands of years the level was stable at around 280 ppm. The level only started increasing at the turn of the last century as the industrial revolution gained pace. This is not a natural cycle. What we are seeing is human-induced climate change. It is part of the bigger picture of our human impact on the planet.

I was born in Paulpietersburg, South Africa . This is how much the temperature has risen in the small town during my lifetime: img_1143-e1540994626687.png

Humanity seems to move to the edge at the brink of a new evolutionary cycle. We were there before during the Cold War when the superpowers were very close to annihilating most of humanity in a nuclear war. It is my firm belief that on at least three occasions missiles were not launched because of divine intervention. The crisis had to happen to make us aware of the madness of the ideological walls in our minds.

If the world had not come together in signing the Montreal Protocol in 1987 banning substances that deplete the world’s protective ozone layer, we would be in a dire state today.

Hope springs that we will manage it this time around as well.  It is a close call. We have no time to lose.  It is up to our generation to preserve our planet for the generations ahead.  On a deeper level environmental consciousness is all about self-awareness and self-love – without the shadow of ego and narcissism.

We are treating our bodies in the same way that we are treating our planet. Mindfulness to self is how we exercise, cope with stress, and the choice of foods we eat. It magnifies to the world around.  We seem to know very little about ourselves. Its time for a real game changer.

Reino Gevers – Author, Mentor and Consultant 

https://www.reinogevers.com

     

 

2 Comments

Filed under climate change, humanity, lifestyle management, Majorca, Uncategorized

Who are you?

Emotional and physical exhaustion is one of the scourges of the modern era. Depression is reaching almost epidemic proportions. You could very well say that the Western mind has lost its soul that has been entrapped by the temptations of immediate gratification.

We are bombarded constantly with subliminal messages that tell you: Buy this and you will be happy. Do this and you will get rich. Do this to live like a super star. Dress like this and act like that to be loved and validated by the crowd.

Along the way one of our most valuable assets – the time to be fully aware of the  moment – is getting lost. The mind is constantly occupied with either the past or the fears of the future.  In the process you forget soul purpose and who you are!

IMG_1429

I have found that walking alone in nature is a magnificent way of detoxing and training the mind by re-calibrating the senses to the world around us.  I truly believe that nature is a manifestation of God. The whisper of creation can be sensed by a bird song, the rustling of leaves in an ancient tree, or the clouds enveloping a mountain top.

Most people in today’s world however are forced to live in crowded cities that are dehumanizing in their detachment from nature. They cloud the senses with a high level of noise, pollution and bombardment of the senses. The modern human being has become so detached from his natural environment, that its causing havoc to emotional stability.

I think this is one of the reasons for the great attraction of the ancient pilgrimage route in Spain.  More and more people are becoming spiritually conscious and seeking answers. Spending weeks alone by simply walking in nature without distraction is like a detox in peeling away the layers to the heart of the true self. But it doesn’t only have to be walking.  New retreats and centers of meditation are opening everywhere as human consciousness is rising to a new level.

Old school religion has taught us to believe and to follow a certain doctrine and behavior. The new consciousness is very much an experiental spirituality in a “becoming” of the real self.

Reino Gevers – Author, Mentor and Consultant 

https://www.reinogevers.com

     

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Camino de Santiago, exercise mental health, happiness, healing nature, lifestyle management, spirituality, Uncategorized

Your friend the obstacle

IMG_0117 (1)When walking the Camino you will be confronted by obstacles.  The first biggest challenge is mental. You are thirsty, exhausted and your feet are hurting. You push yourself to the summit of that mountain only to find that you have an even steeper hill to climb further ahead. Your mood sinks to rock bottom.

We have those moments of walking through the valley of death every day. An unexpected tax bill in the post. An unpleasant meeting or other disappointment.  Life is cyclical, like the seasons with periods of winter darkness followed by the joys of spring and warm summer days.

Take a  look at some of the great personalities of our time. Nelson Mandela, Oprah Winfrey and Albert Einstein transmuted the suffering in  those pits of darkness in their youth, honing their qualities of character and emerging stronger than ever before.

What you perceive as an obstacle is a “teacher” telling you where you have to learn and refine your personality in overcoming your greatest fears which can be anything from the fear of death, ill-health, loss of material wealth and the shame that can go with it.

We need only to observe nature to see how all plant and animal life is in a continuous process of evolutionary refinement in the adaption to challenges that come with changing circumstances.

Without an obstacle, without a challenge, you can’t grow. You will remain stagnant and there is the danger of falling into procrastination and lethargy. So next time you have to deal with a major disappointment or challenge it might just be the universe telling you to take a different turn.

Reino Gevers – Mentor for Leaders and Achievers – Your Health Matters

Awakening the Fire Within – key principles of health and success. Enrolling now will give you a 25 per cent discount.

NEW RELEASE: “Walking on Edge – A Pilgrimage to Santiago” available both in Kindle and paperback.

http://www.reinogevers.com

 

Leave a comment

Filed under happiness, lifestyle management, psychology, raised consciousness, Uncategorized

Our greatest challenge: The environment

There is something happening to our world, telling us with stark reality that the greatest challenge of our time is  the environment.  The natural catastrophes of the past months with the elements of fire and water wreaking havoc to the lives of millions of people, should be a wake-up call.

hurricaneBut we cannot be hoping for action from governments or politicians with “empty-speak” words. Every individual needs to question lifestyle habits.

Volcanic eruptions, floods and earthquakes have always been part of human existence, yet scientists have warned for decades that the frequency and intensity of such natural catastrophes would be increasing with the rise of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

Since the beginning of the industrial revolution carbon dioxide emissions have increased by 40 per cent. The amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere was measured at over 400 ppm (parts per million) in 2015!

This level is higher than at any time for the past 400,000 years where the average was about 280 ppm. The reason: The burning of fossil fuels coupled with unprecedented deforestation. The world’s rain forests form an important equilibrium in the balance between emitting oxygen and the absorption of carbon dioxide.hurricane.2

Rain forests and the oceans harbor much of the diversity of life. Large parts of the ocean however are ecologically dead because of plastic garbage pollution and coral reefs dying as a result of pesticide pollution and the warming of the oceans. Scientists estimate that 150-200 species of plant, insect, bird and mammal become extinct every day. This is greater than anything the world has experienced since the dinosaurs disappeared nearly 65 million years ago!

In the ancient Chinese Philosophy of the Five Elements,  the events in the external world cannot be separated from what is happening internally with human consciousness. I go into this in more detail in my book: Yield and Overcome

On the micro-level all of life is interconnected.  And, in terms of the law of nature, the elements seek to balance what is out of kilter. This can at times be very disruptive both for a physical human body as well as for the environment. In this analogy the burning of fossil fuels, or the overheating of the earth with the fire element, requires the counterbalance of the water element. On the emotional level overheated, reactionary and fanatic emotions, preoccupation with consumption  (fire element) and the emotions of fear and withdrawal (water element) are predominant. In a balanced state the elements of wood, fire, earth, metal and water would be nurturing each other.

I am convinced that how we are treating our immediate environment is closely connected with our own self worth and how we treat our own physical body. Its the sum of small things that make a huge difference. By simply avoiding the purchase of cosmetic products containing palm oil, you will be helping to curtail the clearing of rain forests in Asia for palm oil plantations. And, how about avoiding the use of plastic bags to prevent them from landing in the oceans?

What we eat, how we exercise and how we program our mindset resonates into our immediate environment.  One of Mahatma Gandhi’s most famous quotes is:

“You must be the change you want to see in the world.”

The challenge in the raising of human consciousness is to change the way we think. A positive mindset will change how you think and feel. Controlling your emotions will open the gateway to new thought and awareness into what needs to be done. As we become more aware we should be realizing how much we need to adapt to the natural laws of nature in order to survive as a species. Those species that have survived for eons are  those plants and animals that have learned to adapt within the continually changing matrix of existence. Seeing himself as a separate entity to the environment has been the biggest fallacy of modern man.

Reino Gevers – Mentor for Leaders and Achievers – Your Health Matters

Awakening the Fire Within – key principles of health and success. Enrolling now will give you a 25 per cent discount.

NEW RELEASE: “Walking on Edge – A Pilgrimage to Santiago” available both in Kindle and paperback.

http://www.reinogevers.com

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under healing nature, humanity, hurricanes, lifestyle management, psychology, raised consciousness, Uncategorized