By Jack Stucki
(From Celia: This post began with a conversation about Jack’s walks in the national forest near his home in Colorado, walks that often include visiting the Grandmother Tree seen in the photograph at the top of the page. Jack Stucki is a healing energies pioneer who continues to explore the nature of being human and our experiences of the world around us.
You can read his first WINN post, HEALING WITH VOGEL CRYSTALS at http://www.winnpost.org/2016/09/16/healing-with-vogel-crystals/  )
The Grandmother Tree is an ancient juniper with many, many seedlings that have grown up around her. I’ve become familiar with the different scents of the trees in this forest – ponderosa pines smell like butterscotch, but junipers have a subtle scent that’s not like anything else. Because of the smoke in the air from the California wildfires, I have had to shut down my olfactory sense and concentrate for now only on my senses of hearing and seeing as I walk in the nearby canyon.
I was exposed to the ways of the Winnebago Sioux in central Wisconsin because of my family’s history and I have appreciated their culture and spirituality. It’s a living spirituality and their faith has nothing to do with believing in things that were once written down or replaying information from old texts. It’s a faith centered on being alive in the moment and experiencing for themselves a sense of “this feels really right”.
One of the first things the tribal children were taught was how to listen, to smell, and to see as well as how to quiet themselves so they could be open and present to what was around them. They were taught how to move physically in nature and also how to move spiritually which has to do with having respect for all living things. When walking, for example, they took care not to step on a flower found on their path. The woods have been a place for me to practice my own particular version of mindfulness. It’s an active, moving mindfulness. When I am listening, my focus is on the ground and I hear the sound of my boots crunching over the very tiny Douglas fir pinecones. The sounds vary when I step on rock, or on earth, or on tree roots. A breeze through the pines makes a sound which has a powerful effect on the human brain. I’ve been trying to duplicate that soft noise with sound generators in my studio, but I haven’t been able to copy it exactly. This narrow band pass of sound is called pink noise and it’s very soothing. When the brain receives constant pleasing auditory stimulation of a certain hertz or frequency range, the “noise” of the monkey brain is quieted. Then we can really hear the sound of a distant woodpecker working on a dead tree or the early morning calls of birds.
As well as expanding the sense of hearing, I’ve practiced a way of seeing that I learned from healer Mietek Wirkus. He taught us to go beyond seeing in the ordinary three-dimensional way. Once you have mastered it, you can combine both ordinary and subtle ways of seeing to help you to stay on course in extremely rugged country. That reminds me of what the indigenous people used to call the gate of power – being able to move swiftly through the forest at night like a deer or a cougar without tripping over stones or fallen branches. It’s important not to censor anything that comes in through either kind of vision and to gain trust in using this intuitive process.
In our culture we are not taught how to pay attention to the natural world but instead we are trained to regurgitate information that has come at us in a didactic, linear manner. The robotic method of learning that we inflict upon our children is needed in our society, but there’s another way of using the brain that enables us to perceive in distinct and expanded ways.
We can attune to the eternal now where past, present, and future all coexist and we can perceive subtle realities in a way that might be described as seeing out of the corner of your eye or hearing out of the edge of your ear. Then it is important not to get impatient, or filled with doubt, or to allow the monkey mind to jump in and analyze everything. Just take it in, Just be with it. Let it unfold. Nature can be our wisest teacher, and nature includes other people and animals. We can pick up on (entrain to) other’s brains. When I entrain to our beloved dog Noche’s brain, there is a simplicity that is so powerful. Dogs and other animals are sensitive in hearing and seeing and smelling because they don’t entertain the monkey brain, they don’t get involved in analyzing what they sense.
Of course, it is nice to be someplace as peaceful as the forest, but it was in a train station that I learned something really useful for meditating. When a new noisy train arrived, I decided to use what I was hearing to deepen my meditation. I told myself that each new loud sound was helping me to become more and more quiet, more focused on my inner coherence. I took responsibility for my reaction to the trains. When I accept the responsibility for my own perceptions and thoughts, it is empowering but it can also be intimidating. And that intimidation can start immediately when I get trapped in asking – “Is this right? Am I on track?” But I’ve come to know that true faith is trusting that this dream we call reality unfolds according to its own rules. This is something I keep on learning.
All of us are part of what I’ve come to call the grid. It’s an energy field surrounding the earth that’s composed of the individual and collective thoughts and emotions of mankind. What we create with our thoughts and feelings is important! I have come to know that every single emotion that I emit affects the life around me. The world is a biofeedback laboratory for us to practice the handling of emotions. We’ve been taught that the creation process on this planet is external to us, that it goes on independently. But we can no longer follow the Newtonian physics which states that we are not part of what goes on. Science is beginning to recognize what many spiritual traditions have long understood – that we are not just part of the equation for what happens on this planet, we probably are the equation.
In today’s world there is not enough love, kindness, or respect being added to the grid. Humans have some distance to go as we develop our personal awareness and extend the enlightened states of consciousness that can fill the grid with the emotions – the energies – that can heal and sustain our planet. Refining how we use our senses is a vital part of evolving consciousness. I believe I am here for two things – to learn to master a physical brain and body and to take care of this planet and if I am doing the first one correctly, I am contributing to our taking care of this planet.
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The photograph of the Grandmother Tree that accompanies this post was taken by Jack. If you cannot view it, go to the WINN webpage and it can be seen beside the text.