The Natural Way #1

by David Battistella | The Focusing Way Podcast

FOCUSING – The Natural Way

Nature and your True Nature

Breathing, your heartbeat, your feet grounded firmly into the earth and nature.  These are the sounds and sensations which are the undercurrent of our aliveness. Years ago I sat at the precipice of a great adventure.  I’d had flown half way around the world to Italy, where I now live, to attend a two week silence retreat in nature. The place is a short 60 km from where I now live.

At the time I was afraid, dealing with some life issues and excited and afraid at the prospect of what two weeks in total silence might bring. We were, of course accompanied by talented and compassionate teachers who had a lot of experience, but still, like most things unknown, our immediate reaction might be fear.

The amazing things that came out of that experience are too long to list here.  It changed me, forever and for the better, and lead me eventually to being able to come to things like focusing with an open heart and an open mind.

I learned many lessons

on that two week stretch but perhaps not one more important than the last words spoken to us by our teacher before heading into this silence.  He said, “When or if things become difficult, listen to nature.” That was it. His last nugget of advice was to remember that we were surrounded by nature, by sounds, by temperature, by trees and rivers and all of these systems that were always there, always right along side us, flowing like our own heartbeats our own breath and we had a place in all of it.

I can not recall how many times over the two weeks of silence I gave myself over to nature to rest in her loving arms, or how many times I wrapped my arms around her welcoming sounds, but the image and words have never left me.

The very first person

who was generous enough to share with me on this podcast is Karen Liebenguth of  We met on a retreat in Germany, surrounded by nature in a beautiful place outside of Hamburg. Karen spends most of her time now, using Focusing and mindfulness in nature as she has active coaching sessions with people who come to her office, a London park, to reconnect with the source that gives us everything.