Dropping off from life

ELA´s patients' residence

Very often I reach my limits and realize how much I could grow if I had the strength and the nourishment. This happened in particular on a visit to a hospital where patients slowly stopped being able to move or participate in the life of their own body. In this environment I felt inwardly excited and wanted to reach to the edge of the abyss I perceived as mighty. I wanted to have a look, to call them back. But then I realized, once more, that whatever I wanted to do was 'overdoing', it was 'overreacting'.

The meeting room was filled with more than 30 wheelchairs and a group of nurses and caregivers waiting to greet me. The hospital had been difficult to find, and so it was immediately time for me to go up onto stage. By the time I got onto the topic of Nature Observation, and the inner garden that exists in us all, and had begun to show pictures as examples, I felt that there were no longer wheelchairs in the room. What I saw instead were souls recognizing so perfectly what I was talking about that I became the least informed of all.

Most of them had been there for a long time, many years, and had spent their lives lying down and carefully following the rhythms of day and night, of their own heartbeats and breathing. They had a problem with movement and expression but not with real thinking (much higher than reasoning).

To develop a good capacity for Nature Observation one must learn to "give up" or to dissolve oneself and ones experiences into a higher level in order to return to one's senses, once more pristine. Experience in this process gives a person a much higher capacity for dealing with intense changes and challenges.

When teaching to a big group I have to be fit to "give up", or "release", more often, and in this 'disappearing' and 'returning' the meeting is refreshed. I have found a thrilling expectation every time that that has happened, which is always a big and "touching" surprise for me as in a normal situation people are not aware of this process.

With this group I found a most amazing reception every time I returned.

The talk went on for one and a half hours. I had been told that I had to understand that for them listening to a lecture was very tiring, and that they would most likely soon start dropping off one by one. According to their carers their average listening time was usually half an hour.

Nobody had left the room after the one and a half hour class. I walked between them to share some photographs and listen to their questions. Most of our conversation was through shiny eye contact and the meeting of our hands. A starry heaven was clean over the abyss I felt so attracted to look at. Supper was announced but only a few left before I exited the room with some nurses and the beautiful plants that they gave to me.

I often wish I were there again. I still have so much to reveal from that intense encounter.

Those people did not drop out of the room. Neither are they just dropping out of life in this process of learning to live differently and to "give up". Also, I have learned through them to love and admire the movement of the human body and its richness.

Nature Observation works with our imagination, which is a capacity of knowing, through images. The learning process is more profound and useful when done through imagination. It is a necessary attribute that guides intelligence to overcome its own limits. It opens a breathing space to intellectual knowledge, which would otherwise be lifeless.