Listening to the Forest

In this video taken from one of the Patreon study group calls, Josh discusses the many ways we can begin to listen to the forest. How do we notice our tendency to view nature as a backdrop? How can we deepen our relationship with ecology?

Josh explores the profound connection between humans and nature, emphasizing the need to view and engage with the natural world not as a backdrop but as an integral part of our being. He critiques the common perspective of nature as something separate or external to be observed visually, like a painting or a scenic view during a hike. This separation, he argues, is a barrier to experiencing a deeper, somatic relationship with the animate world.

Highlighting modernity’s influence, Josh urges shedding layers of detachment to recognize that we, along with nature, are interwoven in a continuous dance of existence. Josh explains that nature isn’t an external entity but the very essence through which we live, evident in the constant interplay of forces within our porous bodies. To truly connect with nature, Josh suggests shifting from a visually dominated perception to a multisensory engagement, where touch, hearing, and even smell play crucial roles in perceiving the natural world.

Exercises like navigating the wilderness blindfolded or focusing on listening rather than seeing are proposed to deepen our connection to nature. By adopting postures of receptivity—such as turning palms towards a tree or pressing an ear against its trunk—we can tune into nature’s subtler frequencies. Josh’s teachings encourage a paradigm shift from viewing nature as a destination to experiencing it as a living, breathing partner in our journey, urging us to engage with the natural world through all our senses and acknowledging the animate beings that inhabit it as part of our extended ecological family.