Vision Quest: Communing With our Soul in Nature
Modern Day Mystic Series by Sandra Cosentino
Seeking vision in nature is a way I have used for decades to recalibrate to my Higher Self’s wisdom in the field of vibration and beauty of Creation.
“We see the world piece by piece, as the sun, the moon, the animal, the tree; but the whole, of which these are shining parts, is the soul.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Charged by Celestial and Terrestial Engagement
Many times I have gotten up in the middle of the night to experience a meteor shower or the potent dawn sunrise at power places.
Life-changing multi-day solo vision adventures in wild places in Alaska and Arizona live vividly within me.
For decades, I have shared this path with guests. I find the biggest challenge for people is to disengage from electronic communication and the busy mind so they can open to the world of direct experience and deep seeing, sensing, being. This takes time, patience and practice.
Thoreau calls this the “sauntering of the eye” – “utter, non-controlling openness to the perceptible universe.”
Wordsworth calls it “relaxed attention.”
“The seeing begins when understanding ceases; that is, the cognitive process may hinder the attainment of pure vision.”
Emerson says: “The beauty of nature re-forms itself in the mind, and not for barren contemplation, but for new creation.”
The ordinary becomes charged with meaning. “Oceanic feeling is a spontaneous expansion of consciousness through which natural phenomena acquire an unaccustomed depth, become charged with meaning, seem to lose their separateness both from each other and their observed, and appear in all their intense relatedness.” Norman Skillen
2 of my favorite Vision in Nature practices
These are intentional time outs to natural places or prehistoric sites that call to me. I seek solitude as I go for a few hours to a few days wandering in awe and deep seeing. Exploring, sensing the essence of place as I still the thinking, planning mind. I try to experience this place in new way, absorbed in the quality of light and contrast of shadow and the feeling essence of place.
To know a canyon or cliff out on the land, I let my eyes travel into the rock feel its essence. In this state of concentrated contemplation, free of mind chatter, intuitive insights arise from the Place itself. I call this Sense of Place. My mind has traveled into the cliff and acquired information about it on a vibrational level. That cliff is connected to the greater field of energy of life. So in that moment of connection with that Place, I know a sense of Union with the Source of life.
I allow the vibratory field to flow through me as I walk, sit, lay on the earth. I take time to deeply see and sense the bird and plant beings as I consciously shapeshift into their way of perceiving-being. This is what mystics call ecstatic union.
Gifts appear in puffs of knowing and moments of pure ecstatic communion. Or in that animal being who curiously comes near to query into this human creature. A sure sign the whirling gears of mind are in quiet mode.
My favorite way to do this practice is in the wild settings. But I have had profound Meanders in a botanical garden or a popular national park as I create a state of communion with the natural wonders of the place. I purposely tune out the human chatter, letting it flutter by without disturbing my reverie as I choose not to engage. Instead I hear the voice of eons of creation speaking through that rock layer or that cacti adapted to a sere land or the bird that calls.
As Emerson says, “The beauty of nature re-forms itself in the mind, and not for barren contemplation, but for new creation.” Yes, indeed, we get re-created in the process.
Vision Quest–Solo Overnights in Nature.
This is a practice of focused attentiveness and intention for which you prepare for weeks or months. Most of the work is in surrendering the thinking-doing mind, in doing clearing of blocks and old patterns, and really praying (or as I have heard Native friends say “talking” to Creator) to call in powerful support from the divine realms of higher consciousness. We use shamanic insight practices as a key part of this preparation. To have real power, this has to be heart-felt.
Then it is essential to RELEASE EXPECTATIONS, trust what you sense, see, or feel without judgement. And call back the racing mind that immediately wants to rush in and plan how to use the new insights. Planning and analyzing takes you out of being in direct experience mode and may constrict the flow.
This is a ceremony where you create a sacred circle of energy and power and dedicate yourself to staying within that circle for a day and night or longer. It takes discipline, focus and understanding of the paired principles of invoking energies and expressing gratitude. Basic outdoor skills and a safety plan are important too. The processing of all the subtle knowings, signs, visionary moments is also a key part. And then giving it time to incubate and sprout wings.
It takes courage to deal with all the fears that come up and the human discomfort. This is an edge experience. If you fully engage with it, an alchemy happens that lives as a source of power within you the rest of your life.
You have a direct experience of the rotation of constellations during the course of the night, for example. Furthermore, you feel the stars as a comforting presence within you.
“Experience opens us, creates a chasm in our heart, an expansion in our lungs, allowing us to pull in fresh air to all that was stagnant. We breathe deeply and remember fear for what it is—a resistance to the unknown.” Terry Tempest Williams
From our deep desire, aligned with Spirit, we can become immersed in inspiration, filled with great purpose. Then to our surprise we notice that our thoughts break out from constricting bonds. Canyons and cliffs evoke a visceral level response in us. Our very smallness relative to the landscape is humbling. Yet you sense expanded horizons of who you really are.
About the Author:
Sandra Cosentino has developed these mentoring experiences based on a lifetime of exploring and connection to the energies of wild nature, and 3 decades of experience with ceremony, lucid dreaming, vision quest, mindfulness practices, meditation and insight retreat facilitation. She has been working with shamanic journey for more than 20 years with a dedication to empowering others to be their own Seer.
I send my blessings and honoring to the wonderful heart-centered people who have shared this adventure in consciousness with me over these years!
“My solo night was a dream come true for me. It is incredibly wonderful to lay on the land under a sky full of stars. From our week of preparation I had a confidence in my safety and protection. I do believe that on several occasions I felt and heard Mother Earth’s heartbeat. This is the most soothing sound. The owls hooted in the distance off and on all night until almost sunrise. The coyotes yipped in the distance a few times. There was an occasional breeze to caress my face…mostly cool but a few times the breeze came with a warmth which again served to add to my feeling of connection with nature and my spiritual guides. This solo overnight experience left me feeling balanced, calm and rejuvenated. As I returned to my home I have a lasting feeling of connection and strength. I am also filled with gratitude to Mother Earth, the heavens and all of my spiritual guides and angels for a beautiful experience.” Mary Lou, St. Augustine, Florida, spring, 2012
- Mystical Nature Shamanic Journey
- Soul Journey Sessions: Shamanic Journey – conscious evolution mentoring & insights
- Be Your Own Shaman-Seer Insight Retreats
- Sedona Vision Quest Retreat
- Nature, Soul and Mystic Vision 3-day Retreat
Related Articles by Sandra Cosentino in her Spirit of Southwest Blog:
- Nature Mysticism–Pt. 1 in Earth-Spirit Series
- Attention…A Core Mystical Perception Skill–Pt. 2 in Earth-Spirit Ways
- Shamanic Journey in today’s World; Direct Experience With Sentient Universe–Pt. 3
- Conscious ReCreation: Instigating the Next Becoming, Part 5 in Earth-Spirit Series
- Power Animals Bring Gifts of Vibratory Infusion–article
- The Will of the Heart, Earth Energies & Vision– article
posted August 24, 2016