Many years ago during a traumatic period in my life, I sat high on a mountain, waiting for first light. I was on a deer hunting trip and I had worked my way up through the woods in the pitch black to a ridge where I knew the deer would come through. An hour later, I had a terrible panic attack—life seemed overwhelming and I felt helpless.
But something happened, a shift in consciousness, or maybe even a spiritual experience. As the forest came alive, I had the most incredible sense of connectedness and nurturing that I had ever experienced. I was one with everything, the trees, the birds, even the rock I was sitting on. I felt that I was cared for deeply.
The “Sit Spot” became popular in the teachings of the famous tracker/survival instructor Tom Brown Jr. but has surely been something great thinkers have been doing since the dawn of time. Ghandi once said, “ALL of man’s problems, stem from his inability to sit quietly in a room alone.”
Since that day, I have incorporated the sit spot into my daily routine and it has helped me in many ways, not only as a hunter/naturalist but in all of my relationships. It’s easy, and not only will it increase your awareness skills, it has similar health benefits to meditation.
First, find a spot where you can go and be alone in nature. It is important to visit the same spot each time so you can begin to establish a relationship with everything around you.
Even if you live in the city, you can find a secret spot to visit and just be still. Try to establish a time, either early in the morning, or late at night when there are few humans around. The idea is to simply let nature happen in its natural course, and for you to observe without judgement.
We spend so much of our time getting information from everything but nature and that is the key to the sit spot. As you spend more and more time there, you develop an intimate relationship with everything around you, even a simple weed or bush. Things start to happen, and you become more and more aware that nature is always working. All of the monkey mind ideas that we humans share, start to dissolve in the presence of nature.
Think of it like a meditation with your eyes open. You will soon recognize the birds, the nocturnal critters that creep around at night, the stars, the smells and sounds of life happening apart from your own internal dialogue and distractions such as TV and constant human chatter. You will become more connected to everything because in reality, you are connected to everything. Over time, you will be more aware and awareness leads to discoveries we would never imagine. You will see things you never noticed before and you will have more reverence for nature, and all life.
I have seen this practice change people in so many ways. In some way, there is a magic that happens when we observe, without judgement. I have become more accepting and definitely more grateful for the wonders of life that I might have otherwise missed. Twenty minutes a day has brought me to a much more peaceful and happy existence. I’m sure it can do the same thing for anyone. Give it a try and you’ll see.