Painting by Shipra Gupta

Painting by Shipra Gupta

The journey of Naturality begins with our birth. We are born as a body just like the body of any other living being on earth. We are part of nature and fully embedded in it. Although the body is conscious, its consciousness is reflexive. Within the body, life and death occur simultaneously and are not separated from each other. There is a perfect balance. It is the state of peace and pleasure and without any mental boundaries. This state of peace is disturbed when biological survival is at stake, although it is regained when survival is assured.

This state of perfect balance and harmony in the body comes to an end with the growth of the brain as we experience moments of consciousness. As we become more conscious of ourselves and the world around us, we develop a fear of both death and life. In order to escape this fear, we build an identity as protection. This identity is constructed using elements borrowed from family, society and culture. Identity is vital to live in the world. But identity impinges on the body and brain, compromising its balance, peace and pleasure. And so our quest begins to regain that lost, peaceful state. Our life becomes more and more complex and takes many detours on this search. Many of us are lost.

During this search, we may experience an existential crisis where our identity is dismantled and its protective thoughts, concepts and dreams crumble. The experience leads us to our natural self which was always there, but hidden beneath the smoke screen of identity. We develop witnessing consciousness and the body is freed from identity. It wakes from its slumber and begins to express and regulate itself more naturally, which brings peace and natural pleasure back into daily living. We are effortlessly connected with nature and accept our mortality.

The process continues and we proceed from the natural self into expansive consciousness where we experience an intimate connection with the world and nature and feel at one with it. In this state, the body feels more freed and is at ease with nature. Death and life become intimate companions and there is no fear of death any more. As this process continues, we move into expansive stillness. Now the body functions with its natural rhythm just like when it was born. Life and death again become two sides of one experience. Pleasure and peace reign in the body and we experience a state of perfect balance and harmony within and with the world around.

At this stage, consciousness is not reflexive but rather a pure witness with stillness. This stillness is dynamic. In this primal dynamic stillness, the body functions at its peak, the senses are open and alert but the mind is silent. The process comes full circle. Naturality begins with the body and eventually comes back to the body. At the beginning the consciousness is reflexive. By the end, it is in a pure witnessing state.

This is the pinnacle of human life. Here, not only is conscious stillness experienced but the body also functions at its zenith. While conscious stillness takes us to our highest potential, the body connects us to the earth and all of nature.