Raw, idiom: 14. in the raw, a. in the natural, uncultivated, or unrefined state: nature in the raw.

Loving this brief teaching from Tricycle on how to be spacious:
Since people might feel a bit lonely coming out into nature by themselves, they tend to go out in groups. But often they just transplant their own little world out into the big world, and they still feel separation: “I’m with these people, not with those.” We should not be like a snail that carries its house on its back and shrinks back into it when another creature comes along. It is better not to put people into categories based on your social distance from them, whether or not you know them. It is also good to feel intimate with creatures around you — the birds, butterflies, and so on. Just as smoke from a chimney disperses into the air, we should disperse our sense of “group” or “family” and truly participate in the life around us.

If we go out into the natural world and just talk about the same things we talk about all the time, we may as well have stayed at home.
Amen to that! Part of the thrill of knowing I'm going away shortly is that it'll mean so very much space and silence and rejuvenating solitude, and a good deal of uncertainty and unfamiliarity, too. I've never understood how other folks don't end up feeling claustrophobic and exhausted after a long chattery group hike or trip or dinner party or somesuch. That rare ease with another sans [derivative, boring, small] conversation lends a spaciousness to life in the same way that turning off your iPhone can lend a certain relief.

And the power of no longer needing to cling to concepts of "self" or "group" or "family" or even habitual conversation really does offer us this incredible new view of the unfolding, living world around us, throwing into question who we even are in relationship to that world — including nature, yes, but also including the chipped painting and the window boxes and the wrought-iron balconies and the magnolia trees that we often blow unseeingly by, lost in conversation or empty chatter or mental masturbation.

In that moment, chatter having ceased, so present with what is, all notions of self slip away like "smoke from a chimney disperses into the air." And what are we left with? The breath. This (ever-changing) body. The reminder that, at every moment, our lives, this world, and our relationships are in constant flux. Impermanence, baby. Yes.

As Spacious as Nature (Tricycle)


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