Monday, August 10, 2009

"Nature Deficit Disorder"

A few weeks ago, Nicholas Kristof, a New York Times columnist, wrote about "nature deficit disorder" in a column about our need to get outdoors for the benefit of our physical and spiritual health. He wrote a follow-up column on August 9 titled "How to Recharge Your Soul" which is a how-to guide to backpacking (

Kristof contends that being in nature can recharge your soul in some powerful ways. I couldn't agree more!

The Desert Mothers and Fathers of the early Monastic movement knew this power of nature. They withdrew from urban life in order to connect with God in the most obvious place: God's creation. Their spirituality was rooted in deep gratitude for God-created beauty.

Many great spiritual leaders have gone into the desert, or its equivilent wherever they lived, to discover a spiritual connection. This list includes: Abraham, Moses, David, the prophets, Jesus, Paul, Buddha, Mohammed, and so many others.

Being in a place of natural beauty doesn't guarantee that your soul will be recharged, but it definitely puts you in a place where such renewal and refreshment is a greater possibility.

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