Nearly half the American population identifies themselves as both religious and spiritual, according to the Pew Research Center. Presently and historically, spiritual people have gained a sense of clarity, unity and peace through a harmonious relationship with the natural world. It can be particularly difficult in the United States to feel connected to the natural world because 62.7% of the population lives in urban areas, despite the fact that these areas only account for 3.5% of the land, as revealed by the US Census. The good news is that nature is never too far away. For example, one of the busiest and most densely populated cities in the country is New York. However, the beauty and serenity of the Catskill Mountains, home of the Harmony Hill Lodge and Retreat Center, is just a few short hours away.
Historically speaking, there has always been an intimate relationship between nature and spirituality. This connection goes as far back as the ancient Greeks and Egyptians. The gods of the people of ancient Greece and Egypt were intrinsically linked to the elements and creatures of the natural world. This level of worship, honor and love of nature promoted a symbiotic relationship between the natural world and the human spirit. The creatures, trails and beautiful cabins of Harmony Hill make up the perfect environment to explore the powerful biological and historical connection between human spirituality and nature.
In order to discern our connection with the natural world all we have to do is look within, literally and metaphorically. For example, the human body, from infancy to adulthood, consists of 55-75% water. Our physical connection with the natural world is undeniable, we are nature. However, equally important is our psychological connection. According to environmental psychologists, time spent in nature has three positive effects on the human brain: significantly less stress, better mood and improved cognitive performance.
Retreat to Harmony Hill
A retreat to the vast natural environment that Harmony Hill has to offer can be beneficial to both our physical and mental health. Whether hiking, snowshoeing, or enjoying the sights and sounds of the landscape while sipping hot coffee or tea and reading a good book, the retreat from the city into nature will promote a positive and peaceful aura from psyche to soul. Immersing ourselves in nature represents a retreat from our everyday lives, back to a more primitive time, to a pure and true love of the natural world. A healthy relationship with the natural world can promote a better sense of awareness, unity and peace both within ourselves and with the world at large.
Material World, Immaterial Connection
In our modern, material world, nature and spirituality can sometimes feel remote and distant. However, we are never far away from the peace and beauty the natural world has to offer. By immersing ourselves in nature we can help promote the peace, unity and the level of contemplation required to feel one with ourselves and our surroundings. If we revel in the beauty of the natural world we can begin to understand what it means to feel a spiritual connection in a material world.
written by Jocasta Firmino