Tag: nature connection

Blissology Nature Appreciation Mandalas

What is a ritual? To me, a ritual is a consciously performed act meant to connect us to a belief system. In every class lead by a Blissology Inspired Teacher around the world, we make a Nature Appreciation Mandala because it is a ritual that connects us to both Nature and Community.

This is important because, as the name suggests, Blissology is the Art and Science of happiness. What makes us happy? Our belief is that there are two foundations to happiness: One is a deep connection to Nature and the other is a connection to the Community.

A Nature Appreciation moment is a few minutes of quiet observation of Nature with a quiet mind and open heart. Step one is to find something beautiful in nature: a rock, a shell, the clouds, the stars, a sunset or raindrops in a pond. Then we “relax and breathe, then observe and receive.”

To make a Blissology Nature Appreciation Mandala we ask each person attending the class to find something beautiful in nature that speaks to them, which they then fuse with their positive wishes and gratitude. At the start of class, each item is placed in the center of the yoga space and assembled in a Mandala.

At the end of practice we gather together as a collective in what we call the “Circle of Light.” The beauty of the objects is the touchstone to the beauty in our hearts and the awe and wonder that we need to restore in this busy life of ours. It is all too easy to forget our connection to nature but these mandalas help us remember.

One thing I know for sure is that the more I blur the line between where I end and Nature begins, the happier I am.  Let’s live a life of reverence for all living things. Here is a link to a few of the Nature Appreciation Mandalas from Blissology classes around the world

Let Love Rule.

Here is a collection of Nature Appreciation Mandalas from years past:


Put Down Your Smart Phone and Pick Up Your Heart Phone

Even though I am obsessed with yoga, I think it is only the second best thing we can do for health. The best thing we can do is to have an intimate connection with nature.

Last winter we moved to one of the great yoga hubs of the world, Santa Monica, California. I taught yoga, went to yoga classes every day with talented and famous yoga instructors, got used to paying $22 for superfood smoothies and practically took out a second mortgage at the Whole Foods salad bar. Every day was full of California sunshine and palm trees, but there was an emptiness inside me and a sense of restlessness that I could not quell. One chilly December evening, my wife, two-year-old son and I drove North on Highway 1. We found a long stretch of beach that was isolated with the exception of the distant silhouette of an older woman strolling in her leopard skin coat. A reminder of our proximity to Malibu. I had surfed on Venice Beach every day and played in the parks of Santa Monica with our son daily, but those beaches were filled with a stream of cruiser bike riders, joggers and roller coasters.

There was a quietness to us that night as we watched the hazy pink marine layer softly blend into the ocean’s seemingly endless horizon. I stopped and breathed deeply, not because it says to breathe deeply in a yoga text, but to replace the emptiness I felt in my chest. My heart became more inflated and I could finally pinpoint the source of my unease…

Read the rest of the article on Huffington Post Canada.