Recently I went back to the Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks with a very good friend and her son, and it was quite probably the best week of my life – I certainly can’t remember one that was better. Spending time in Yellowstone and the Tetons – even with the crowds – is magic, and when you can share that time with people you love, it’s all the more special.

This year I’ve been fortunate to spend a good deal of time out in nature – more than I have in years – and I have cherished every minute of it. When I’m out in nature, my mind quiets, and as I’m hiking around and enjoying the beauty, it becomes a walking meditation. All of my physical and non-physical senses sharpen and expand; all remnants of the “noise” of civilization fades away, and in flows this incredible, natural harmonic symphony, and I become an active participant. The answers to questions that begin to form in my mind are answered almost before they can completely form.

Try as I might, I can’t quite to find this level of harmony and connection in the city – parks or otherwise. There is just too much “chatter” in the energy field. Bob Monroe – I believe it was in his book, Journeys Out of Body – labeled it “M Band Noise.” It’s the energetic chatter of everyday life that we all contribute to, and for the most part don’t even notice; we just filter out what doesn’t concern us at any particular moment and go on with our lives. In the absence of that noise, we begin to notice the symphony that is the natural world, and we begin to realize that we are an integral part of it; we truly cannot be separated from it.

I suppose that in the city, it’s simply –and not so simply – a matter of using a more selective filtering to allow nature to come through. I say not so simply because I have yet to find that combination, and the nature I am able to feel within the city seems much more muted. Perhaps nature seems more quiet in the city because I haven’t yet gotten my filters optimized, or perhaps it’s because nature too, closes down the aperture to filter out the noise. Perhaps it’s time to ask.

Some of my most meaningful experiences have been when I’m sitting with my back against a tree or boulder, off of some trail and away from “civilization,” and I set my spirit free to journey wherever the winds blow. These journeys can be quite literally beyond words, and attempt to distill them down so that I can explain them to others leaves the most important parts of the journey behind.

One thing that does come through clearly though is that, as my friend Frank DeMarco’s Guys upstairs say, ‘everything is well, everything is always well,’ which is of course not the feeling one gets when you look at the state of the world through our physical senses. I have to believe though, that they are right, and that everything is going according to plan and is right on schedule.

By the way, the photo is from Two Oceans Lake in Grand Teton National Park. You can just make out a few peaks of the Tetons in the distance. They were sleeping in on this day.