Buddhadharma: The Practitioner's Quarterly

The Natural World Is a Powerful Teacher

There’s a saying in Tibetan Buddhism that while we might start off with a personal teacher, at some point the entire phenomenal world becomes our guru.

This adage expresses the idea that all internal and external phenomena can be a catalyst for awakening. But it’s also true that nature, in particular, is a great teacher. The natural world continually arises as a vivid and ephemeral display. By tuning in to it through our sense perceptions—by hearing, seeing, smelling, tasting, and feeling the natural world fully—we discover a connection with a deeper and more awake dimension of our being, one that is free from the usual overlay of our conceptual thoughts. As guru, the natural world reveals that being present with things

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