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09/2012: 『自然之道』大師-約翰‧米爾頓的專訪/ Interview with the "Way of Nature's" John Milton

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『自然之道』大師-約翰‧米爾頓的專訪

約翰米爾頓(John Milton)至今已在全世界各處旅行、種下文化的種子,希望用大自然連結社會中的多重關係。

他的做法稱為『自然之道』,也構思出一條路徑、相關做法和原則,引領人們慢慢踏入人的基礎存在的根源處。朝邦文教基金會很榮幸在九月份邀請大師來台灣進行『自然之道』初體驗,為期兩個星期,提供四次工作坊。除了在陽明山國家公園與花蓮太魯閣國家公園布洛灣提供工作坊給基金會的核心學員─教練、引導師、企業、非營利組織領導人,我們也特別為陽明山國家公園解說處,花蓮林務局的的員工與志工們提供工作坊與演講。大師離別台灣之前,董事長George以及執行長Jorie在家中專訪約翰米爾頓,談到自然之道的關鍵精神,由專案經理─顏克莉整理,作為本月對話新訊息。

Q1: 外在的大自然如何與個人內在的自然面貌作連結?

A1: 自然這個名詞,在英語為nature,所指的是我們周圍與內在的世界、整體的環境和我們最深層的真實面向。體悟則是回歸到我們最真實的自我,心智的自然境界,對外在與內在環境的真相有所覺察。自然就是事物的原狀,存在的真相。

Q2: 您在這方面的知識是取自何處呢?

A2: 我的學習來自於道教和美國原住民的哲學。西藏的薩滿教和古老的大圓滿傳統思想,以及衍自於數千年前的印度的森林隱士的傳統思想,也整合到自然之道的課程中。從西方的文化中,我也從塞爾特的文化中學到與大自然的共處之道。這些不同的文化對我有很大的幫助,幫助我學習如何深入大自然,我也從這些哲學中萃取出稱為十二個原則的修練。

Q3: 您所提出的十二個原則,如何能夠對領導者有所助力?

A3: 如果你想要成為一位優秀的領導者,就必須進入內心深處、純粹創意與人格的根源處。越是接近你深層的真相,也就越能因應內在與外在面臨的干擾。奧圖夏默稱這為「U的底部」,擷取古老時代人們解決問題的方法,必須尋找內心深處,覺察這創意的根源處。這是一個古老的過程,也在「U型理論」中予以說明。 

Q4:  「根源處」是什麼?每個人又該如何知道自己是否已經感受到這根源處呢?

A5:  我覺得《道德經》說的最好:「道可道,非常道。」所以要談這件事的時候,就必須以謙卑的態度來談。要談論根源處就好像用手指指向月亮,到了某一個高度時,你必須將手指移開,直接感受。話說到此,說起根源處,首先就要先體驗它〈禪宗典故:指月〉。

矛盾的是,它其實就在每個人的內心深處,包括家裡的寵物狗。根源處是最原始的連結點。所有的物體型態都來自於根源處,不斷改變,在遼闊的生態中互相連結。這就是我們內在的「綠色」環境的基礎面。這不是理論,而是很基礎、實際。我們和咬我們的那隻蚊子,都來自同樣的真相,當代的物理學也能驗證這一點。我被雷電所擊,整個昏厥又清醒的經驗,就是我所體驗到的根源處,而我在教書時也是從那個經驗來思考和教導。能夠用來形容根源處的體驗的字眼就是:就如鏡子一樣清澈,也有無比遼闊的空間,讓我們反思所有的事物,包括當時的聲音和滲入這空間的光芒。 

Q6: 這次來到台灣,您認識了來自不同組織的參與者,包括組織的管理階層、國家公園、林務局同仁,還有人力發展領域的引導師。目前為止,您對台灣的參與者以及台灣的印象如何?

A6: 令我感到印象深刻的是參與者的素養、細膩的覺察、大家提出的許多很好的問題、和大自然的連結感、他們從自然中得到的洞察、以及大家願意分享的熱忱。大家對於自己的經驗所提出的深度分享,也讓我感到非常驚豔。我對台灣的文化感到非常讚賞。台灣人的根很扎實,我覺得他們和過去的連結,讓台灣的文化更是充滿力量。

在地的根是非常重要的,因為這連結到來自大自然的生態智慧,教我們從生態的層面上與大自然和諧共處。當地的人們必須學習如何以永續經營的方式在當地的環境中生活,這樣的智慧也不斷展現價值,教導現代人如何以永續經營的態度生活。當今,這種文化中的智慧也瀕臨絕跡,這種危機和生物多樣性消失的危機一樣嚴重。我們可以從生物學中學習如何研發科技和新的行為模式,這稱為生物模擬(Biomimicry)。魔術沾的設計概念就是從蜥蜴的腳上找到的。生態模擬也象徵組織從整個生態系統中學習的能力,讓我們學習如何打造屬於我們的生命系統。

Q7: 您希望能為這個世界帶來什麼樣的變革?

A7: 我們永遠不會知道我們會對世界有什麼樣的影響力。1960年代時,怎麼都不會想到我會參與一個全球性的運動。在美國規劃「環境的未來研討會(Future of The Environment Congress)」時,我參與了研討會的命名過程。當時我們選擇「環境」,的確希望能夠讓這想法更蔓延拓展,但是卻沒想到環保的議題會成為全球性的運動。這也讓所有推動善念的人有了希望。我們無法預知未來,但是卻可以推動我們認為會有幫助的事項。這是我對於文化變革上的努力。有時候,當別人問我在做什麼的時候,我的回答是「我是推動文化變革的媒介者」,而不是推動領導人變革的人。這是一種文化的變革。

我希望能推動一個非常實際的社會運動,單純地進入大自然,運用這些簡單的工具和原則,感受到引發全新蛻變、建立人與地球的緊密關係。我希望能為大家提供一些以生態區的中心為導向的工具,讓他們能夠深度地覺察,運用十二個原則來和大地互動,讓地球成為他們的家人,也因為有這種以地球為核心的觀點,打造出完全不同的生活模式。如此一來,絕對會為道德、公共政策、還有我們在生命中所作的選擇帶來極大的影響。

Q8: 您對參與者接下來應該採取的行動有什麼建議嗎?

A8:  www.wayofnature.com http://www.sacredpassage.com 這兩個網站都提供了一些資源,幫助大家進入內在的大自然境界。建議各位多加利用。每天或每星期,都花點時間和家人到公園裡走走、練習。或者到某個人的家裡,針對每一個原則來探索。欣賞一部談到特定的原則的電影,然後討論,接下來,或許可以定期到大自然走走。

Q9: 您想要送給台灣的祝福是什麼?

A9: 我希望台灣能成為一個培養出與大自然共有深度諧和感情的模範。我覺得台灣的文化中已經有許多這方面的元素,只需要更深度探索。 感應力的力量是極度可觀的。存在感的確很好,但是若無法將放鬆的技巧加以熟練,就無法感受到真正的存在。因此,我從事的志業的核心,就是在存在的當下,注入真正的感應力。

紀錄整理─顏克莉〉

Interview with the "Way of Nature's" John Milton

The CP Yen Foundation had the privilege of hosting naturalist John Milton for two weeks this September. In addition to our public workshops for facilitators, coaches and leaders we also did trainings for volunteers and staff of Yang Ming Shan National Park and the Hualien Forestry Bureau. During his stay, Jorie Wu and George Yen had the pleasure of doing an interview of John over a relaxing breakfast at home.

John Milton’s been traveling the world planting cultural seeds to reconnect society’s relationship with nature.  His method is called the Way of Nature and introduces a path, methods and principles supporting people’s gradual reintroduction to our fundamental source of being.  This month’s dialogue newsletter is an interview with John Milton about the way of nature’s key message:

Q1: How does outer nature connect to one’s inner nature?

A1: The English word nature refers to the world both external and internal to ourselves - the environment and our deeper truth.  Enlightenment also refers to awareness about the truth of our outer and inner environment, the nature of our mind, things as they are, and the truth of being.

Q2: What lineage does your knowledge come from?

A2: Daoism and the Native American way are my top knowledge lineages. Tibetan shamanic Bon, the ancient tradition of Dzogchen as well as the forest dwellers tradition that goes back many thousands of years in India are integrated into the Way of Nature as well.  From the West I draw from Celtic traditions who are deeply connected to nature.  The Way of Nature’s 12 Principles is a distillation of these different cultures and offers a practice for learning how to go deep in nature.

Q3: How are the 12 Principles helpful to leaders?

A3: If you want to be a good leader you need to be connected with the source of pure creativity and integrity within yourself.  The closer you come to an authentically deep place of your being, the better you are able to deal with both inner and outer disturbances.  “Theory U” author Otto Scharmer calls this the ‘base of the U’ which is a recapitulation of an ancient view that to resolve issues and problems as they arise you’ve got to tap into the deep part of yourself and honor it as the source of creativity. 

Q4:  What is source?  And how to know if one’s really in touch with source?

A5:  I can’t do any better than the Dao De Jing (道德經): “the source that can be named is not the true source.”  So anyone who talks about this must begin with humility about the subject.  Talking about source is like a finger pointing at the moon; at some point you must take the finger away, and directly experience the moon.  So with that preface, the first thing to say about source is that it must be experienced.  Paradoxically, it’s within us all.  Including the family dog.  Source provides the primary level for all connectedness.  All forms arise from source, are continuously changing and connected in a vast ecology of form.  This is the basic foundation of the “green” environmental aspect of us all. This isn’t theoretical, it’s a fundamentally practical.  Both we and the mosquito that bit you arise from the same authentic reality, modern physics support this as well.  My experience of being hit by lightening and shot into the light and pulled back again, is my experience of source, and I speak from that experience when I teach.  The words that can be applied to the experience of source are: clarity like a mirror with tremendous space to reflect all things including sound and the rays of light that permeates space. 

Q6: In Taiwan you’ve met with different groups of participants from business to the forest service; what has been your impression so far?

A6: I am impressed by the group’s high levels of intellect, refined awareness, their very good questions, their connection to nature and the insights gained from that, and their wonderful ability to share; I’ve been amazed by the depth of sharing of people’s experiences.  I’ve been very favorably impressed by Taiwanese culture, which has ancient roots, and I think their indigenous connections lend strength to the Taiwanese culture.

Indigenous roots are important is because they have learned how to live in harmony with nature from an ecological perspective.  Indigenous peoples had to learn how to relate to the local environment in a sustainable way and this wisdom continues to have value for teaching modern humans how to live sustainably.  Today our risk of losing that cultural wisdom is just as great as biodiversity loss.  Biomimicry is one way we can learn from biology to create technologies and new ways of behavior; for example, Velcro is a product inspired by natural Gecko feet.  Ecomimicry is an equivalent term relating to an organization’s ability to learn from an entire ecosystem in how we design our own living systems.

Q7: What difference do you aspire to make in the world?

A7: We never really know what impact we’re going to have on the world.  In the 1960s I had no idea that I was part of a movement that would become global.  At the “Future of The Environments Congress” in the US I was involved in the selection of the word “environment”; we hoped it would catch on but didn’t know it would become a global movement.  So that gives some hope to us who are working towards greater good; there’s no way we can really predict, yet we can set in motion what we think would be helpful.  That’s my attempt at cultural transformation.  Sometimes when people ask what I do I respond “I’m a culture change agent” more than leadership change, its cultural change.

I want to leave behind a well grounded movement to go out in to nature alone and use these simple tools, principles, and sensing processes to profoundly transform human’s relationship with the earth; so that the earth becomes their family, and their lives are engaged differently thanks to this earth-based perspective.  That would have a reverberating effect on ethics, public policy, and the choices we make in our lives.

Q8: What is your suggestion to our participants on what next steps to take?

A8:  www.wayofnature.com and http://www.sacredpassage.com offers resources for going into one’s nature. Use them.  Take a bit of time out each day or week to go out with your family into the park and practice.  Or, have a gathering at someone’s home, watch a movie that emphasizes on a principle, discuss it, then perhaps go out in nature together on a regular basis.

Q9: What blessing would you like to send to Taiwan?

A9: I hope that Taiwan becomes an exemplar of cultivating a deep sense of harmony with nature.  I think there are already elements in Taiwanese culture that are like that, it’s just a matter of going deeper.   The power of the receptive is immense.  Presence is really great, but you can’t have true presence without having mastered relaxation.  So the heart of what I do is to bring true receptivity into the essence of Presence.

(This interview is recorded and reported by Keli Yen-Project Manager of CPYF)

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