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Becoming Nature
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Table of Contents

In Honor of My Teachers

To Know Nature Is to Become Nature


A Different Approach to Connecting with Nature

Relearning the Old Way

To Know Nature Is to Know Yourself

Transformation through the Animal Mind


Step 1 Remember Nature Speak, the First Language

The Personality of Nature Speak

Why We No Longer Talk with Animals

How Nature Speak Works

Where We Get Stuck

Relearning Nature Speak

Nature Speak and Domestic Animals

What to Expect from Nature Speak


Step 2 Learn the Silent Language of Birds

How Birds Teach about Themselves

A Bridge to Nature Speak

How Birds Teach about Other Animals

From Symbolic to Direct Communication

How to Learn Their Silent Language

Rock Dove

Red-winged Blackbird

Great Northern Loon

The Anatomy of a Birdsong

Step 3 Awakening the Animal Mind

My Coming Out

I, the Animal

Our Two-Track Brain

We, the Conflicted Species

Thinking without Thought

Beware of the Rational-Mind Trap

Knowing the Experiential Mind Set

Letting Go of Goal Orientation

How to Live in the Now

What It's Like to Be in Animal Mind

Step 4 The Time-Media Trap

Leaving Tools, Entering Relationship

A Fresh Perspective on Cultivating Relationship

Our Brains on Media

Media Creates Reality

Re-attuning Our Ears to Nature Speak

It's All in the Mind

Seeing Is Not Always Believing


Audiovisual Material Meets the Animal Mind

Time by Dictate


Step 5 Be Where the Magic Happens

How We Live Can Help Us Find Animals

Dawn: The Place to Begin

Next, Attune to Our Body's Rhythms


Step 6 Enter the Silence, Listen, and You Will See

The Dynamic of Silence

Learning to Listen

Listening Beyond Words

Honing Our Listening Skills with Shadowing

Big Ears: A Deep Listening Example

Deep Listening and Time

Looking Versus Seeing

The Problem with Seeing Too Much

A Lesson in Listening

Step 7 Energize and Attune Your Senses

The Awareness

Overcoming the Barriers

The Stories

The Exercises

The Answers for Step 7

Step 8 Walk and Paddle Quiet as a Shadow

Natural Walking

Shadowing Canoeing

Step 9 Turn Invisible and Instill No Fear

Seeing through Our Biggest Blinders: Prejudice and Fear

How to Become Invisible

To Stand Out Is to Blend In

Be the Landscape

Visibility: A Survival Strategy

Step 10 The Best Tricks for Seeing Animals

What to Do When We See an Animal

Step 11 Become the Animal

Imagine

Step 12 To Touch an Animal

Counting Coup: The Concept

Learning to Count Coup

When Noble Fare Is Far Away

To Touch the Soul

Acknowledgments

Appendix 1 List of Stories

Appendix 2 List of Exercises

Notes

Glossary

Bibliography

Index

About the Author

About the Artists

About the Author

Tamarack Song has spent his life studying the world's aboriginal peoples, apprenticing to elders, and learning traditional hunter-gatherer survival skills. He has spent years alone in the woods as well as living with a pack of Wolves. In 1987 he founded the Teaching Drum Outdoor School in the wilderness of northern Wisconsin. He is the author of several books, including Entering the Mind of the Tracker.

Reviews

"I love the way Tamarack explains that you must get away from thought to understand animals. He is referring to verbal thought with language and entering the animal's sensory-based world that has no words. To understand animals, you have to get away from words and enter their realm of visual, auditory, and touch sensation, which are linked to emotions. Becoming Nature will help connect you to the natural world." * Temple Grandin, author of Animals in Translation and Animals Make Us Human *
"Do you often feel rushed and far removed from feeling the peace of delighting in the natural world around you? Tamarack Song gives a way to return to heightened sensory awareness and fulfilling kinship with wildlife. Enriched by his background in environmental education, wilderness survival, and wildlife conservation, the author guides readers with a variety of exercises to an active experience with Nature around and within us. Here are practical steps you can take to better know Nature and yourself." * Penelope Smith, author of Animal Talk and When Animals Speak *
"Tamarack Song teaches how Becoming Nature is our natural and innate state of being. Becoming Nature is beautifully written and filled with practices to help us reconnect with the natural world. This is an important and powerful book to help us improve our personal health as well as bring back balance and harmony to the planet and all in the web of life." * Sandra Ingerman, coauthor of Speaking with Nature and author of Walking in Light: The Everyday Empow *
"Following up on his successful book, Entering the Mind of the Tracker, Tamarack Song now offers readers 12 steps for learning to move from observing nature to becoming nature. His system teaches the intuitive skills of our hunter-gatherer Ancestors using story and experience rather than traditional study. He tells readers that we all have innate, though largely ignored, primal aptitudes for these skills which are imbedded in our DNA. This is a powerful call to leave the virtual/intellectual world and reclaim our roots in the natural world." * Anna Jedrziewski, Spirit Connection New York, April 2016 *
"Tamarack's approach, as the title suggests, is founded primarily on the ideal of oneness, as in "becoming one with nature." On the other hand, as suggested by the phrase in his subtitle, "learning the language of..." he teaches observational skills as the basis for the process of becoming one. The book is quite detailed and technical in its approach, even though it comes from a spiritual perspective of oneness." * Intuitive Connections, Henry Reed, April 2016 *
"The writing is personable, and Song's generous inclusion of tales about his own journey to `become nature' adds a loving quality to the text. Whether urban dweller or off-grid subsistence homesteader, anyone can benefit from the collected wisdom Song shares in this latest offering--these lessons from a lifetime of learning-by doing-inspire faith in the limitless potential of one who has truly become nature." * Foreword Reviews, Patty Comeau, May 2016 *
"As Song reminds us, we have innate sensory and intuitive capabilities inherited from our hunter-gatherer predecessors; it's just that in our modern world we've lost this perception, although it's still imprinted in our DNA. Song has designed a series of exercises, supported by experiential stories, to help us expand our awareness to include the world around us and the plants and animals within it. He also has solutions for leaving behind our precious electronic gadgets.
Song encourages us to let our imaginations transform us into the animal we seek to become and enter Nature's silence invisibly. Most of us won't ever have the opportunity to interact with animals in the wild, yet Song's wisdom can help us discover that Nature resides within us all." * Nexus, June 2016 *

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