Just found an interesting article on this very topic. Well, it's actually about working with plant medicines (which I do), but much of it can be applied to simply communicating with nature:
(Are we allowed to post text here? I saw something about plagarism but cant find it now.)
“the biggest secret of [plant] medicine is reciprocity, or ayni, as we call it in Andean cosmology.” The reciprocal relationship between humans and spirits that Allysan described rang true as evidence of a morally nuanced relationship with plant medicines—something that is not always evidenced by those who engage with these powerful spirits.
She explains, “When I sing in the ceremony, it attracts the spirits to enter into my body. They and I become one. In this way, my human consciousness can direct the spirits’ energy, with the result that they become conscious of themselves in a new way, through me.” Allysan frames this reciprocal relationship to the healing spirits of the plants within a larger pattern—the unfolding of a cosmic dance.
We humans are eager to engage with these spirits because we benefit from their healing power. Yet, as Allysan explains, the plant spirits find these relationships reciprocally fulfilling. The spirits “heal me, and I complete them, because the spirits are conscious through us and we are healed through them.”
In the Shipibo traditions of shamanism, esoteric wisdom and the ability to heal are passed on through apprenticeships of working with ayahuasca and other plants, “which are beings and lineages.” The teacher does not convey information directly to the apprentice, but rather manages the relationship between the apprentice and the spirit beings, who are the true teachers. As Allysan says, “the plant is like a key: at biological level, to our cellular memories and, at a consciousness level, to a kind of cosmic library.”
The apprenticeship takes place through a withdrawal from the everyday world, which is often called a dieta, or diet. By keeping to a diet of simple foods, withdrawing from social interaction, and maintaining a celibate lifestyle, the apprentice maintains a receptive physiological state and shows commitment to the path, which are the key elements that attract plant spirits to an apprentice. By developing a relationship with these spirits, the apprentice gains wisdom and skill in healing. “By following the diet, you open up its possibilities and expand your own potential.”
By undertaking a dieta, we situate ourselves in a network of activity whose nodes are humans, plants, and spirits. The forest as a whole, quite literally, becomes our teacher. “We integrate into a network of hormonal, cellular, biochemical, electric information. This is the essence of shamanism for me.”