Balancing Rock is one of those weird rock formations in Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada, that appear to defy the laws of gravity and physics.
The trail is only .1 miles, right off the main visitor center parking lot so it’s easy to get to, ample parking and a very short walk.
Two big questions immediately occupy your thinking when viewing balancing rock:
The video on this page describes how balancing rock can be a teacher that opens up an entire new world of thinking, extending powers of observation and opening the door to greater wisdom. In particular, we explore an ancient wilderness technique of the native American Apache tribes in the area now occupied by the State of Nebraska. Tom Brown, the most acclaimed tracker, has written a series of books and has established a school in New Jersey with over 75 classes on the art of tracking. In short, tracking is the art of strengthening your powers of observation to work back from what you see to the causes that created the situation — definitely a thinking process that comes to mind when viewing the balancing rock in Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada.
When it comes to tracking, we may think we are doing great by schooling ourselves in the ability to identify the kind of animal that left a particular set of tracks. The Apache trackers went far beyond that. They honed their skills in the sandy Great Plains area of the U.S. by observing animal behavior for hours at a time, then observing the tracks left by the animals. Their goal was to be able to look at a set of tracks and not only identify the animals that made the tracks, but also describe (reconstruct) what the animal was doing down to the various behaviors and movements.
Tracking extends itself to the level of a life science whereby the skilled tracker, by carefully observing human and social behavior has gained an uncanny ability to work backward to the cause. This opens the way to potentially amazing results. For example, I had the privilege of walking a trail with one of Tom Brown’s students, Norma Schell, MA, LPC, MHC , in Portland Oregon. Norma had applied advanced skills of tracking to back-engineer to the causes of multiple sclerosis and used her learnings to cure herself of the disease! She observed how sandy desert areas in places like Nebraska are reforested. Healing of the land occurs around nodes of health such as a tree, then the plants that grow around the tree and finally this area of life spreads itself joining other areas of life to eventually bring a forest of new life to an entire desert. Healing occurs in a similar way in the human body.
So, when you walk Valley of Fire State Park in Nevada and observe weird rock formations, begin to school yourself in working back from what you see to the cause. From where did that boulder fall? What might the rock formation have looked like while all the boulders lying at its base were still in their original position? Let the wilderness be your teacher!
I realize this is a lot to glean from a solitary balancing rock! However, nature can be an awesome teacher if we take the time to observe and reflect.