Nature Meditation – Escape the Indoor Lives & Breathe a Little!
One thing that the Covid-19 pandemic has taught us is that it is a real gift to be able to spend time outdoors. Meditation was one way that kept people stay calm and sane! Well, the good news you don’t have to choose between meditation and taking advantage of nature. Nature and meditation go hand in hand as both give you peace.
The sound of birds, the sight of a flower, the cool breeze hitting, all this resonates with our being. These beautiful experiences wake something inside of us and help to track our lives onto a more natural rhythm. Nature admirers have already discovered this secret without studying nature meditation ever!
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Meditation in Nature’s Bed
Ever had a thought about why meditation retreats and monasteries are mostly deep inside the forests or on islands or the mountain tops? Because it is the place where our wisdom and perception come to life. Meditation in nature activates and heightens our senses which makes our practice more wakeful. Also, the distractions of urban life seem far away and somehow less important. It happens when you are in the middle of the ocean or admiring the waterfall or simply forest bathing you may find it easier to let go of all the worries. You get the best satisfying alternative for electronic gadgets that is, mindfully communicating with mother nature.
You may be wondering how only being in nature is nature meditation. Well, it is because the time you spend outdoors can always be a form of meditation when you put your full attention on what is around you. The trees, fresh air, river, fruits, flowers, animals, in short, any earthly element. Thus, to intensify the whole ideal, allow yourself to experience the sights, sounds, and smells without labelling them and becoming mentally involved with them. Just evaluate and observe everything by noticing the tendency of the mind to name.
Which Type of Nature Meditation is the Best?
Meditation may not be a ‘one size fits all’ endeavour, but meditation can do it all. To unlock all the benefits of meditation, searching for the right style is the key. From increasing self-awareness to reducing stress, and lengthening the attention span meditation is necessary.
Nature meditation is not restricted to only long walks or day picnics. Waterfall meditation, ocean sleep meditation, forest meditation, rainforest meditation, meditation with ocean waves, rainforest sleep meditation are a few to name. The aim is to increase our focus on experiencing what mother nature has to offer to us. Sight, touch, sound, smell, and even taste. Many of these mindful practices can be taken outdoors.
With walking meditation, you will pay attention when your feet make contact with the ground as you mindfully move forward. With waterfall meditation, you can focus on the sound of water falling, the change in the temperature, the cool breeze brushing past you. When we sit on the lush green grass during the nature meditation, our body synchs with the earth’s natural vibrations. You can feel that your senses are heightened, your ears perk up and your hearing feels sharper. All this is nothing but the lack of busyness and the sense of well-being that allows you to be more in sync with your senses than usual.
Nature meditation can be utterly beautiful, but her power and unpredictability are not to be underestimated. It is just a safety precaution to check the weather forecast before leaving, wearing proper clothing, applying sunscreen, or carrying umbrellas and raincoats, bring bug sprays. It is good to familiarize yourself with the wildlife and stay safe!
You don’t want to just end up in the wilderness for mediation now, do you? How about your patio, balcony, garden, backyard, or the public park that is just around the corner? You will have to adjust to the sound of the vehicles, civilization, or society in general, but this will reinforce your experience in unbiased perception.
The in and Outs of Earth Meditation and How to Practice It
The name itself is quite soothing, isn’t it? Earth Meditation.
Well to practice this meditation, you need to find a place where you can sit quietly, without getting disturbed, on a sunny day. Ideally, the place should be where you can really connect with all the elements of the Earth and what mother nature has given us. It can be on a hillside on the outskirts of the city or a shady grove outside your local library, maybe it’s somewhere deep in the woods, or near the lake, or even your backyard. So step 1: Find your spot, and make yourself comfortable.
Now you can sit or lie down on the ground as you please. Just make sure you are in direct contact with the earth as much as possible. Use all your senses to attach to Earth. Free your body and relax, breathe slowly, and take in the scents and fragrances around you. You may smell the damp earth, or freshly cut grass, dewy flowers, and leaves. Just close your eyes, and feel the earth beneath your body. Become aware of the cool breeze blowing your hair, and allow yourself to dance to the tune of nature.
Once you are completely relaxed, take in the rays of the sun. The picture that warm golden light is being absorbed into your body. Allow the warm light to ease its way on your face, your chest and gradually warm your heart. Feel yourself getting connected to the earth beneath you. Observe your connection to the Earth. Experience the stability and security of the ground beneath you. Keep inhaling and exhaling steadily, and enjoy the sensation of being one with the soil, the grass, and even the rocks below.
Trust your instinct, and once you feel that you have fully connected with the earth or you start to grow restless; that is the indication to end your nature meditation. You can end it in multiple ways. For instance, you can appreciate the earth beneath you and the sky above and slowly open your eyes as you take in the sunlight. Begin your focus on the external rather than the internal. Pay attention to your breathing, take few deep breaths, and just express your gratitude to be able to experience the beauty of nature!
Is Meditating Outside Better
No matter if you are a certified trainer or a newbie to the world of meditation, you might have wondered where the best meditation spots might be hiding. Are they inside your own home, or out in the jungle? Cause you know it can be anywhere.
Well, generally speaking, compared to meditating in your home, nature meditation requires more mental fluidity. Because you are flowing and flagging with the senses around you. For beginners it can be a little bit challenging, the distractions are more outside than at home. Even the cool breeze touching your skin can interrupt your breathing awareness. But for the experienced ones, it can enhance your receptivity and connection to the plants, animals, vibrancy, and the world around you.
After practising the guided meditation nature walk, you might not struggle to stick to a meditation habit and easily reach a meditative state under the night sky than in a dark room. Likewise, nature meditation can be a phenomenal escape if your indoor surroundings are noisy.
The truth is, there is no right or wrong to meditation. Any place can work just fine, as ultimately, the practice encourages you to search within. The meditative journey of tuning in and turning your outward flowing energy inwards can be done wherever you sit.
Frankly, meditation comes easier in nature for some, and indoors for others. Some need total silence to meditate; others can tune in without needing any specific environment.