Quiet Mind Meditation

This is a quiet space .. designed to inspire, nurture and support your meditation practice so that you might find your own quiet mind

Tuesday, 2 September 2008

Meditation with Nature

The eye takes a person into the world
the ear brings the world into a human being..
Lorenz Oken

Just a few weekends ago, I went down the coast with some of my dearest and oldest friends... a girls road trip and one of our semi-regular "girl's weekend's". I have a wonderful, diverse, rich and entertaining group of special friends... we all have manic lives and juggle multiple responsibilities; and eagerly look forward to this chance to share stories and adventures... we laugh, cry, eat lovingly prepared food, stay up late and enjoy the odd glass of red wine by the fire. It is an amazingly rich experience for us all, it feeds our inner fires, nourishes and inspires us...
We try to head out of town and we try to mix it up on where we go. This last weekend we headed down the Great Ocean Road and spent the night at a truly magnificent home perched high on the hill outside of Lorne (thank you Peter). We arrived late in the afternoon, after an indulgently long lunch on the way, everyone is high spirits and talking at fever pitch... the rain had cleared during the drive and it was clear and cool. As the sun was slowly sinking we climbed the many stairs to this truly fantastic Balinese inspired house.. lit the huge open fire, then gravitated quietly towards the open deck. In front of us was a truly inspiring picture - just the vast ocean spread across our entire view... blue blue water, the odd white topped wave and that special sound of the ocean crashing below.

I won't go into the general hilarity and wild conversations that unfolded that night... But the closeness of the ocean lulled us all to sleep and also woke me early the next morning and with silence all around me I couldn't resist creeping out onto the deck to meditate in such a peaceful place.
As the others slept I found a place to put my mat on the cool deck.. I wrapped my warm blanket around my shoulders, found my seat and settled... I listened... I focused on the cool, fresh air against my skin and noted the amazing sounds of nature all around me.

Meditating out in nature - be it the beach, the forest, a park or just your back garden - is a wonderful way to renew your practice and being attentive to the nature around you provides a great anchor to the present moment...
I think I got a good half hour out on that deck before the breakfast activity crashed into my stillness. I was easily fascinated by the sound scape around me.. the sound of the wind moving and swirling; the movement of some hidden animals in the bush; the darting of birds in the trees overhead; the crunch of twigs falling to the ground somewhere as people walked past below... And at some point I simply dissolved into the world around me.

Meditating outdoors can help us realise the intimate connection between the human spirit and the natural world.. that we are composed of the same molecules and atoms as rocks, rivers, plants and birds... that we are all part of the greater scheme of things.
The crashing of the ocean at times seemed to synchronize with my breathing... and I also had a sense of the wind blowing through me and taking my thoughts with it. In the face of such amazing natural beauty we can see that whatever our personal burden; in nature it becomes smaller and less significant.
Sit in reverie, and watch the changing color of the waves
that break upon the ideal seashore of the mind.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.
A Natural Meditation (from Lama Surya Das)
Go to a garden
And just stand in it.
Breathe in the air, the fragrances,
the light, the temperature,
the music of the different plants, insects, birds,
worms, caterpillars, grasshoppers, and butterflies.
Inhale the prana of all these abundantly growing things.
Recharge your inner batteries.
This is the joy of natural meditation...

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