Meditation in nature is my jam! I'm so addicted to meditating in nature that I've turned my home into a living garden with over 400 plants. Yes a little overboard but it's how I prefer my space to feel. I hike as often as possible, on average I go hiking twice a week. Hiking in itself is meditative but I make sure to take a seat on the Earth and close my eyes, breathe in rhythm with the trees, plants, and animals, and travel into realms deep within the forest.
Here are 5 reasons to take your meditation practice out into Nature. Doing so might just give you even more benefits.
- Nature brings you to a state of calm quite effectively – and who doesn’t like a little help in getting centered?
- If your thoughts wander off, you only have to listen to the sounds of Nature and you will be back into the Now! Listen to the wind, the birds and the frogs.
- By sitting on the ground with bare feet you will connect with the Earth. The Earth is sending you good energy!
- In Nature you will likely find plenty of opportunity for solitude. No one is watching you, except maybe some animals.
- Meditation leaves you with a magical feeling when you walk through Nature afterwards!
A nice extra is that Nature will surprise you if you meditate often. Just the other day I was rewarded with a curious deer to share space with. Meditation in a natural setting gives more than just a peaceful mind. It gives a sense of freedom, connection with the Earth, and mind-blowing insights.
Nature is full of such joys when we can open to them. Exploring mindfully helps us do just that. Meditation is a practice in which an individual trains the mind to cultivate awareness, clarity and an array of positive qualities. The following is a meditation that can help bring mindfulness to your experience in nature. Ideally, find a quiet place in nature where you can connect to the earth. If you are indoors, you can adapt parts of this exercise using a houseplant.
The Meditation Begins
At first, walk around this place the way you normally might be in nature. Notice what it feels like in your body to be in a place while only casually connecting to it. Now, barefoot if possible, feel the weight of your body through your feet and toes. Let your feet sink into connecting with the earth, and pay attention to how it feels in each foot. Begin walking on the earth, and feel the tickling grasses warmed in the sun.
After some time, reach down and dig your hands into the earth. Feel the texture of the earth in your fingers—is it gritty, muddy, or silky? Notice how it smells. Allow yourself to play with the earth, grasses, and stones, as a child might play in a mud puddle or a sand box. Rub the earth on your skin.
Observe how it feels to engage or participate through the sense of touch and how that changes your relationship to this place.
Continue your slow walk, exploring the plant life around you. Try rubbing fragrant bay leaves or lavender or other flowers and leaves in the palm of your hands and inhaling their fragrance. Feel the roughness of the bark of an old tree trunk with your hands, fingers, and arms. Taste some wild, edible berries.
Sit down and open your awareness to sounds, letting your mind expand to the furthest sound, so your attention is receptive and open. Similarly, take some time to absorb this place with your eyes—not looking for anything in particular, just allowing whatever you see to touch you.
Take some time to sit quietly under a tree or bask in warm sunlight. Let your senses drift open and outward. Breathe through every pore of your skin and soak up the ambience, the cadence, and the spirit of this place. Feel into the fact that you are a part of this living, breathing ecosystem.
While you are feeling open in this place, be aware that you are in a relationship with all kinds of life forms — including grasses, insects, birds, or animals that sense your presence but remain invisible. As you feel, engage in a relationship with this place, be aware of any shifts in your body, your breath, your heart, and your mind.
Be mindful of a simple joy or sense of aliveness that may come with this intimate contact. Notice how it can deepen your sense of connectedness, intimacy, and interest.