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Natural Outdoor Meditation
Let's take the opportunity to commune in a meditation with nature. We can let the natural sounds be part of the rhythmic pulse of our meditation just like we listen to the regular pattern of our breathing.
To begin, go for a walk to a secluded area where you will not be disturbed for half an hour or more. It can even be a meditation bench at the back of your yard if you have the privacy.
Another choice that is less private is a public park such as the rose garden at Mission Santa Barbara in the photo. If you sit with your hands folded in your lap and eyes closed, those passing by will think you are resting and not wide awake behind your shut eyes.
If you have a beach nearby sit at water's edge but not so near that a wave will overtake you. Ideally, you've brought a beach towel or blanket along to sit on.
Meditating outdoors requires a little more preparation than staying in the house: include a sun hat, sunscreen, sweater or light jacket, towel or light blanket, water bottle, insect repellant, fruit or granola bar.
For the meditation, if you are sitting on a blanket on the ground bend your legs in and fold your hands in your lap. If you are sitting on a bench plant your feet firmly on the ground to maintain your balance. Fold your hands in your lap or place them palms up or palms down on your thighs. Either way of sitting close your eyes.
Take a deep breath in and slowly release it. Begin even regular breathing one count to breathe in; one count to breathe out; continue this pattern throughout your meditation.
When your breathing is established listen to the sounds of nature around you. Do you hear birds in the distance. Listen to the rhythm of their songs. It is so much like human poetry or song in its repetitions. This rhythm is soothing to the soul. Paying attention to a bird song takes us on a mini-vacation away from cares of this world into a land of harmony.
It is this natural harmony we are looking to capture and take with us after the period of meditation.
When you are ready to end your meditation take another deep breath in and let it out slowly. Stand and stretch and walk home feeling the harmony of nature all the way down to your bones.
Coming home, if you've had any new insights during the meditation write them in your journal for future contemplation and review.
For offline reading
Meditation Lessons for Adults
More than 70 offerings, from guided meditation techniques to on-the-go stress relief and relationship meditations interspersed with verse, and a section of special occasion prayers. 114 pages.
Meditation for all Kids
Sitting, walking, dance and group circle meditations, along with positive affirmations, verses and benefits of meditation for kids of all ages and abilities in a 100 page book with illustrations.
Meditation and photo of Santa Barbara Mission rose garden by Susan Helene Kramer
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