Spring has finally sprung for real here in New Hampshire! Everything is blooming, the trees are getting those tiny little bright green leaves that give us a hint of things to come and everything and everyone is coming back to life. This is one of my favorite seasons and the perfect time to get outside and enjoy all of Mother Nature's beauty. And it's a perfect opportunity to practice meditation. Here's how:
Meditation is really all about bringing your attention to a point of focus. Being in nature gives us plenty of things to choose from! Here's a few ideas.
Sounds. Mother Nature is full of a variety of sounds that you could draw your focus to. You could decided to simply take in the totality of the sonic landscape, just letting it all come into your awareness. You could choose one particular thing that is dominant to your ear like a rushing stream, the wind rushing through the trees or a certain bird call. If you're on a hike the sound you focus on might be your own breath or the beat of your own heart depending on how strenuous the climb is!
Color. Mother Nature's palate is amazingly varied if we look deeply. While we may look at the woods and think there's nothing but green in there, if you look closely you'll find an incredible amount of variety. Before you head outside you might pick a color and see where you find it along the way.
Sensation. Time outside can allow us to use our senses in ways we might not normally think of. Our yoga practice often asks us to notice the sensation in our bodies and we can do the same when we're outside. You could walk barefoot across some beautiful green grass and really feel it beneath your feet. Your skin might become your focal point, feeling the cool breezes across any exposed areas and noticing any changes (did you just get goosebumps from the cold breeze you weren't expecting?!). After a long winter it can be wonderful to simply sit and feel the warmth of the sun on you. Or perhaps you're on a rocky path through the mountains and need to pay careful attention to where your feet land. Draw your attention to how this uneven earth feels beneath you as you travel.
These are just a few of the options for focal points you might choose. Once you've chosen something, stick with it! And when you notice that your mind has wandered from whatever you've chosen as your point of focus, simply bring it back. That's the whole game!
I hope this has given you some ideas. Let me know in the comments if you have a favorite nature meditation or if you plan to give some of these ideas a try!