Top ways to incorporate nature into your meditation and why this enhances your practice
Meditation is something which, when used correctly and regularly, can change our lives for the better. It can contribute significantly to our overall wellbeing and become an integral part of our regular self-care routine.
As a newcomer to meditation, and a blogger for natural health and all that is holistic in this world, I have come across many new ideas, treatments and aids that exist within nature. One of the most incredible, I find, is nature itself and finding your own connection to it.
Some may find the sound of the ocean crashing or lapping soothing. Others lean towards the sun for energy and fulfilment. Connecting with the earth itself with our own bare feet and hands can help to re-centre us and allow us to regain balance, it brings us back to the self and re-unites us with our senses. Nature is not just visual, you can smell it, hear it, touch it and even taste it, as well as that it connects to our soul, our memories, our inner being. I have heard from a family member that spending time out in the desert, in all that silence and expanse really opened up a deep connection and presence within the self. Perhaps others thrive more in the forest like the ancient yogi’s of India; whatever your preference, it is undeniable that nature has an effect on our existence and inner self.
So, bearing all this in mind, I had the thought that surely we could incorporate that connection with nature to help us meditate and find an added, complimentary factor to the way we practice and the effect that we gain from it. For example, a morning meditation to give you energy and power to face a busy, intense day at work could be boosted by the power of the sun – sitting cross legged (or however you are comfortable) with your face to the sun and eyes closed for ten minutes can not only help you be present and find your spiritual balance for the day but also provide you with all the vitamin D you should need to get through it with strength and vitality.
Perhaps you use meditation to calm down after a long day at work to aid a healthy sleeping pattern. In this case, finding that element of nature that calms and soothes you and exposing yourself to it during your practice could really help elevate the results.
Get your vitamin-D at the same time as meditating; the perfect way to start the day to energise and feel ready for action. The sun also affects the skin, that tingling feeling of the rays warming your body is a literal energy source right there which can also serve to soothe us and relax our minds.
Personally the sound of rain on the window, or on the street outside can give me a nostalgic sense of comfort and warmth, which, when meditating, can make you feel safe and secure in your surroundings, and therefore self. It can also be a soothing sound which can help to calm the mind. I don’t recommend being out in the rain unless you can either find some shelter and enjoy the sounds and smells that come with it, or it is a light rain in a warm climate which can then help to refresh the mind, body and soul!
As we touched on, the sounds of the ocean can have incredible calming effects on our minds whilst reconnecting us to the power and energy of the water itself. The senses are heightened by the smells the water creates, allowing us to flow with its instinctive rhythms and fall deeper into a mediative state.
I’d suggest that a howling wind, or even the sound of it, could be somewhat distracting and potentially disturbing when it comes to trying to align with a meditation, however finding a gentle, warm breeze to practice in could help to relax and find a rhythm in tune with the elements.
Meditation whilst walking or seated barefoot on natural ground: earth, sand, rock, etc. allows the natural vibrations of the earth to pass between there and our own vibrations, this meeting of energies gives us the opportunity to re-centre and find our balance. Do not try on man-made surfaces.
Meditation whilst listening to a thunderstorm could produce some interesting results of strength, power and expectancy, or looking forward.
Obviously, we cannot conjure up a storm, or any of the above, every time we wish to meditate so you may have to play the desired sounds effects from an online source. I personally practice meditation more effectively whilst wearing outer noise-eliminating headphones and listening to either a mantra or sounds from nature as it aids concentration and reduces possible distraction. The most effective way to incorporate nature into your meditation is to first assume your intention for the practice, then find your comfortable position, relax, breathe, and repeat any mantras you may be using. Once you have delved into a meditative state, allow your senses to come alive one by one to the natural elements. Awaken your listening abilities, do not focus in on the sound or the source of it too much as this will distract from the practice. Next open yourself to the sensation of touch; feel that breeze, rain droplets, sand, etc. Then, if you feel able to, awaken the sight – sometimes visuals can be an overload of information for many people during meditation and can steer the concentration away from the intended goal.
However you approach combining the two, focus on what enhances your practice and provides you with the strongest connection to your self and your intention for your meditation. You don’t have to limit yourself to one stimulant of nature, but start small and work your way towards your goals. I think this could provide a really interesting and expansive mechanism for creating a wider range of positive effects from the practice.
Distance learning diploma course in Meditation
Here at the School of Natural Health Sciences we have been providing a distance learning education for the past 23 years, and seen over 40,000 students graduate. Our popular Meditation Course takes the student on a journey through both Eastern and Western meditation techniques; from Chakra Balancing to Walking the Labyrinth. No previous qualifications are required, as this course covers the basics for those studying this subject for the first time.