Mindfuless in Nature – A Spring practice
For this practice you will need to choose a place which you can return to fairly regularly. Ideally it will be a quiet peaceful place where you feel connected to the natural world. If you live in a city a garden or a park is fine.
Once you have your place find a comfortable position for your body. You might want to sit down on the ground, rock or Branch or lean against a tree but standing is also fine. To begin with close your eyes or focus your gaze on a point on the ground and acknowledge what is going on for you in this moment in your mind and body. What have you bought with you to this place, are there thoughts, perhaps planning what you have to do later, or memories? How do you feel, is there emotion present? As best as you can allow whatever you find to be as it is, not judging your experience or trying to resist or change what you find.
After a few minutes bring your attention to the sensations in your body. Can you become aware of the sensations of the body contacting the ground, and the feeling of the air around you? Stay with the body for a while noticing any physical sensations and the feeling of the breath entering and leaving the body. When you feel ready bring your awareness to any sound you can hear in the environment around you, allowing sounds to come and go without judging them. See if you can be with the direct experience of the sounds rather than going into thought about what they might be. Spend a little time this way, open to what you can hear.
If you have had your eyes closed try opening them, look around and notice what you can see. Try to be with the direct experience of seeing, aware of the shapes, the colours and the textures. If you can, try to maintain an awareness moment by moment, noticing if you become distracted by thoughts and guiding your awareness back to what you can see. In a similar way you may want to explore you sense of smell, perhaps closing your eyes as you do this.
With any of the practices you don’t need to try too hard. As best as you can, allow yourself to relax, as you are not trying to achieve anything special, just to notice and be aware of what is going on.
See, if through spending time in this way you become intimate with the place you have chosen, noticing in detail whatever it has to offer to your senses. Noticing the plants the animals and insects, the rocks, soil and leaves. Noticing where the sun is or if there are clouds and feeling the temperature of the air. If you return to the place regularly you may notice how things change with time especially during this season when things are growing. When you leave, again just check in with how you feel before returning to your day.