Don’t you just feel like heading out for a stroll or a swim when it’s all nice and sunny outside? Nothing beats the warm, fuzzy feeling you get when you’re basking in nature. Meditating outdoors is a great way to break the monotony of your practice. You’ll find nature meditations to be surprisingly refreshing, especially when you haven’t been out for a while. There’s a wide range of benefits you can accrue from meditating outdoors. First, you can be guaranteed of getting the recommended dose of vitamin D – just ensure you don’t go out when it’s extremely hot, otherwise you risk scorching yourself and getting serious sunburns.
More benefits of meditation in nature
Ever wondered why meditation retreats and monasteries are located in mountains or deep forests? Nature meditations allow us to become more receptive to our natural environment. We stop viewing nature as inert and start viewing it as alive and breathing, filled with mystery and wonderment. Nature comes delightfully alive, rekindling our exuberance and improving our state of mind. When in nature, we can learn tremendously – nature is a place where wisdom and perception come alive. Meditating outdoors also activates our entire senses, allowing us to be more alert and wakeful.
Another huge advantage of nature meditations is their ability to keep us grounded. When your thoughts wander off as you’re meditating outdoors, you simply have to tune your mind back by listening to the wonderful sounds of nature. Listen to the birds chirping, the frogs croaking, the wind whooshing through the trees and the leaves rustling all around you. Let nature become your meditation anchor to guide you back when your mind starts to wander. It’s also extremely easy to achieve mindfulness when you’re outdoors since your senses are fully engaged and your mind is rooted to the present moment.
When you sit on the ground during your nature meditations, your body’s rhythm synchronizes with the earth’s natural vibrations. This enhances your meditation immensely, allowing you to enjoy a more fulfilling experience. Our senses also become sharper – your hearing enhances and your skin receptors become extremely sensitive. When you’re in nature, you replace the conventional electronic music with nature’s sounds. Your MP3 player is replaced by the harmonious melody of the birds. This eco-friendly aspect of meditation refreshes your mind and benefits your body. Coupled by the bliss of solitude that you enjoy in nature, it helps to rejuvenate your meditation practice.
The beauty of meditation
Dr. Maria Camara, a renowned meditation teacher, talks about the amazing benefits of meditation in her Mind Talk. She discusses how meditation can help to reduce stress and improve our peace of mind. According to Dr. Camara, meditation helps us to become more compassionate. As a result, we’re able to forge better and more meaningful relationships. We also develop into more tolerant people. And since meditation helps us to remain grounded on the present moment, we stop worrying about future and become kinder to ourselves. This helps us to deal with stress, depression and anxiety.
You can watch Dr. Camara’s Mind Talk in the Mindworks Meditation App which is free to download on your smartphone. This app also contains a variety of meditation resources, including daily guided meditations where expert instructors guide you through your meditation sessions. There’s even a Go Solo meditation section for when you’re feeling ready to go at it on your own. There’s plenty to learn from meditating outside. And judging by the benefits of meditation in nature discussed above, there’s all reason to start meditating outdoors. You can try nature meditations and see how it works out for you. Chances are, you’ll get hooked to it. Are you ready to take on the challenge?