Being Mindful In Nature: Mindfulness & Meditation In Nature
Do you like to be mindful in nature? Welcome to this text on the practice of mindfulness in nature. Feel free to take this text with you during your walk and get inspired to have an even richer walking experience.
This text is based on the lessons & quotes of Eckhart Tolle.
Mindfulness in nature? The basis is to open up your senses
Are you walking in nature? Actively use all your senses and be out of your mind. Then you can meet even the most subtle and hidden creatures, such as a deer, a frog or rare birds. We will discuss this in more detail in the following sections.
Being mindful in nature? Have a good listen to nature …
Bring awareness to the many subtle sounds in nature. Surrender yourself completely to the activity of listening . The rustling of leaves in the wind, raindrops falling, the buzzing of insects, the song of the bird …
Also listen to the deeper dimension of silence in nature
Note that there is silence in nature. To be able to notice that you have to have silence yourself. You are silent, but you are also alert, awake! In addition to sounds, nature also has the deeper dimension of silence. In a forest, for example, you hear subtle sounds: rain animals, rustling, and underneath: the silence. Don’t name / label / judge the sounds: “That’s this and that bird.”
The moment you become aware of the silence, you also become silent.
Look at nature without judgment: without ‘labels’
When you see nature only through the mind , or thinking, you cannot feel how alive it is … how it ‘is’. You only see the form and then you are unaware of life in the form. The mind makes a racket and judges, blocking your view of that beautiful vibrancy. To be able to see that life, you no longer have to label (judge).
If you look at nature, don’t do it like this: ‘I remember that little bird, what is the name of that species again …’ Then you’re not really looking at that beautiful creature that the mind is like. ‘bird’ labels.
If you look at the bird unlabeled, it is nice to be connected to your body first and to feel your entire energy field. Then look at the state of alertness in the bird. Don’t say anything more, but look. How it moves, how it looks, how its head looks back and forth …
See how nature is not in a chaotic ‘split’
See how every plant and animal is completely itself. And how it is complete where it is. It has, in contrast to humans, themselves do not split in two . It does not live through a mental image of itself, so it does not need to enlarge and protect that image.
The bird is itself. It decides not to fly, it just flies. It has no self-image. It has no problem with confidence or anything like that. It is itself. It is just completely itself.
The rabbit is itself. The nettle is itself. Everything in nature is not only one with itself, but also one with the totality. Nature has just taught you non-duality .
Being mindful in nature? You can learn something from everything in nature
And even less mobile life contains wise lessons: Smell the earth, feel its ‘livingness’. Look at a tree, a flower or a plant… And see the silence and the calm in it. See how deeply rooted it is in life, in ‘being’. Let nature inspire you and learn how to be calm, quiet and full of life energy, for example.
When you look at the calmness in a tree you become calm yourself. You then make a connection with it on a very deep level. You become one with that which you perceive through calm. That oneness you feel between yourself and all objects, living or not, is love.
The oak doesn’t think, “If only I were a birch.”
The birch doesn’t think, “If only I were an oak.”
Take the flower for instance: it has no stress. It doesn’t worry. It doesn’t bother. It is in the now, and life supports him to grow. Plants and vegetables return to the source when their life is over. The plant has no problem with dying and has no problem with living.
“The rose makes no reference to earlier roses or better roses. It is what it is. There is no time for them. There is only the rose. Its full nature is satisfied, and it pleases all other life forms in all moments. time is out of the question, but people live in the future and the past. ”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson on the rose
Learn from nature to be stable and calm in the here and now
For example, you can learn from nature to be stable, calm and yourself . You also learn to ‘be’ and to be where life is: in the here and now. Placing your attention on a rock, tree or animal does not mean thinking about it, but simply keeping it in your consciousness. Some of its essence will then begin to move within you. You can feel how peaceful and calm it is, causing some of that calmness to move into you.
When you look at nature, you see that nothing needs to be added to the incredible beauty.
You feel how deeply nature is in ‘its’ tranquility. Notice how present a flower is, completely surrendering itself to the now, to life. It lives in a state of calm. See how calm and still the flower is. The mind cannot experience that. You feel! Do you see the beauty, the colors, the light shining through it? When you become aware of it, it is also in you.
I am walking in nature. And it is suddenly very quiet in me.
have you ever really looked at the plant in your house? Did you let the plant teach you its secrets? Have you noticed how deep, how peaceful it is? How it has surrounded itself with calm? The moment you become aware of the plant’s emanation of calm and peace, you become your plant teacher.
All animals can teach you the state of ‘no thinking’
People can now access it through their pets. They don’t play ‘games’ with their pets, but show their real selves. We can be ourselves because our animals are themselves. The dog is not criticizing you. The dog accepts you. He accepts even the most insane owner.
There is always so much goodness, love and life in the dog no matter what. The dog is ready to celebrate life at any moment. Every little opportunity takes it, every simple thing.
Look at the joy and playfulness of the dog and his unconditional love and willingness to celebrate life anytime!
Often times, dogs do this even despite their long-term contact with humans. Many animals keep that, no matter how disturbed the human environment is. Nature ‘is’ complete. Have you ever seen a negative animal or tree? The only animals that show signs of this live near people.
This often contrasts sharply with the inner state of the dog’s owner: depressed, anxious, troubled, lost in thoughts, not present in the only time and place that ever exists: the here and now …
Eckhart Tolle once joked, “God, please make me the person my dog thinks I am.” And of course the dog does not think, otherwise the dog could not have those positive effects and otherwise that would be the start of problems.
You can learn all the virtues from nature!
So look at a flower or animal, and let it teach your acceptance of what is, surrendering to the now. Let it teach you all about being. Let it teach your integrity, which means to be yourself, to be real. Let it teach you how to live, how to die, and how to make life and death not a problem.
Learn from nature. See how everything is accomplished, and how the miracle of life unfolds without dissatisfaction or unhappiness. Let’s take the dog as a teacher again, this time for acceptance. The dog is not complaining, it might vibrate but if it could talk it would say it is the way it is.
Recently I forgot to change the water in my aquarium. My poor fish was swimming in dirty water and I found him sick. Would he be almost dying? Only his mouth moves slightly. In any case, he’s not complaining. He’s lying there peacefully sick. He lives in complete peace with it.
What a relief it is to see a three-minute item on the news about a dog. No items about people breaking, blowing up or throwing bombs. The dog brought us the bright spot.
– Eckhart Tolle
Or learn from the insects. Bugs work too, and hard! They don’t complain, they don’t rush, they don’t stress, and yet everything is finished (Lao Tzu). In short, take every opportunity to be mindful in nature. Wear flip flops or go barefoot wherever you go. Feel nature, for example by feeling a tree or something else in nature with your forehead, to learn from it. Are you staying at home? Buy jars of vegetables to root in!
And even nature benefits and satisfaction from it: it perceives its beauty through you. Nature knows itself through you.
There are also many animals that are not constantly looking for food. They are in a state of pleasure, just looking, needing nothing.
Enjoy the exercise!
Have fun on your next hike!