The Beginner’s Guide to Meditating in Nature

There’s a strange anxiety associated with the act of meditating. Some may feel an ironic pressure to meditate so perfectly that your mind is completely free of thought. This can lead to some people refusing to meditate altogether. But there are many types of meditation and they don’t all enforce a complete emptiness of one’s thoughts.

Meditating in nature is one form of reflection that focuses on an awareness of one’s thoughts and on being present. A large part of spirituality is considering and having an awareness of our relationship with nature.

This can be easier for beginners than emptying your thoughts and can be more peaceful than being in a stiflingly quiet indoor space.

1. Choose a familiar spot

Choosing the place where you will meditate is important because it needs to be a place where you can sit and dedicate time to being in the present moment. Possible distractions include too much noise such as cars honking or neighbors yelling and being bothered by pests.

The best way to avoid an abundance of distractions is by choosing a familiar spot. You don’t want to be in a new place for the first time you meditate. The best place that you can choose is one that has a special meaning to you. This will make it easier for you to be fully present because you have a connection to it.

2. Embrace your surroundings

It’s harder to avoid distraction outdoors and that’s perfectly fine. Every form of meditation isn’t about quieting the mind. One of the main goals of mediation is awareness whether that be of your outer surroundings or inner thoughts and feelings. Focus on the sensations that surround you.

Because the goal of mediation is to appreciate the present moment, meditating outdoors can be helpful, especially for beginners. It takes quite a bit of practice to focus solely on your breaths while attempting to quiet the mind, because it’s natural for the mind to wander.

In nature, you are free to focus on the birds chirping, the warmth of the sun on your skin the smell of freshly cut grass. Noticing these things does not lower the quality of your meditation, but instead promotes a reverence for nature and the present moment.

Many meditation classes are often held outdoors to help remind you that you exist in relation to your natural surroundings. You are part of the trees, grass and mountains that surround you. This reminder is both humbling and comforting, and lets us know that we are just as vast as we are small. 

Meditating outdoors also makes it more difficult for stressors to make their way into your mind because there are other points of interest to focus on. To embrace your surroundings is to meditate without judgment. Don’t worry about the quality of the meditation itself.

If you’re having trouble meditating indoors a change of scenery might be just what you need to be present in your surroundings.

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