Author Topic: Walking By Nature... With Mindfulness  (Read 1535 times)

Vivek

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Walking By Nature... With Mindfulness
« on: January 04, 2011, 07:20:29 AM »
Mindfulness all the time, well, that's our goal. But, I just wanted to share with you a particularly healing and rejuvenating way of letting mindfulness transform you: spending some time daily in some natural setting (preferably, your favourite). Obviously, most of us do that; the only thing I suggest to add to that is, mindfulness. Being fully aware every moment and taking in the surroundings through your senses. Let the mental chatter subside gently. Believe me, you won't have to look for beauty if you have mindfulness. The moment your mind becomes still, you will start noticing the beauty of everything around you, even of the most trivial things that you normally would not notice. Now, you may be able to still your mind only for moments before it starts running again, but, don't worry, even those few moments are wonderful and would surely do you great good. As you practice this, it should get a little easier day by day.

I first stumbled upon this even before I knew anything of Vipassana. There was one day many years ago, I was totally messed up. I was deeply hurt because a person I loved didn't come up to my expectations (talk about looking for happiness in all the wrong places!) and there I was sitting on the terrace of my house in the moonlit night, wondering what am I to do, what would become of me (yeah, I was that hopeless!). I looked around and thought to myself "what next?". The next moment, my mind became still and I noticed the awesome beauty of everything around me. The moonlight, the trees, the sky, everything fascinated me as if I am seeing all of that for the first time. I thought, wtf! I am "supposed" to be grieving over the loss I just suffered and instead, I am "enjoying" the surroundings! How "stupid" is that! But, I knew this was my mind talking, so I let it gently subside on its own. This time the stillness was even more deep. I felt peace in the most profound sense I have ever felt till then. After sometime, I became aware of the fact that I had forgotten everything about the pain, the loss and all that. None of that made sense anymore. For the next few days I remained immersed in that peace. I spent more time in nature day and night. It seemed that a profound healing was taking place within me, although I had no idea what caused it, or how exactly it came to pass. I was just taking in the experience as it came to me.

Looking back, those were some of the most memorable days of my life; a time when intense grief should have gripped me, but instead, I was taken to the abode of profound peace. Please don't get me wrong, I am not any closer to Nirvana because of all this! :) Whatever it is, in its element it is just an experience, which is bound to pass away. However, I believe that such experiences with nature can bring about healing and rejuvenation, with a touch of mindfulness. Recently, I came to know that numerous studies have already been conducted on this, and they all confirm that spending time in nature can be a profound healing experience which can also lead to improved physical health.

Quoting from an article:
Quote
Years of scientific research into the healing power of nature has also confirmed the fact that gazing at mountains, walking through a forest, watching a flowing stream, or taking your shoes off to revel in the feeling of grass or sand beneath your feet, can have very real benefits to your health.

Here are some examples of what the research shows:

1.Living in an area that gives you access to green spaces, such as trees and grass, may help you to live longer, according to a study in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

2.Children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) experience a significant reduction in their symptoms when they're able to spend time outdoors in natural settings after school and on the weekends, a study in the American Journal of Public Health found.

3.Children with access to nature are able to cope better with stress than those without it. Hospital patients also fare better when they have access to gardens or other green spaces.
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Numerous studies also show that spending time in nature helps to

* Ease stress and mental anxiety
* Help people recover from surgery and illness faster
* Increase mental “flow”


Add to all that the power of mindfulness, and then you can imagine what a profound experience it becomes! So, try it out if you hadn't already. Don't get disheartened if you are not able to still your mind. Be gentle to yourself, and be patient. It will come. Once you get a glimpse of the peace within you, it would start getting easier, although there is a possibilty that you will start craving for the experience once it passes away. And that becomes the greatest obstacle. So, take steps to guard yourself of such cravings and let the experience wash you in peace!
Let's go beyond this illusion, shall we?

Crystal Palace

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Re: Walking By Nature... With Mindfulness
« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2011, 09:34:24 AM »
Thank you for sharing this Vivek. I enjoyed reading it.  :)

Warmly,
Crystal Palace
"Abstain from unwholesome actions,
Perform wholesome actions,
Purify your mind"

Buddha

Vivek

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Re: Walking By Nature... With Mindfulness
« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2011, 09:39:10 AM »
Welcome, CP :)
Let's go beyond this illusion, shall we?

dobe

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Re: Walking By Nature... With Mindfulness
« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2011, 07:20:57 PM »
Nice post Vivek.

I'd like to add that ALL is stunningly beautiful once your mind stops commenting on everything.  Some things are more blatantly beautify like nature.  Like what is there to say about a radiant sunset; any verbiage would degrade the subjective experience of it.  What is there to say when something looks so sublime?   I'm beginning to notice the beauty in all things, and stuff like nature can choke me up sometimes.  "double rainbow all the way?" lol

I've heard that once the mind stops talking, or gets very close to completely shutting up, the beauty of everything sort of knocks you out, and you sometimes cry a lot lol.

Dobe

Vivek

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Re: Walking By Nature... With Mindfulness
« Reply #4 on: January 05, 2011, 04:28:52 AM »
Thanks, dobe. I hear you. The stillness of mind is one of the rewards of meditation, I guess. May not be the end, but, still, worth the effort.
Let's go beyond this illusion, shall we?