Sometimes, I visit the lake in my local park. It is beautiful. But even more important, I can sit quietly and meditate.
Last week, I felt energetic in the morning and decided to visit the park, sit by the lake, and meditate.
Meditation is different than just sitting back and relaxing. I sit with my back straight (but not tense), my feet well supported, and my eyes half-open so I am neither disconnected from the world nor overly aware of the visual scenery. My hands are touching near my abdomen. All of this is a proven position that causes one’s mind to move toward deeper awareness without feeling sleepy or “lazy”.
For those who have not tried meditation, I will try to convey the nature of that experience. I set my timer for 15 minutes on this particular morning, and settled in.
During that period of meditating, I was aware of a number of individuals, couples, and families passing by, some with dogs, some without dogs. Some looked over at me (adults, children, and dogs), and some did not. But I did not worry about any of that or become particularly interested in the details of who passed by. I let it go.
At times I felt the gentle breeze blowing and saw the leaves rustling in the breeze, and saw the lake spread out before me. At others times, I was not aware of anything external and was in some deep place. This often happens for those who are familiar with meditation.
Finally, the timer softly summoned me back. After a few seconds, I reconnected to myself and my surroundings. But the world felt different. There was a softness and tangibility to every little item and every little movement. I felt deep delight as each leaf waved in the wind. I heard the sounds of the birds chirping with pleasure and a thrill. The lake seemed especially serene and precious.
Although I enjoyed this nature scene beforehand, after meditating I truly appreciated each aspect of the surroundings, and felt an openness and softness in myself and in the world around me. And, it is good to know, this happens even if I meditate in my house or elsewhere. The ordinary objects of daily activity take on more life and meaning. I appreciate the people in my life, and welcome their “positive” as well as “negative” characteristics.
I meditate regularly, and also enjoy the slow, moving meditation of Tai Chi Chuan. These practices help me find more meaning in each activity and interaction of daily life. I am grateful for these practices. I would like to recommend that you try them too! Ask me, if you would like some suggestions.