This short, guided meditation is an invitation to visit, in one’s imagination, a favorite place in the natural world, and to connect deeply with this place through sensory awareness. When we know that we are held in place by something greater, it is easier to let go of the burdens we carry.
Gratitude, as in the felt-sense of thankfulness, grounds us in the heart. This meditation is offered as a way of opening to and resting in the heart through the practice of gratitude. It brings together nature connection through sensory awareness of sounds in the natural world (including, an exquisite call and response with a canyon wren), and a practice I learned from a Native American teacher that honors the Four Directions.
Nest in the Stream
This meditation is inspired by Joanna Macy’s “Breathing Through Meditation” and an actual encounter I had in the natural world with a bird’s nest in a stream. It is offered as a practice to help us with whatever pain (as in anything uncomfortable or difficult) is in our heart. It brings together mindful nature connection (through sensory awareness of sounds in the natural world), mindfulness of breathing, and the counter-intuitive but powerfully healing practice of leaning into the pain.
Breathing with Leaf
This meditation begins by helping us to engage with the natural world through the sense of hearing and an imaginal encounter with a single, green leaf. Then, through mindfulness of breathing, we may come into an experience of reciprocity - the vital giving and receiving between our bodies and all that is green in the natural world. We may then find with Kabir that, “something inside us has reached to the place where the Earth is breathing.”
Breathing Through Tree
Trees take in carbon dioxide and change it into oxygen and nourishing sugars. The carbon rich sugars drop with gravity into the roots of the tree to be passed on to neighboring trees through a vibrant web of underground connections. By allowing us to descend into our roots, this meditation can transform what is painful and difficult by bringing us out of isolation into an open-living system