"When understood, the Buddha’s universe..is anything but alien and inhibiting. It is a world full of hope, where everything we need to do can be done and everything that matters is within human reach. It is a world where kindness, unselfishness, non-violence, and compassion achieve what self-interest and arrogance cannot. It is a world where any human can be happy in goodness and the fullness of giving." ❦ Eknath Easwara

January 28, 2012

How Practicing Meditation in Nature Can Help Us Let Go

"...being in nature invites us to let go of our preoccupation with our own mind-created personal drama. This happens in part because nothing in the natural world is self- referencing. The redwoods are not proud of their lofty heights, the spotted turtle is not ashamed of his speed.

When we are away from the world of people, so dominated by the needs of the ego, our own habits of self-reference can, with the support of meditative training, evaporate in the morning mist. In such moments, when we lose track of ourselves, we inhabit a simpler realm where there is just the coming and going of experience in the field of awareness. No self, no other, just what is.

As the Buddha said to Bahiya:
In the seen there will be merely the seen; in the heard there will be merely the heard; in the sensed there will be merely the sensed; in the cognized there will be merely the cognized.... Then you will be neither here nor beyond nor in-between the two. This itself is the end of suffering. —Ud 8
Or as the Chinese poet Li Po has put it:

The birds have vanished into the sky
And the last remaining clouds have passed away
We sit together the mountain and me
Until only the mountain remains.

Mark Coleman
from "Only the Mountain Remains: Practicing in Nature" (click to download)

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