One of the great aspects of taking part in 30 days wild and connecting with nature is that it helps lower stress levels. Meditating outside can only enhance this. Even just taking ten minutes to sit in the garden and practise mindful breathing exercises can help lower stress. The more regularly you can manage this the better but even once a week is better than nothing.
I’ve practised meditation for over a decade and use numerous techniques but I mainly come back to following the breath. If it was good enough for the Buddha it’s good enough for me.
- First breath in concentrating on the word in, then breath out concentrating on the word out. I prefer to sit kneeling, but cross-legged or on a straight-backed chair with feet flat on the ground is fine. I tend not to lie down as this encourages sleep rather than meditation.
- Your breath will fall into a natural rhythm that feels right to you.
- As you go on normally your breathing will become deeper and lower.
- If your mind wanders come back to the words in and out.
- Continue for as long as you feel comfortable. When finished take your time getting back up.
Alternatively counting the breath creates a focus for many. Breath in counting 1, breath out, breath in 2, all the way to 10. Then start back at 1. If you lose count return to 1.
There are many basic guides on meditation and mindfulness. I still favour Thich Nhat Hanh’s the miracle of mindfulness. I have just picked up love letters to the Earth. While this is a few years old now it seems like a good choice for the challenges currently facing us.