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Thread: Meditating outdoors

  1. #1

    Meditating outdoors

    Weather permitting, I prefer to meditate outside in the open air . At times when that's not possible I keep a window open so I can hear outside sounds.

    Today I found this short article on the Sweeping Zen website by Harvey Daiho Hilbert:



    The Natural Practice

    by Harvey Daiho Hilbert


    It is nearly midnight on a Sunday night. The sky is filled with dark clouds and there are a few raindrops falling to earth. I know this because I often practice zazen, as I just did, outside in the open air.

    Such practice reminds me of the Buddha and his followers, practicing and living as they did, outside exposed to the elements. Rain, snow, heat, wind, no matter: they practiced their lives without anything but a bowl and a robe.

    There is something wonderful about that practice. We sit with the earth and sky as they are and we learn “as they are” is enough. Simple, straightforward practice with the world as it is.

    Such practice allows us to experience the distractions of a fly landing on one’s face, searching for something and scampering along over nose and eye brows. We don’t disturb the fly. We simply witness it. Through such experiences we learn something: we don’t have to move. We can just sit.

    To just sit is to stop. Stopping is something we rarely do. Our mind is always in motion. Always demanding something of us, yet through our practice those demands are just like the breeze across our face or that fly squatting down to rest on the tip of our nose. Something to experience. Something to let go.

    May we each find it in ourselves to retreat outside, paying attention without engaging.
    The reward is the practice itself.


    http://sweepingzen.com/the-natural-practice/

    Any thoughts ? Does anyone else meditate outside ?

  2. #2
    Forums Member justusryans's Avatar
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    Due to physical injuries I can’t sit for any period of time. I prefer to do walking meditation when I’m outside. I can sit in a chair okay though. I wish I could though, I would like to be able to.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by justusryans View Post
    Due to physical injuries I can’t sit for any period of time. .

    Hi justusryans, I'm so sorry that you have physical problems.

    I've used a garden chair, a folding stool, or a park bench for quite some time because I have an on-going problem with my right knee. I also do standing or walking meditation, or use a straight-backed chair indoors next to an open window, as mentioned in #1.

  4. #4
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    Outdoors I prefer Just Sitting meditation, where you sit without taking up a meditation pose, although a straightish back helps. I keep my eyes open, although I tend to let them rest on one part of the scenery rather than keep looking round all the time. Eventually the just sitting meditation kicks in, with a different quality to that experienced indoors.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by philg
    I keep my eyes open, although I tend to let them rest on one part of the scenery rather than keep looking round all the time
    Hi Phil, I was taught as a Tibetan Buddhist practitioner to keep the eyes open, still, and focused on the space beyond the tip of the nose. I also try to keep my spine straight. I much prefer eyes open to closed, - and if something passes across my vision I don't follow it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aloka View Post
    Hi Phil, I was taught as a Tibetan Buddhist practitioner to keep the eyes open, still, and focused on the space beyond the tip of the nose. I also try to keep my spine straight. I much prefer eyes open to closed, - and if something passes across my vision I don't follow it.
    I'm still surprised after all these years of meditating how subtle, and not so subtle, changes in meditating style affects the meditation experience. I'm retired now but when I was a teacher I had very little time, so closed eyes meditation brought me into the meditation much sooner than eyes open. It also had the advantage that I couldn't see the piles of marking waiting ...

  7. #7
    Forums Member justusryans's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aloka View Post
    Hi justusryans, I'm so sorry that you have physical problems.

    I've used a garden chair, a folding stool, or a park bench for quite some time because I have an on-going problem with my right knee. I also do standing or walking meditation, or use a straight-backed chair indoors next to an open window, as mentioned in #1.
    Thank you 🙏 for your concern Aloka, It limits my movements considerably. Meditation 🧘 and mindfulness help considerably. I tend to do my meditation sitting on the sofa. Thanks again.

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