Nature Object Meditation
This is a meditation for connecting with and reflecting on a nature object. It can be any object you’ve found in nature that you are drawn to. This activity can be done individually or in a group.
The experience of this meditation is unique to each person.
It could be about finding receptivity – what is it you need or want to receive? What are you drawn to in nature that might meet a need? I invite you to open to the possibility of receiving from nature if this speaks to you.
This could also be about expression or communication. If you wanted to give someone else a message about how you’re feeling right now, what object would you choose? Allow yourself the opportunity for self-expression if that speaks to you.
This may also be an opportunity to feel deeply grounded or connected to the earth and the rest of nature.
This practice begins with a meditation focused on the breath in a seated position. Next, we some time meditating and focusing on a nature object; and then the practice closes with more meditation focused on the breath. It can be helpful to fully read through the directions for this practice before beginning so that you have an idea of the structure and can move smoothly from one part to the next.
Let’s get started. The first thing is to do is to locate the nature object you’d like to focus on. When you are finding or choosing a nature object, you don’t have to think too much. Just open yourself to the experience of what draws you in. It might be a rock, a leaf, a twig, a feather, a fallen blossom.
Settle your body into a comfortable seated position holding the object. Close your eyes if that helps you become focused on your breath. And start by taking some simple breaths. Notice the feelings in your body as you breathe in and breathe out. Notice how your body feels against the floor or chair.
At this time, open yourself to the experience of the present moment with the nature object you’re holding. Use your senses to get to know your object. Different objects appeal to different senses. Some draw you in through sight, some through touch. It is OK to spend time on whatever is drawing you in. You can experiment with closing your eyes if you want to.
Notice the qualities of the object you are holding. A few questions that may help with this exploration:
· What do you wonder about with this item?
· Where did it come from?
· How did it become the way it is?
· What qualities of the object stand out to you?
· How do you relate to it?
· Does this object bring up memories for you?
Spend a few minutes reflecting on the meaning of the object. You can do this with your eyes closed if that is most comfortable.
To bring the practice to a close, come back to spending a few minutes focused on the breath. You can put the object down or hold it if you would like. You can close your eyes if that feels most comfortable. Feel your breath coming in and out; notice all the sensations of breathing. Notice how your body feels as you sit. Take a deeper breath and take your time in releasing it.
As you feel ready, bring your attention back into your surroundings and open your eyes when you are ready.
Notice how you feel after this exercise. Taking a few minutes to journal or make a few notes about the experience can help capture its meaning.
Take a moment to feel gratitude to nature for this experience. Finally, this can be a good time to reflect on reciprocity: did you notice anything nature might need or that you could give back after this practice?