Internal Growth and Self-Empowerment

27 April 2019 by Quinn Taplin

https://www.insightmeditationcenter.org/newsletter/pdf/IMC_Newsletter_10_2018.pdf

The power of mindfulness is directly related to how we live our lives. As mindfulness develops, we discover that we expand our understanding when we expressively act or speak in truth. We come to understand how mindfulness can naturally increase as we avoid causing conflicts and it becomes clear that the quality of our mindfulness depends on the quality of our ethical life. When it comes to making the most of internal growth and self-empowerment, finding the right environment is a big part of the process. While we all have our own idea of the idyllic place to dive inwards, there are many common aspects of a supportive mediation environment.

When it comes to distractions, visual elements are not the only things to be mindful of. Noises can be a distraction too. An environment that is peaceful will allow you to meditate without disruption. This may mean closing your windows to ensure that any noise from the outside doesn’t impact your focus.  Or meditate outside. Many people like this approach but a secluded place where you will not be interrupted or disturbed is important especially if you are beginning meditation for the first time.

Practicing mindfulness in nature is where wisdom and perception come alive. Meditating outdoors activates our external senses, making our practice more alert and attentive. Eventually the usual distractions seem far away and somehow less important. Many meditators find it easier to let go of their worries and their electronics when they have a satisfying alternative: mindfully coming to one with the connection of nature. I’m sure many of you have felt that connection with nature before that going back to the world of electronics seems unbearable!

Sight and hearing are very important senses when it comes to getting in the right frame of mind for meditation too, but a lot of people overlook or dismiss the sense of smell. All of your senses can have an impact on how receptive you are for meditation and it may be that adding a nice smell to your environment will help you to drop into that state of deep relaxation. Everyone has different sensitivities when it comes to smells so experimenting until you find a smell that is compatible with what brings you a sense of peace is important for each seeker. There is an abundance of natural scented oils and candles that can support this kind of environment.  Try burning Palo Santo to cleanse your space and help ground and center yourself for meditation.  You’ll be surprised at how well you can focus when you prepare your surroundings!

“Every moment is incredibly unique and fresh, and when we drop into the moment, as meditations allows us to do, we learn how to truly taste this tender and mysterious life that we share together”

-Pema Chodron

Another important aspect to focus on in creating a positive meditation environment is to create a comfortable space where you can stay in one position for a considerable period of time. You want to find something soft and comfortable but equally, you don’t want to find something so comfortable that you end up sinking into or falling off of.

As Deepak Chopra says, “nature was born from stillness and it is from stillness that we connect with her”.  Stillness can be found in many forms although there is something unique when connecting to the elements of nature that helps us realize the potential of something much more powerful than us. The five elements of material existence known in Ayurveda as pancha mahabhutas, represent nature and matter as space, air, fire, water, and earth. Existing within in nature and also within you, everything is the balanced creation of these varying elements. So does it only make sense to harmonize your relationship with nature to explore and expand your awareness of these elements to meditate on their natures? You can decide on that J

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *