|This ring-tailed lemur has found her inner peace - Can you find yours? |
Photo by Margaret at Wikimedia Commons
It was years later that I realized that meditation doesn’t have to be so painfully contrived. I do it all the time naturally. Maybe you do too. We just have to nurture those moments. Here’s one way to do it:
1) Go to a place where you have seen at least one animal in the recent past. Maybe you saw a squirrel or a songbird in that tree in your yard. Maybe you saw fish in the creek you pass over on your way to school. Maybe there’s an occupied spider web in the corner. Maybe you have a favorite spot at the local zoo or aquarium. Go there. Don’t worry if there is an animal there now or not.
2) Sit down in a comfortable position and take a deep breath. Look around and take in your surroundings. Feel the environmental conditions. Listen to the sounds around you. Wait and observe. If you’re quiet, they will come.
3) When an animal shows up, focus on it. If multiple animals show up, pick one to be your focal animal. Observe every possible detail of your focal animal: What does it look like? Does it have any markings? What is it doing? How does it position itself with respect to its surroundings? What is its posture? How does it respond to changes in its surroundings?
4) Allow your mind to wander into your focal animal’s world (or umwelt). How do you think your focal animal perceives its surroundings?
5) Allow your mind to ponder explanations and consequences of your focal animal’s behavior.
6) Continue for as long as you can keep your mind focused on your animal, or until you have somewhere else you are supposed to be.
Try this out for yourself, and then let us know what you experienced!