BY JANE REDFERN JONES
The Buddhist master Thich Nhat Hanh teaches, “Meditation is not evasion; it is a serene encounter with reality.”
I set out early this morning, before dawn.
Walking through the woods I had not a care in the world. The sound made by my boots, the rhythm of my heartbeat and breathing, and the regular pace of my footsteps all filled my mind with soothing input from my senses. At times I was assailed by thoughts about challenges I faced in the week ahead, but when this happened I just opened my awareness more widely to the present moment: my walking, the sounds around me, and the glints of light as the sun rose behind the trees. Then the thoughts would disappear, only to return and disappear again, no more solid than a leaf floating on the wind or the mist hanging over the river below.
If I feel overwhelmed by this world I call home, I open my mind to all that is here: the magnificent trees, the purity of the air and the sound of the wind.
With each in breath I feel that I am taking the whole woodland into myself. With each outbreath my body and soul dissolve into it.
I feel relaxed and totally, absolutely at home.