In the Srimad Bhagavatham, there is a very beautiful verse of instruction for meditation. Yena Kena Prakarena Manah Krishne Niveshayeth|| By whatever means you may adopt, bring the mind to Krishna—meaning the centre of your being—consciousness. You may substitute Krishna in that verse with any other name of the God you like or words like truth, self, reality, centre, universe, nature, force, Tao, Zen, Yoga etc. The important thing is to bring the mind to a state of meditation by whatever means you know.
In these columns, we will be seeing the many different means by which we can meditate. Take a walk into the forest. This is the means we will explore now. With a mind that is always used to so many channels, static and semantic noise all around—you would be doing yourself a great favour if you just stepped out one quiet afternoon and took a stroll through the woods in your neighbourhood.
Yes! The woods are very much still out there. Bharat is still blessed with its forest cover. You might have to take that extra step of driving to your nearest forest cover or it can be a two-day adventure trip with a drive up the mountain too.
You may also have to take permission from the local Forest Department to walk through certain stretches. Yet it is worth the trouble and the quiet time with nature is a way to go deep into your own self. It is like a visit to your favourite temple. It soothes, relaxes, rejuvenates, refreshes, makes you charged to face life. Most of all it makes you feel so healthy and blessed.
Simply walk. There is no agenda. There is no desire to accomplish. Breathe deeply as you walk. Inhale the freshness of nature. Inhale the warmth of the soil. Take in the sounds of the birds and insects. See the streaming rays of sunlight through the green canopy. Hear the crunch of dried leaves crushing beneath your feet as you keep your footfalls with gentle respect to the silence of the forest.
May be taste an edible fruit and feel the smell of the flowers. Experience the cool forest air through the pores of your skin. As you tire yourself with the walk, you may find a quiet stream or spring with clear water and a rock to sit by. Sit with eyes closed. Meditate. You have nothing to do, nowhere to go, but just be. The inspiration may bring a poem out of you. Jot them down in your notebook and keep going on.
Brahmacharini Sharanya Chaitanya