A Lesson On Meditation

She was brave for venturing out with me on a hike in 20 degree weather.  I was blessed to have her by my side exploring nature and capturing moments that would last a lifetime.

Buttermilk Falls, NJ

"I WILL LOVE YOU EVERY STEP OF THE WAY"

I wonder if the snow loves the trees and fields, that it kisses them so gently? And then it covers them up snug, you know, with a white quilt; and perhaps it says ‘Go to sleep, darlings, till the summer comes again.
— Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass

We needed to make it over this bridge and I was unsure of it's stability- so what did I do, I said a prayer and we drove right over it. 

I looked up to see what was making all that racket- we heard creaking and odd moaning sounds when the wind would blow hard.  See, I'm usually a solo hiker, well the dog comes along too- I'm familiar with the sounds of the forest.  Alley had never heard such sounds and at first it scared the hell out of her, like she was ready to run for dear life.  I'm sure her heart was pounding.  I've been there before.  I told her you grow to like those creepy sounds from the trees rubbing up against one another.  Makes it all the more interesting.

Buttermilk Falls

After a good while of walking, I looked back at Alley to see how she was holding up (I'm known to be a fast-walker) and thought to myself... she looks cold and I could tell she was getting antsy to finally get to our destination. I did not want to end this trip without finally making it to the falls and thankfully within a few moments, we saw it right around the bend.  No lie- within moments of arriving it started to lightly snow and I thought how cool is this.  

Bridge on bridge.

Alley being a good sport to be one with the trees.  I think she make one good looking tree. 

  "EVERY JOURNEY STARTS WITH ONE STEP"

"EVERY JOURNEY STARTS WITH ONE STEP"

She was cold and I just appreciated the fact that she was willing to be in the picture.  I tried to get her to take down her bandit look, but she refused.  So, I just rolled with it. 

We came, we saw, and we conquered.

Meditation

I stopped for a moment to get this shot of the clouds and the beautiful light from the sun setting.  I then noticed what looked to be a snow cloud moving in from the distance through the valley and I quickly called Alley over to watch it transpire.  We stood there watching in awe with our eyes wide at something we have never witnessed before.  It really felt magical for both of us.  We had a great hike and all, but this, oh this just took this journey to whole other level.  

This was my opportunity to teach Alley about meditation and what that meant to me.  I explained it like this. Meditation is about withdrawing the senses (we could not feel the cold, no thinking involved, just breathing and observing), being fully present (time stood still for us), and feeling a sense of one with everything (we became that snow cloud).  
 

Meditation is about being present.  It can be that simple, but can be very complex to get.  For you it may be-

  • Gardening

  • Walking in nature

  • Sitting quietly, not controlling the breath, but simply noticing it

  • Chanting a mantra- (In yoga teacher trainer my main mantra was the Ganesh Mantra.  Ganesh is the elephant headed deity, who is revered to be the Remover of Obstacles and Lord of Beginnings.  "Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha"  

  • Using Mala beads to chant 108 OMs  (A-U-M)  

    "Why do we chant it?  Everything in the universe is pulsating and vibrating – nothing is really standing still! The sound Om, when chanted, vibrates at the frequency of 432 Hz, which is the same vibrational frequency found throughout everything in nature.

    As such AUM is the basic sound of the universe; so by chanting it we are symbolically and physically tuning in to that sound and acknowledging our connection to all other living beings, nature and the universe.

    In addition the vibrations and rhythmic pronunciation also have a physical affect on the body by slowing down the nervous system and calming the mind similar to meditation. When the mind is relaxed, your blood pressure decreases and ultimately the health of your heart improves."  Mindbodygreen.com

  • Being mindful in whatever it is you're doing - Drinking your tea or coffee, taking a shower, eating your meal, and the point here is to be PRESENT.  
     

And a few breaths later it reached us.

Namaste~   The light in me honors the light in you.