It is so natural and pleasant to go out into nature, isn’t it. We can relax and lose ourselves in the scene, feeling at one with our surroundings. This can be especially so in the mountains where we feel so small… I remember many a time sitting meditating high in the mountains, following the breath and feeling like I was breathing in all the vast space around me. Following the breath and continuing to let go into such a scene, we can lose ourselves more and more and something lovely can happen. We can disappear completely and, with no sense of self or centre to our awareness, our field of vision becomes a field of awareness. This quiet, empty awareness opens up to more fully take in the scene. We can still focus on something when needed but if we are relaxed we are still open to whatever is occurring. We can keep an eye on a rocky path we are walking while still appreciating the countryside. This is our most natural state of awareness, beginning at the outside world with our body in the background as we pay attention to our feelings or posture or how we are moving.
If we remain calm and open even as we are aware of the body we can still feel at one with the scene. We can find that our sense of self still does not arise.
And if we can sustain this kind of awareness and keep letting go, relaxing into it, our mind can become very peaceful, quiet and clear.
Then, if we direct such peaceful awareness in the present right back at the body we may, at least momentarily, see our body as part of the scene, part of nature. This can be a very profound experience, much more so even than we may realise at the time. In this way we begin to see our body in a completely new way as if it were also something outside of ourselves, just like somebody else’s body even.
Again, if we remain calm this does not feel at all strange but also very clear. We can even realise how confusing it has been to see the body in the usual way. We can realise we have been seeing our bodies or other’s bodies just as a source of feelings, not really as a body or even as a human being very much. With our new view we find ourselves unable to see other’s bodies as different from our own and we have a more natural empathy and compassion. We find ourselves tuning in fully to the natural world and find a naturally loving, very spiritual space.
Perhaps all this is why so many describe having had their first spiritual awakening way up on a mountain peak.
I offer this for your reflection