Today, I did something a little different for my daily meditation. This is the last day of the Anapanasati breathing meditations and the day was so beautiful that I decided to go to the beach. While I was there, I felt the need to do my meditation right then and there sitting on the sand. I began at around 3:00pm and allowed myself to take in everything around me in the here and now. Here is what my senses told me.
Touch – I felt the feel of the sand through my hands as I pushed my hands into the sand. I picked up some and felt the sensation of the sand flowing through my fingers. I felt the feel of the wind blowing on my skin and through my hair as it rushed across the water, up the sand and into the city of Vancouver. I felt the feel of the sun as it gave its glowing shine on my face and arms. It felt warm to help balance the chill of the wind.
Smell – I smelt the smell of the salty water as the air pushed the scent of the ocean water across the land. I could smell the distinct seaweed scent as I slowly breathed in and out.
Sight – I saw the mountains towering over the cities and the waters with snow capping each one of them. I saw the sand as it was shaped and molded by animal tracks, footprints, the water and the wind. I saw the waves white capping as they approached the sand and gently rolling up the shallow slopes of the sands. I saw the boats coming and going delivering goods, people, and giving tourists the joys of the bay. I saw the people playing and enjoying the beauties and wonders of nature. I saw the birds searching for love, searching for food, and being as they are meant to be. I saw the tall blades of grass next to a stump blowing in the wind as if they were waving to the sky.
Hear – I heard the sound of the birds as they called to their loved ones and warned others of danger. I heard the laughter of people playing on the beach and the playgrounds. I heard the waves white capping in the water and splashing on the shore. I heard the wind as it blew pass my ears. I heard the sound of people running behind me as they become healthier and stronger.
After about 45 minutes, I got up paid my respects to nature and walked home relaxed, peaceful, and with a better understanding of the world around me.
“We need to live as the Buddha taught us to live, in peace and harmony with nature, but this must start with ourselves. If we are going to save this planet we need to seek a new ecological order, to look at the life we lead and then work together for the benefit of all; unless we work together no solution can be found. By moving away from self-centeredness, sharing wealth more, being more responsible for ourselves, and agreeing to live more simply, we can help decrease much of the suffering in the world,” from the Buddhist Statement on Ecology 1996. (1)