In this exercise we will explore our senses and practice savoring natural beauty. This practice will require of you to go outside preferably in a green space that is not too crowded. Begin listening to this practice when you’re ready.
As you go outside, walk slowly. Pay attention to your breath and steps for a few moments. Feel and relax the sole of your foot as it touches the ground underneath you as if you were massaging the earth with your steps.
Begin to notice your surroundings and take in all the colors and shapes.
Tune into any sensations in the body such as the temperature of the air as it enters your nostrils and touches your face and skin. Is the air still or is there a breeze?
Notice the quality of the light, is it overcast, sunny, shaded?
What kinds of sounds do you hear around you? Birds? Blowing of trees in the wind? People talking or laughing? Animals?
Now find something large or small that is a form of nature like a tree, flower, leaf, grass, etc... to stop and behold. Get close. Touch it if you can. Take in everything about it – its structure, composition, color, movement, strength, shapes. What do you smell, hear or feel?
Now take a closer look and allow your gaze to rest in one spot. What is happening around this one place? Feel the energy or aliveness of this space.
Consider what forces came together to create this thing. What is miraculous about what you are witnessing? What is beautiful?
Now tune into your own body and how you feel in this moment. Where do you feel awe or beauty in your body? Does the feeling shift or move? What effect does being out in nature and in touch with this object have on your own body and mind?
Now let’s take a moment to allow a sense of gratitude for the beauty of the natural world to arise in our body and mind. Consider your experience now and past experiences of being out in nature whether that is in the forest, mountains, beach, or green spaces like parks where you live and allow a sense of appreciation and gratitude to arise for the natural beauty and inspiration of these places and ecosystems that allow them to thrive.
As you continue about your daily life, see if you can find moments where you can take “micro” nature breaks to take in the beauty that surrounds you. Whether it be on your walk to and from class, during a study break outside, or catching a glimpse of a sunrise or sunset, see if you can savor the moment and take in the beauty through your senses into your body and mind. Notice the effect that is has on you in the moment and beyond.