People often think of meditation as being something you have to take time out of your schedule to do, something you have to learn, or something you have to practice. I suppose it is that way for many people, but I prefer to think of it as something natural that we have always been inclined to do.
Did you not meditate often as a child? Stare at the clouds much, look deeply into the eyes of your pet, or contemplate the nature of a rock?
I began my meditation practice unknowingly, as a child laying on my stomach in the grass, staring deeply into the form and lifestyle of grass. No questioning, no wondering, no judging, only observing, feeling, and seeing my oneness with what is. Each blade of grass has a form, structure, identity and a cause. Each blade of grass is like a person, like me, an expression of something invisible, a life source. The grass and I were at peace together.
The world was not at peace; I grew up during the Vietnam War. We often don’t learn who we really are in our families, schools, churches or society; we only learn to be like others. Our inclination to meditate gets distracted by the noise and busyness going on all around us. We adapt to survive.
Line, form and negative space
However, I survived through my natural practice to observe nature, or to simply “be” with nature. It was my refuge, my sanctuary and my comfort. Fortunately I also had a very good art teacher in High School who “saw” me. She taught me to express myself through what I deeply observed, not to copy or imitate an external observation, but to focus on what I really saw.
From that time on I found my way in life by pausing to observe line, form and negative space in nature and in relation to all objects and space around me. Without judgment, without the need to know or draw or express, simply “seeing” the oneness of form and space and the illusion of the line that separates. Perhaps if you are an artist you know what I mean, because line is something we draw in order to separate and object from the space around it. A line only exists in 2 dimensions when you create it.
We need what we don’t see
Which is more important, the space or the object? Would the object exist without the space? We exist together and need each other because we are of the same original substance. I don’t contemplate these things when I meditate though, I observe, follow the shape of the negative space between objects with my eyes, and feel my oneness with life. It’s relaxing, grounding, and gives me a sense of peace that allows me to appreciate life no matter what else is going on. I can do it anywhere, anytime, without any ritual and not needing to change my schedule or routine in any way.
Nature is my reminder
Sometimes I’ve forgotten, or more likely became too busy and distracted. But nature, shape, form and space are always there to remind me gently that I can meditate if I need to or want to. I also like meditating through yoga or focusing on the breath but those methods take a little more effort for me. My natural meditation feels like sitting peacefully with my best friend.
Try it, you might like it. Or maybe you already do this or something similar? Feel free to share what works for you.