April 30
Nature tops the list of potent
tranquilizers and stress reducers.
The mere sound of moving water
has been shown to lower
blood pressure.

Patch Adams


Today's Meditation:

One of the things that I notice regularly is that if I neglect to go for walks in the woods or in the desert or in a park somewhere, I start to get kind of crazy--my mind stops functioning properly, and things that really aren't all that important seem much more important than they are.  I tend to get stressed out far too easily, and I don't like that feeling at all.  All it takes to remedy it, though, is to get outside and go for a walk or a hike or a bike ride--the fresh air and the beauty of the trees and plants and flowers help me to relax and to feel more balanced, more calm.

What's really frustrating about this is how often it happens--how often I neglect my connection with nature and allow myself to go too long without reestablishing that connection.  I get caught up in work, in life, in living, in being busy, in obligations and responsibilities, and this is an aspect of my life that suffers from neglect when that happens.  It's pretty silly because I know better, but silly or not, I allow it to happen.

Nature is a stress reducer, but we have to use it.  Painkillers are great for reducing pain, but if we don't take them, they don't do any good at all.  If  I never go out in nature, I never get the benefits of what it can give me.  The breeze through the leaves of trees, the water trickling in the stream or rushing in the river, the birds singing because they have a song, the rain gently falling on the ground or the leaves or falling strongly and loudly, the warmth of the sunlight and coolness of the breeze on our skin--these are things that can bring us peace of mind and peace of heart.  Nature is a wonderful gift, one that we definitely shouldn't turn our backs on.

Questions to consider:

Why does spending time in nature so often end up low on our list of priorities?

How do you feel when you've found a wonderful spot in nature?  How would you feel if you were to spend more time in such places?

What are some of the obstacles that keep us from being out in nature?  What are some strategies for dealing with those obstacles?

For further thought:
A soul who is not close to nature is far away from what is called
spirituality.  In order to be spiritual one must communicate, and
especially one must communicate with nature; one must feel nature.

Hazrat Inayat Khan


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