Why Nature And Meditation Go Hand In Hand
“The most appropriate and mystical atmosphere for introspection is that of forests and the sounds after the rain or a rainstorm – emphatically peaceful and serene”
The oldest known Hindu epic, Samaveda states that the sages in ancient times went to meditate in the jungle to check their vigour and guts while a carnivore stood below. But gradually, apart from befriending the dangerous creatures, they started to love meditating in the dense jungles and got conditioned to listening to the different chirping sounds of the birds, waterfalls and ponds plopping, swooshing of air through trees, creepers, hissing of reptiles and even the animal sounds. And eventually, they could discern the tunes created by the minutest creature on earth.
Nature keeps us grounded, down to earth and connected with ourselves. A plethora of gentle sounds imbibes the feeling of belongingness and perseverance. For instance, the best and most congenial sound of nature is the conversation of birds. Observing the constant screech of the pterodactyl, calling of crows, rude quacking of the mallard ducks, chit-chat by the widely residing black bulbul and migrating geese, won’t let one divert from the present.
One’s ears and other senses can be fully engrossed in the birds’ conference for hours. Above all, the most appropriate and mystical atmosphere for introspection is that of forests and the sounds after the rain or a rainstorm – emphatically peaceful and serene. Persisting and relishing in these present moments is what we call meditation where one can easily know and feel his/ her every breath.
The element of wood is associated with spring, a time of birth and new beginnings. “The wood element refers to living, growing entities: trees, plants and the human body,” writes Elson M. Haas. Therefore, paying deep attention towards the limbs, liver, tendons, ligaments and dendrites while being In connection with the woods, improves the quality of thoughts while meditating.
The Five Elements
Humans are made up of the panch tatva meaning the five elements: air, water, tire, earth and ether. The dense forests provide these elements in profusion, which balances our mind, body, and soul. According to Hippocrates, a Greek physician, the assessment of health of an individual was explained in terms of the balance of body fluids and their corresponding natural elements namely air, fire, water and earth. He insisted that this balance was instrumental in maintaining health. Hence, the more one accommodates nature and natural sounds in one’s lifestyle, the more healthy outcomes there will be.
New research shows that wandering in the jungle and paying attention to its surroundings, improves immunity and enhances brain functioning. In fact, Japanese researchers have invented something called ‘forest therapy’ for rough and tough health manoeuvring and mental stability. The natural killer cells are one of the main components of the immune system and they play a central role in fighting tumours and viruses. Studies indicate that the experience in the woods has positive effects on immunity and this effect lasts for a month.