Recently I have changed my morning routine to include an hour of outdoor training before breakfast and because of this, my meditation practice has also naturally moved outdoors. I found a beautiful spot facing due east overlooking a gentle stream. Having practised meditation twice a day for over 15 years now, I didn’t expect anything to make a dramatic change to my progress or experience. In fact, I would have only really considered changing my location to make my practice harder as a challenge to my powers of concentration.
However, the beauty and tranquillity of the countryside in the morning has had a very strong effect. This morning as the sun rose and reflected in the water, the stream created a beautiful and retrospectively symbolic scene. I found my mind clearing this time with a very different feeling than normal. I found my inner self simply reflecting everything that I was seeing. A feeling of tranquillity and calmness and I stopped discerning. Normally it takes an effort to keep your mind on your breath but since I have moved location I am finding my mind naturally relaxes into the completely peaceful state of inner serenity and stillness and as a result, I have also found this emotion moving into my daily life. I flow through my work and meet any challenges placed in my way unperturbed.
So perhaps it’s true what it says in the Tao Te Ching – The Tao is stronger under the trees.