The description for this now edited recording of the March 28th, 2022 Insight Timer live event “Being In And Of Nature”:
Weather and Insight Timer systems permitting I’ll speak to the challenges and benefits of practicing meditation in nature, under a tree and/or just simply being outdoors. Maybe some practice too
I start off with a three breath arrival meditation then address two short relevant suttas before getting into views, observations, experiences and practice tips for meditating outdoors:
“Endowed with [any of] four qualities, a monk isn’t fit to stay in isolated forest & wilderness dwellings. Which four? [He is endowed] with thoughts of sensuality, with thoughts of ill will, with thoughts of harmfulness, and he is a person of weak discernment, dull, a drooling idiot. Endowed with [any of] these four qualities, a monk isn’t fit to stay in isolated forest & wilderness dwellings.
“Endowed with four qualities, a monk is fit to stay in isolated forest & wilderness dwellings. Which four? [He is endowed] with thoughts of renunciation, with thoughts of non-ill will, with thoughts of harmlessness, and he is a discerning person, not dull, not a drooling idiot. Endowed with these four qualities, a monk is fit to stay in isolated forest & wilderness dwellings.”Aṅguttara Nikāya
Book of the Fours
4.262. A Wilderness Dweller
“Mendicants, when a mendicant has five qualities they’re ready to frequent remote lodgings in the wilderness and the forest. What five?
It’s when a mendicant is ethical, restrained in the code of conduct, with good behavior and supporters. Seeing danger in the slightest fault, they keep the rules they’ve undertaken.
They’re very learned, remembering and keeping what they’ve learned. These teachings are good in the beginning, good in the middle, and good in the end, meaningful and well-phrased, describing a spiritual practice that’s totally full and pure. They are very learned in such teachings, remembering them, reciting them, mentally scrutinizing them, and comprehending them theoretically.
They live with energy roused up. They’re strong, staunchly vigorous, not slacking off when it comes to developing skillful qualities.
They get the four absorptions—blissful meditations in the present life that belong to the higher mind—when they want, without trouble or difficulty.
They realize the undefiled freedom of heart and freedom by wisdom in this very life. And they live having realized it with their own insight due to the ending of defilements.
When a mendicant has these five qualities they’re ready to frequent remote lodgings in the wilderness and the forest.”Araññasutta
Numbered Discourses 5
11. Living Comfortably
- if more folks on metaverse will nature be less crowded?
- ease, support of nature and sharp angles, steel, glass of city
- fearful men futilely imposing mind & control over nature
- how nature communicates
- feeling joy
- true(r) solitude
- practice conditions
- not dependent on nature
Delightful are forests
Where the public does not delight.
There the passion-free delight,
Not seeking sensual pleasure. (verse 99 of Dhammapada)
Tasting the flavor
of solitude and peace,
One becomes free of distress and evil,
Drinking the flavor of Dharma joy. (verse 205 of Dhammapada)
Peaceful in body, peaceful in speech,
The practitioner peaceful and well-concentrated
Who has rejected the world’s bait
Is called “one at peace.” (verse 378 of Dhammapada)
I also mention:
Other relevant stuff I did not mention:
- Man’s other (hidden) intents in their worldly creations. For example, a house. What are the other intents other than sheltering you? Built for profit? Prestige? Legacy? Competition? What were the other intents of the workers while building? The past tenants and owners?
- Being of nature itself. We are not separate from nature. Our body is composed of combinations of (the four) elements and returns after we shed off the body being nature
- Food and cooking are of nature and a good way to connect with nature while indoors, as well as house plants and crystals
Other relevant suttas:
- Bhayabheravasutta — Fear and Terror
- Nāgitasutta — To Nagita (from Aṅguttara Nikāya Book of the Sixes 6.42)
- Paṭhamaanāgatabhayasutta — The Discourse on Future Dangers (1) (from Aṅguttara Nikāya Book of the Fives 5.77)