#5: Experiencing Your Infinite Self Through Nature

I studied with a well known musician who, decades ago, had opportunities for fame and fortune in New York City.  Instead of pursuing those things, he picked up and moved far away to the mountains.  When asked “why?” he said that when he rode the subway he felt the pain of others and his reaching out to them led to disapproval and hostility.  

Cities like New York require us to occupy a small space and to have tight boundaries.  Although we walk within inches of each other, we live in entirely different worlds.  This sense of disconnection bothered the up and coming musician.  

When I lived in Hawaii, I had a large rock which sat at the edge of a cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean.   The meditation that I would do on the rock consisted of watching the waves and harmonizing with their endless rhythmic movement.  This harmonization creates an experience of timelessness.  Then, I would shift my attention back and forth from my inner body to the ocean, not identifying with either.  This would lead to an experience of vastness.   

Another time that I have experienced this was a night when I was driving up to the great state of Maine.   At one point in the drive I realized that there was not a single man-made light in sight.  No cars, no houses, no streetlights.  I shut off the engine and sat there in the absolute silence and dark.  When you have no external references of time and no people to activate your sense of personal space, the experience of self can be unbounded. 

If you feel compressed from city life, perhaps you may try your own version of these experiences.