Q: We went to the mountains last weekend and I meditated outdoors overlooking a huge
valley. It was beautiful, and my meditation was wonderful. I was blissfully intermingled
with the soft mountain air. Is there a benefit in meditating outdoors in beautiful places?
A: There is great benefit in being outdoors in beautiful places, but not necessarily in
meditating there. To be able to appreciate the profound beauty of nature is the greatest
joy in life. For what greater purpose could we be here than to enjoy the infinite sea of
harmony in and all around us? Regular meditation gradually cultivates our inherent ability
to appreciate the beauty in life.
But remember what we are doing in meditation. We are easily picking up the mantra and
letting it go however it will. Then we are picking it back up again when we realize we
have been off it. This procedure we do for twenty minutes twice a day. We do not meditate
for a particular experience while we are doing it. The purification process has its own
way to go. We cannot direct it or predict it. We do the easy procedure of meditation and
let it happen.
So, doing the meditation procedure is not about sitting on a mountaintop or in any
particular place, except to take advantage of the best place we have available at
meditation time where we will have the least distraction.
Jesus said, "Go into your closet to pray."
This is the idea. Meditation is an inner process, so we withdraw to
If we are on an airplane, in a waiting room, or on top of a mountain, we may not have a
choice, so we make the best of it and meditate there. As discussed previously, it can
easily be done. However, we do not go sit outdoors on a mountaintop for the purpose of
meditating. It's much better to be in the cabin where it is quiet and subdued. Then we can
meditate, go inward, with the least stimulation of the outer senses. Later on we can go
out and appreciate the grand display of the valley below, having soaked ourselves with the
perception-illuminating qualities of pure bliss consciousness. Close your eyes then, if
you wish, and be one with the glory of nature all around you. Enjoy!
Meditation is a preparation for enriching the experience of everything else. It is a
retreat from the outer world to pure bliss consciousness within so we can come back and
know the outer world in a much more refined way. If we try and blend our meditation
practice with experiencing the outer world at the same time, the results will not be
optimal. First we go in. Then we come back out. Our meditation is not about trying to be
in and out at the same time. That state of being both in and out at the same time comes
naturally with regular daily meditation. Being in and out at the same time is not the
practice of meditation. It is the fruit of meditation.
Do be inspired by the beauty of nature. Know that you can experience nature in
increasingly refined ways as a result of daily practice of meditation. Use your
inspiration to redouble your commitment to daily practice. Then, in time, you will know
nature in a way that will permanently melt you in bliss. Then your natural state will be
to be completely in and completely out at the same time. You will become the great outdoors.
This is the fruit of true yoga and true religion. This is enlightenment.
The guru is in you.