09/17/2011 12:59 pm ET Updated Nov 17, 2011

Days 12 & 13: Nature Meditation

This weekend, I encourage you to get outside for a meditation with nature. This idea of meditating with nature may seem a little hokey, but I strongly suggest you try it. This nature walk is about becoming more sensitive to the environment and the extraordinary fact that you are alive. And the fresh air and sunshine will wake your body up and set your rhythm for the day.

Even if you don't have time to go to the park or a nearby woods, read the meditation through and try this in your home or apartment.

1. Find a park, woods, a beach, a nature preserve or a reservoir.

2. Depending on your time schedule, give yourself 15 minutes or half an hour.

3. Depending upon where you are, take your shoes off or keep them on.

4. Walk around for a few minutes until you come to a place where you feel like pausing.

5. Stand still for a moment and take in what is around you. Notice where you are. Take in everything -- the trees, grass, sand, water, sounds, the texture of the air. Take 10 deep breaths, inhaling through the nose and exhaling through the mouth.

6. After a few more breaths, allow your feet to become more sensitive to what they are touching -- the rocks under your shoes and socks, the sand under your feet, the grass between your toes. Feel where your weight is. Maybe it is time to move your heels.

7. Notice how your body feels. What feels sticky, tired, achy? What parts feel loose and easy? Take five more breaths, directing the breath to the sticky places. If your hips feel tight, inhale, picturing the breath traveling down and into the hips, then exhale, picturing the tension and pain streaming out of the hip socket.

8. With this newfound spaciousness, begin walking again.

9. For the remaining minutes, allow yourself to be completely absorbed by what is in front of you, beside you, under you, behind you. Look at the bark on the trees, the stones in the sand, a spiderweb, the shape of your footprint, the length of your stride. Let yourself be curious about everything. Listen for the wind, the birds, your breath.

10. When you are done, notice how you feel. Maybe your breath is easier. Maybe you are more relaxed. Maybe you feel more connected.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Dr. Lipman and the Be Well Team
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