The beach is nature’s perfect answer to relaxation and meditation.
In my initiation to meditation (and I am truly a beginner) I have learned to focus on the details of nature surrounding me as I meditate to relax, focus on the start of the day, and release the built up stress from my hectic life of doctoring and momming. During my recent trip to the Outer Banks, I learned that the beach is the perfect addition to my meditation lessons.
The beach and the ocean are nature’s masterminded plan to work with all five of our senses.
Sound: The repetitive slow white noise of the ocean is easy on your brain. It has a beautiful swirling sound that includes the waves breaking and dispersing on the sand. The wind swishes around your face and body and makes a rustling sound through your hair. “So that the monotonous fall of the waves on the beach, which for the most part beat a measured and soothing tattoo to her thoughts seemed consoling to repeat over and over again.”—Virginia Woolf
Sight: Visualize the delicate salt spray billowing up with each wave hitting the sand. Watch in the deep ocean how the waves have a continuous pattern and gradually develop into massive bursts of energy that push the shells further along the dunes. Watch as the birds play games with the ocean and chase each wave as it breaks along the beach and follow it back as the wave retreats. Visualize the vast Earth we live on by staring out at the horizon. Look at the perfect line it makes as the sky kisses the ocean.
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Touch: Sit and move the sand through each of your toes. Feel the textures of the smooth sand, the small pebbles and the shells. Sometimes it can be granular and soft like powder and other times it can be rough and feel like pumice stones. Touch the microscopic salt granules that collect on your cheeks as you sit close to the ocean. Feel how it is combined with the warmth of the sun on your cheeks. “The voice of the sea speaks to the soul. The touch of the sea is sensuous, enfolding the body in its soft, close embrace.” –Kate Chopin
Smell: Smell the salt air passing by you. It has a refreshing and organic aroma. Smell the dry sand absorbing the heat of the sun. Smell the light smell of the fish and shellfish that live in the massive volume of the ocean. The green, plant-like smell of seaweed emanates from the ocean surface.
Taste: Your tongue captures the salt from the sea spray circulating in the windy air. As you lick your lips, you may notice a bitter taste from sweat that developed from the shimmering sun above. Slowly sip the water you brought to the beach and notice it has never tasted crisper, cooler or fresher than it does at the beach.
“Every time I stand before a beautiful beach; its waves seem to whisper to me: If you choose the simple things and find joy in nature’s simple treasures, life and living need not be so hard.”—Psyche Roxas-Mendoza
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