If you get the idea behind meditation and the clarification of inner space, inner peace in other words, you will have no difficulty understanding the place nature has in the process. Nature is god (or whatever you call it, no belief is necessary) made, not man made, and that’s the key. What is man made always has a down side to the up, whereas nature is what it is and needs no thought or emotion to be. What is god made has no problem, no up and no down.
Nature is of sense, not thought or emotion, and the simple sense is available to help reduce the magnitude of mind as a problem as long as there is a willingness to attend to it. Attending to it means being in nature, taking time in it and giving attention to the simple sense of it. Such as the sense of the breeze on the skin, the colour of the grass, the sound of the bird calling, the sight of the swaying treetops. In short, attend to the sense of nature, one bit at a time to begin – as often as possible, as reminded – until it becomes second nature.
So you go for a walk in the park and instead of thinking about ‘things’ you make a little effort and give your attention to the sense of the nature around you. The effort is necessary only because the habit is to think and to break the habit, any habit, takes deliberate action – as in what you give your attention to. Soon enough – it takes some longer than others – there is no more effort required, and being in nature is a pleasure. It’s that simple. The simple pleasure of being in sense and not in mind that thinks and gets emotional.
The trouble is it is too simple for the complicated and complicating mind. It, the mind, will always find a ‘good’ reason to go on thinking – as if you need to be thinking ‘all’ the time, you don’t. And that’s the exercise, as with meditation on the ‘inner’ sensation, determine what you will give your attention to and do your best. Your best is good enough, and because you will ‘fail’ until you don’t you need to know that is part of the process. There is no failure as long as you do what is right for you as you are reminded – no drama.
Even if the only ‘nature’ you have to attend to is a drying piece of moss on your high cell window it will serve you well to focus on it. Give it a little of your precious water, see its colour, touch it, you might even smell it – sense.
Just give nature your precious attention and don’t give in to thinking any more than is necessary. It is possible to realise it in an instant, and likely to take time for each drop to fall until the vessel is emptied.