"This meditation is an opportunity to tap into the abundant peace of the natural world. If possible, do this meditation early in the morning, before the busyness of the day has sprung into gear and before your mind has raced into planning and action.
"Begin with a slow, mindful walk, in a place you feel at ease. Be sure to walk slowly enough to feel the earth beneath your feet. Observe whether the ground is hard or soft, moist or dry. Inhale deeply through your nose, noting if the air has a seasonal fragrance. Notice the quality of light at this time of day, and tune into the quality of silence that may be present. Be mindful of the new growth on the tips of fir trees, and pay attention to which wildflowers are in bloom. See if you can observe a plant you have never looked at closely before.
"As you walk, stop from time to time and be mindful of the sense of peace coming from the trees, grasses, rocks, or water around you. Feel that peace radiating over and through you, and notice what effect it has upon your breath, perhaps slowing and deepening it. Continue allowing the peace of nature to wash over you, allowing your muscles to release their tension and rest at ease. Feel how the peacefulness of nature can soothe your mind, enabling your mind become clearer and calmer.
"At some point, allow yourself to be drawn to something that exudes or embodies peacefulness. It may be the stillness of a pond, an old cypress tree, a quiet marshland, or a view of a pastoral landscape. It may be looking at white-tailed deer quietly feeding in a grassy meadow. Once you find something that feels peaceful to you, sit awhile with it. Meditate with all your senses open, including your eyes. Let your body, as if by osmosis, be permeated with the tranquility of this place. Each time your mind tries to take you away from here, gently bring your attention back to the sense experience of calm in the environment. Allow all of your worries to melt into the very earth you sit on.
"Sometimes when we are confronted by the peace and quiet of nature, our mind can feel threatened by the stillness and move into overdrive, incessantly thinking and planning. If this occurs, use this moment as an invitation to feel what is happening for you underneath all the busyness and activity in your life. Let your feelings come up, and give yourself permission to feel them without fear in this safe and peaceful place. Without drawing any conclusions or doing anything to fix or change your feelings, just recognize the truth of how you are feeling in this moment. If these feelings are painful, allow yourself to shift your attention back and forth between your internal feelings and the spaciousness and calm of the trees, the earth, or the placid water around you. Let nature support you and hold the space for you to experience these deeper feelings.
"Ultimately, as you practice opening to the full range of your feelings and drawing on the peacefulness of nature, you'll be able to drop more deeply into sensing and feeling the peace of the wilderness. You will no longer be afraid of what you find there, as you rest in the knowledge that the peacefulness and calm of nature will always be there to support and comfort you."