I love the metaphor of how one’s attention dropping into the body in any kind of meditation is akin to sitting quietly in the forest. It’s one I’ve use in my own practice, and in guiding my clients into deeper, more subtle states of awareness.
I love it because when you sit quietly in nature somewhere, two things happen.
1. More and more layers of nature, as they were before you sat down and were quiet, are revealed to you.
The sounds, smells, sights. What was once just a patch of grass in front of you now reveals deeper shimmerings of color, aliveness of small insects, the wind tousling the stalks. What was once pretty much just quiet unfolds into birdsong, breeze through branches, far off motors (depending on where you are), even your own breath.
Your attention softens and, most importantly, WIDENS to accommodate a broader spectrum of reality’s dance.
But also happening is …
2. Nature herself, that is everything around you, adapts to YOU as well.
The observer affects the experiment. Your movement through, and your perhaps previously more disruptive electromagnetic impulses, or whatever they are, still and quiet, and the world around you responds in kind.
“Am I noticing this sensation in my body because it was already there and I can just feel it now, or is it arising in this field of open awareness I am cultivating?” … You may ask.
And like the buddha named long ago as the mutual co-arising of phenomena, the answer is, of course, “Yes, both are true.”