CR Zona Azul, Costa Rica Blue Zone is an EcoTour service, to guide you through a National Park or Wildlife Refuge. Our guides are here to facilitate and enhance your connection with Nature in Costa Rica.
Clear, simple and precise. Not fru-fru or ambiguous. Put your attention on an axis and balance it there. THIS IS THE WAY.
A key component of Mindfulness is using your own breath as a system reset button. Can you inhale for 5 seconds? Kk, can you keep up deep in and out breaths for 5 minutes?
Find a good official trail and set out for at least 20 minutes to experience the benefits/ Getting into the natural environment in the midst of a concentration of forest foliage helps the mind shift out of the problem solving analytical framework of thinking, and lets the autonomic system recharges. While the mind explores what there is to see, the subconscious mind enters the "flow state" or zone, commonly experienced in those moments of quality insight development during your shower!
Another approach is to go to a spot where your attention won't be interrupted too much, and really spend a moment familiarizing yourself with all the characteristics of your chosen spot. Some people that practice forest bathing find a spot where they can sit quietly, even befriend a particular tree and sit with it doing nothing for a period of time. Or write a friend an old fashioned letter!
Enjoy your time in the forest!
Then write to us and share you experience
The ideas behind forest therapy are based on the Japanese practice of shinrin'yoku.
Julietta Kass on Island Morning (2020),says get out of your head and use your senses to experience the moment you are living in right now. Engage all of your senses, including smell. How far away can you hear sounds around you?
Hex developed an approach to quieting the mind through present attention. 3 dimensions of seeing, listening, feeling to being present in the moment.
Learning meditation is like weightlifting. One gets stronger by doing and trying and doing more.
The human body can always handle 10-15% increase in demand on physical abilities from a full restored state.
The mind is similar. Guiding the mind’s attention is the real work, the weightlifting, of meditation, or being mindful. Guiding attention is simply a matter of choosing where you look, listen, or feel. Choosing what you are open to.
Mindfulness is a combination of both being present in the moment with one’s attention and being open minded.
Mindfulness can be all day every day, without meditation, although this would be unusual.
Meditation is the focused effort to bring one’s attention away from the body, away from streaming thoughts of the mental radio station, and practice inner peace by looking, listening, or feeling (the breath) and choosing to bring your attention back into the present if your attention gets distracted into a body sensation or mental memory or plan or dramatic story (real or fiction).
The general daily mental state is accepting of over 60,000 random thoughts throughout the day, 90% of which are the same content, the same message, day after day. And then the emotional or energy state of a person can get uncomfortable even upset if new thoughts varying from the pattern introduce themselves. To grow in mindfulness and even emotional maturity, we can choose to be open minded. Not to place our minds in acceptance of everything n the world, but to calmly consider what comes to our attention from a more mindful perspective.
The ever present goal is to BE HERE NOW in the present.
You will always BE.
You are always HERE.
This is always NOW.
The world will always offer interesting ideas of the past and the future, and plans will come and go. In the midst of thoughts reflecting on the past (discussions, analysis) or in the aspiration of the future (problem solving, desires) we are always breathing here, right now, being who we are.
With this in mind, the Hex 3AM Mindfulness practice uses three key thoughts for Mindfulness Training (our workouts) and recommend giving 15 minutes at a time, like a coffee break. Less is fine, 3 minutes into challenging effort is a recommended minimum. More is also, as makes sense for your life. There are unusual experiences in meditation, none should cause fear. None of the experiences mean anything. Only your choice to find your inner peace is involved here, and with all the Peace in the world you will still be you, you will still be here, and it will still be now.
To begin meditation or mindfulness practice, come to a comfortable sitting position that is upright, and in a way where there won’t be external interruptions that you anticipate. It’s fine to be interrupted. It doesn’t work to have the mind watching or waiting for the interruption.
Acknowledge that you are ok, and your mind is ok too. Mindfulness is not arm wrestling, just weight training. The thoughts always come, the weights always obey gravity, we just work on bringing our attention back, like gently guiding a puppy.
Close your eyes and breathe. Ask yourself one of the questions. Be still. When restlessness or what next? Arises in the mind, ask a second question. Repeat. All 3 questions will serve you in Mindfulness weight training, just like Eccentric, Isometric, and Concentric.
The 3 Key Thoughts.
What do I want (to see)?
What question do I have?
How do I feel?
When you’re comfortable putting effort into mindfulness, really lifting a weight, add a mental action to the question.
What do I want? -> Look with the mind’s eye
What question do I have? -> Listen, really hear
How do I feel? -> Breathe, calmly. Feel it.
Mindfulness and meditation can begin from any of these approaches, and all of these can work together. If you can hear and see and feel at the same time with the body, then this must be available to you mentally as well. It may be a challenge, available for you if you want.
It’s ok to alternate between these approaches.
It’s ok to use only one or two.
There is a Supporting Key Thought/ Question for aiming attention at the Heart’s center or the Mind’s Eye. It can be used like a mental “Refresh” button on the temporary memory in the mind.
The 4th Key Thought
Who am I?
To the ego, the question is absurd. But this exercise is the “clean & jerk” squat or bench press of the mental effort training series. If one asks “Who am I?” and gives attention on any axes, approach, it is the clearest, most direct mental path to filter away the past and future and be yourself now. You do not need to answer this question, you are the answer to this question. This is its simplicity, its power and its truth. It does not depend on mental constructs, being alive, you are you, and that is enough.
Whatever works for you in holding your attention on the action or direction of your choice, looking, listening, or feeling. Relaxation will come. Quietness will come. It will also go. And it will come again when you pick up the weights again.
Breathing is an autonomic action that remains constant and deepens during meditation and Mindfulness. Mantras or Visuals with meditation can be helpful after asking the questions here and are welcome in this approach and regular practice.
With our attention on our breath (corresponds to FEELING) we have a natural rhythm that sustains our Life. If you have an interest in nature, in the natural, you can include a visual and/or audio aspect to meditation, such as breath being a wave, and you are breathing as the Ocean. As you inhale and lungs & rib cage expand big, the ocean waves go out rolling onto the shore.
As you exhale, and lungs collapses, the tide go out, back to you as the ocean.
This is an example of a form that supports Mindfulness in Meditation. There are other forms you can experiment and use, this is left to you.
Mindfulness, meditation, is not doing, it’s an undoing. An untangling. It is doing in the sense of building a strength, a form of weightlifting, but it is not active direction of faculties other than attention and choice.
Attention away from the body
Attention off the movie screen of drama, plans, or memories.
Look, listen,& feel.
The explanations and unimportant stuff.
3 AM is 3 Axes Meditation.
The 3 Key Thoughts correspond to the 3 Axes
What do I want? -Seeing
What question do I have? -Hearing
How do I feel? -Feeling / Being
Nature has always offered us the best and hasn’t disappointed us in finding our calm as well. Forest bathing is an exception to traditional meditation practices. Rather than asking you to sit comfortably and focus on your breath, it calls forth active participation of all your senses. In the current era where we are technology-driven and nature deficit, it is a great way to disconnect with the world of technology and connect with nature. It involves walking in the green, acknowledging the atmosphere through all your senses, and enjoying its benefits.
Anyone and everyone who wants to lead a healthier and happier life can practice forest bathing. It might come as a surprise but we humans are hardwired to connect with nature, it is our biological need to be connected with the natural world. So, if you want to enjoy the positive impact of nature on your health just practice forest bathing.
To cherish the healing power of the forest and practice forest bathing here are the guidelines,
Identify woods near you in which you can walk in. If there is no forest area near you, you may start with a park or garden area. As long as it is green and shouts nature, it will do!
If you are lucky enough to find a no-noise zone, appreciate it and let silence do its restorative function. If there are nature’s sounds (running water, birdsong, others), tune into them.
Let your body be your guide, let it take you anywhere (everywhere). All you have to do is… go with the flow!
Now it is time to sync your senses with nature. Listen to the sounds of the forest, count the different sounds in your head. Look for things you can see and not hear, alternatively listen to the elements of nature that you can’t see (but can hear). Touch different elements of nature and acknowledge its texture, temperature, and other elements.
Be in the the present moment, let the peace and calm of the forest remind you that most settings in Nature are calm, and this is available to everyone on the path to their best health.
If you can’t go out in woods or there is no green area around you may sit in your comfortable place, use essential tree oils, and visualize the forest. It will provide you with the benefits of forest bathing!
When you soak yourself into nature and practice forest breathing it offers various benefits (backed with science). These benefits are likely to boost an individual’s mental and physical health!
Breathwork helps bring the mind to the present moment, as the body rhythm, breathing is always in the present moment, and can help align your attention in the moment, Being Here Now.
Breath work: like the body in weightlifting the work starts when we make it all the way through what we’re prepared for that’s when we face the unknown the uncertain. Be not afraid of the unknown let’s get uncomfortable embrace uncertainty. I am not afraid of the unknown. And breath work each new breath is a new instant fresh and new see how fresh applies to both the breath in the instant? Free from memories for you from plans we can truly be. And then again, our attention here deepens and our breath deepens and our peace deepens. Diving deeper into the now deeper into the breath is deeper into peace. And when we become more peaceful internally in our mind the body will follow. Just like the mind follows feeling good after a good work out. And when we are more peaceful and mind body and spirit. Will you bring this piece to others and they will follow with the peace is the most attractive quality we can find
Copyright © 2020 CRCosta Rica Blue Zone Service - All Rights Reserved.
Photo credits in the meta tags