I frequently come across meditation invitations that call for silence or going outside to commune with nature.
The sounds of water falls or ocean waves, seagulls, mountain echoes, and all those magical nature sounds can bring one into a calm state or while listening to guided meditations. Unfortunately, for some people, particularly those who live in cities and high-rise buildings, these requirements are not easy to meet.
When we moved to the city more than a decade ago and now live in a medium-rise building, at first, I thought that I had lost the privilege of grounding myself to the earth or simply immersing in nature. In the city, there aren’t as many trees or grasses growing along the roadside as there are in the countryside.
With the increase in urban migration over time, we must also adapt to the changing times in order to overcome the limitations of access to the outdoors.
But just because you’re in the city doesn’t mean you can’t meditate. You can meditate anywhere, in fact. I understand that city noise could be a distraction, but only if you allow it. If you’re working on improving your focus or intuitive and psychic abilities, challenging yourself to filter out the noise can be beneficial.
This is what I discovered – City noise can be used for meditation while also assisting in the development of clairaudience and claircognizance abilities.
How I do it
To begin, I adopt the Fo Zhan Qian Shou Fa stance of the Falun Gong. It is recommended that you do this barefoot, but it is not required. Also, if you don’t have a balcony like we do, find a spot in your house where you can get some direct sunlight.
Gently close your eyes. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Relax your entire body; bend both knees slightly. Pull in the lower jaw slightly. Close your lips and place the tip of your tongue against the roof of the mouth, and leave a space between your upper and lower teeth.
Bring both arms up slowly and stretch until you feel some tension in your back and rib cage. Hold for about 2 minutes, then slowly lower the arms and “conjoin” the hands (Liangshou Jieyin)
Why do you need to stretch: Stretching unclogs energy in congested areas, stimulates energy within the body under the skin, causing it to circulate vigorously, and instantaneously absorbs a large amount of energy from the universe. This allows all of the meridians in the practitioner’s body to open at the start. – SOURCE: Falun Pilipinas
“Place your hands together, palms up. The tips of each hand’s thumbs lightly touch, and the other four fingers of each hand meet and overlap on top of one another. Males place their left hand on top, while females place their right hand on top. Form an oval with the hands and hold them at the lower abdominal area. Keep both upper arms slightly forward, elbows rounded, and the underarms open…” -SOURCE of text and photo: Falun Dafa Org
Then, while remaining in this position, I imagine myself bathing in the sun’s warmth. Then I fine-tune my hearing to the various background noises. I listen intently to the most inaudible sounds or sounds that are further away, such as car horns, bird chirping, swishing of tree leaves, voices, and so on. I’d focus on one sound at a time, trying to imagine where it came from or who produced it. I simply isolate a sound, listen, and visualize the source several times. A good 10 to 15 minutes should suffice.
To end the exercise, I’ll bring both hands up to my chest, firmly pressed together with fingers pointed up (as in folded hands), and thank the divine source for a new peaceful, blissful, and joy-filled day.
Alternative nature objects to mimic natural environment
Grounding is essential in spiritual pursuits. Grounding keeps you in command of your surroundings and the situation you’ve created. Because you remain connected to the energy sources – the earth or, if you are in an elevated position, the sun – grounding keeps you focused and your energy from being depleted.
Some people I know use crystals to enhance energy flow and provide protection in situations such as Tarot reading or other spiritual activities. I don’t use crystals on a regular basis (I have a quartz crystal and some other faux crystals that I bought from a Chinese street vendor in Binondo, Manila), but I discovered that using river stones can have the same effect of enhancing intuition during a Tarot reading as well as grounding. I also plan to use river stones to help with visualization when I expand my grounding practices.
“Even rocks, water, all are elements that we live in our environment share information, and you can give them information; and you can ask them to do things for you and they will…”Roger Armstrong, Moving Your Psychic Awareness
Other natural materials that can be used for energy enhancement, visualization, and grounding include rock salt (which is preferable to refined iodized salt), freshly picked leaves and flowers (if potted plants/flowers are not available), rain water (which should be placed in a glass or terracotta container rather than plastic or synthetic materials), and others.
In my spiritual activities, I intend to experiment with both tap water and mineral water.
Most importantly, I can use the sun’s energy (sunlight) to activate these objects and the moon’s energy to cleanse the stored energies (moonlight).
So, living in the city does not necessarily imply being cut off from nature. Nature is all around us, and its bounty is blessing us every day to ensure our well-being; it is up to us to make use of whatever natural materials are available.