Voluntario Global’s newest project—the Pacheco Community Center—is situated on a tranquil suburban property fit with a sprawling green lawn, a variety of blue sky-grazing trees, and sweet melodies of birdsong (to name just a few of its charms). These are ample conditions for fostering a deeper receptivity toward life than that which encourages moments to speed by unnoticed. Observing the vibrant happenings around the property’s sustainable gardens with an aura of stillness and an attitude of curiosity can lead to unfiltered joy; deep relaxation; and lasting bounties of boosted awareness, life fulfillment, and profound wisdom.
While there are many posts detailing the scientifically proven benefits of meditation, this one hopes to hone in on the felt power of the practice in an anecdotal way, so as to give you a taste of the freshness of this moment which can be explored to unfathomable depths–especially within the densely participatory realm of a natural setting.
Find a comfortable posture, breathe in, and open your senses and imagination to the vivid textures of ten, distinct meditative effects:
1. You perceive with increased awareness and cultivate an openness to the unknown which deepens interactions and relationships with others. Labels, judgments, and expectations are discarded, and the mind is free to explore more colorful ways of knowing others’ intricate qualities.
2. You pick up on subtle miracles. Familiar scenes may be interpreted in new ways; special experiences are revealed to be lingering just below the mind’s incessant stream of thoughts.
A walk behind the greenhouse can easily zip by as a means of getting from here to there, yet slowing down and reminding oneself that this is it can uncover silent beauties such as this singular, vibrant bloom within the eaves of a bush.
3. Past and future concerns lose their burdensome weight, as the richness of now gains more of the mind’s attentive capabilities. Instead of reliving negative past events or being tied down by anticipatory anxieties, one can actively explore the infinite potential of the wellspring of the present moment.
4. Reactions are sublimated by mindful responses. Consistent meditation practice can reveal the patterns of one’s mind and offer one the chance to change tendencies of hostile reactions to others or external circumstances. Tensions dissolve as love and acceptance become the first responders to one’s perceptions.
5. Foods and beverages taste richer, more textured. The process of taking one bite or one sip can be slowed down into its diverse aspects, from the mind’s anticipation of the flavor to the impressive strength of the jaw to the transformative onset of the aftertaste.
6. Creative abilities are amplified as previously unexplored territories of the psyche present their colors. Art becomesplay, a celebration of life.
One may find oneself having a vision for an addition to the mural walls or writing a spontaneous poem about rain drops in the reflective pool, letting the thought-stream shift out of its automatic patterns and slip into the pool of raw inspiration.
7. Energy levels soar, as less attention is focused on distracting or negative thought patterns. Positive or unattached thinking heals the body and allows acceptance and playfulness to emanate in high spirits.
8. Connections to nature are amplified. Heavy focus on human technologies (whether they be physical or mental phenomena) is shifted as awareness is expanded to include a wider range of non-human entities and processes.
9. Self-knowledge grows as common, unconscious thought patterns are brought into awareness, giving one the opportunity to interrogate their authenticity and replace them with less distorted messages, springing from self-compassion and present-found truth.
10. Realization of one’s most significant values and goals allows for greater self-actualizing power. Slowing down and turning one’s attention mindfully inside can solidify one’s understandings of what is truly important, arising from deeply intuitive resonances within one’s very being.
Which path are you headed down? This serene walkway on the Pacheco Community Center property leads one to the wonderfully collaborative sites where volunteers and community members interact, grow, and enjoy being alive in each other’s presence.
Volunteer at the Pacheco Community Center