RIM Voices Gatherings Spring 2024

Nature Meditation KM Group

Offered by the Nature Meditation KM Group

Kalyana Mitta is the Sanskrit word for a spiritual friend. Kalyana means virtuous, upright or beneficial. Mitta means kindness. When Ananda spoke to the Buddha about good friendship being half of the spiritual life, the Buddha quickly corrected him by saying it was the ‘entire spiritual path’. The path is not designed to be walked alone, but with valued spiritual friends.

“A kalyana mitta is not just any pal you hang out with … a Kalyan Mitta is someone who helps you realize your deeper aspirations, one who uplifts your path to a higher level of ethical and spiritual well-being.”  

~ David Viafora, Lion’s Roar,  “Spiritual Friendship Is the Path”

Year one of the Nature Meditation KM Group began with several guided meditations that focused on nature. Soon, thoughts melded together, friends encouraged each other and plans were laid for the Nature Meditation KM Group of 2023. In year one, we hoped to rekindle the sense of awe and gratitude we feel in nature.

"We were drawn to exploring mindfulness as a nourishing path for deeper interconnection with nature and a rich sense of awe, wonder and gratitude.  I hoped to gather with others in our beautiful Sangha to practice: being present in nature, exploring, sharing, growing, awakening a felt sense of healing and deepening our love and care for the Earth.” ~ Kerry Thomas

Our first six hikes provided moments of unexpected joy … the richness of conversation after the hikes, sharing ‘aha’ moments, asking questions and sharing insights. There was real beauty in slowing down and being with nature on a more spacious level.  We were all surprised by the felt sense of awe, curiosity and gratitude that emerged through this intentional presence in nature.

Year two of the Nature Meditation KM Group will kick off with a Zoom Meeting to provide basic information, solicit volunteers, share a short nature meditation and offer a brief period for questions and answers. Guided hikes will be offered on Sundays from 11:30-12:45 on May 19, June 23, July 21, August 18, September 22 and October 20 in several parks. Please register to get on the mailing list.

In year two, we hope to expand that sense of awe and gratitude to include reciprocity. Nature offers her gifts unconditionally, even when we exploit her resources. Reciprocity acknowledges our dependence on earth’s resources and returns the favor by treating the earth with respect, restraint, and loving care.

“Our only hope of protecting Mother Earth is by changing the hearts and minds of its human inhabitants. When we recall and linger in the memory of walking in nature, we rekindle our love of nature. In rekindling this love of nature, we will likely find we want to actively protect that which we love.” ~ Christine Jacobi

We look forward to sharing our mutual love of nature. When we bundle awe, gratitude and reciprocity together, we have an active hope for a more sustainable future.

Offered by the Nature Meditation KM Group:

Bios: Amy Gardner, Christine Jacobi, and Kerry Thomas

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