Wednesday, August 24, 2016
square foot observing
Yes this is a play on square foot gardening, but it's also a form of meditation - a meditation that requires nothing more than a brief commitment. Say ten minutes, though you may be forgiven for getting so deeply engaged that you stay for hours.
Here's how it works:
Find a spot on the ground or near to it.
One square foot. That is all. It doesn't matter what is in it.
Lie down, so your eyes are a maximum distance of one foot from the spot you chose.
Make yourself comfortable. You can even bring a mat or a pillow if you need it.
That's it! Next time pick a different spot.
What you're doing:You're giving yourself an opportunity to relax, and your mind an opportunity to focus and explore. In limiting your field of observation to one square foot you not only relieve yourself of the masses of overwhelming or distracting other experiences around you, but you also give yourself freedom to see more deeply. You give yourself an opportunity to notice things you may never have seen before, and there are such discoveries to be made anywhere, from a square foot of the most boring-looking piece of sidewalk to a square foot of laundry, to a square foot of lawn, to a square foot of forest floor or lake surface. What you are seeing may involve other life forms, but it may also involve interesting molecular structures, light play, soundscapes, or textures. Maybe the movement of the air or the perceived humidity is the thing. You can't know until you lie down and start your observation.
Once you've been doing this for a while, and if you're not too much of a purist, you might want to bring along a little jeweler's scope to aid in your observations. These things can be quite inexpensive to buy, and can open you up to a whole new world of rarely-seen life and physical wonders.
All of the photos included here were taken by my son Taliesin, who has always taken time to observe deeply, sometimes with camera in hand.
at 11:58 AM