By Bernheim Ranger Dick Fisher
I keep going back to the forest. It is something to which I have always been drawn, even as a child. There is something at rest there, something peaceful, something reassuring, present within the overwhelming diversity, and how all of it, every single life or organism present work in concert on one another’s behalf. It is amazing and stunning in its simplicity. This is why I often go into the forest to meditate or contemplate in the early mornings as the sun performs its dance within the forest, or as an early morning rainfall slips gracefully from leaf to forest floor.
Lately, I have been taking time to walk the newly formed Meditation Trail at Bernheim, which you see pictured here. It is a gorgeous half mile walk that provides a quiet, peaceful atmosphere for meditation, contemplation or prayer. I seem to be drawn to the benches which were constructed here at Bernheim from forest woods and are beautiful in their location. There are also platforms at various locations that may sit silently under the canopy of a giant oak or poplar for those of you with a yoga or Taiji (Tai chi) practice, or you can simply lie down and enjoy the beauty in front of you here among the trees.
If you open yourself to meditation, you will discover that it has many benefits, but when practiced in connection with the wealth, beauty, and peace of the forest, its benefits become magnified, connected, more profound. While meditation can be practiced in a group or with friends, which I strongly encourage you to do, it is actually an individual practice; internal if you will, that can have a very positive effect on your individual health and wellbeing. For me, meditation brought an end to the migraines that I dealt with for many years, while also lowering my blood pressure and keeping it steady.
There were other notable benefits such as emotional wellbeing, stress reduction, the calm of inner peace and more. Not all of this will be readily visible to those around you, but you will feel it within yourself. Ultimately, the positive effects of meditation on your life will leave you happier and more joyful, more loving and open, more at peace, and more connected to everything in life, just like the forest I always return to.