The inner landscape is the landscape that we see from within.
It is the landscape that we seek as we seek water when we are thirsty. It could arise during or after guided meditation. It is a response to a great need for contemplation. As we surrender to this inner landscape, we quench our thirst by becoming the observers of this personal way of connecting with nature.
Guided meditation is a practice in which individuals are trained to find an area where the one meditating will be free of distractions. In guided meditation soothing photographs or scenarios from nature may be used to enhance the ability of the mind to be guided through a sense of inner peace. Guided meditation can be done alone or after physically stretching.
This landscape could be made out of different visualizations from nature. Green open fields, sandy beaches, lakes, palm trees, clouds, mountains, all sorts of vegetation, bodies of water and the vast image of the ocean. From these glimpses a more spiritual landscape emerges during meditation; a landscape that appears by remembering and comparing the physical landscape.
Some people expect to have an empty mind during guided meditation. This could be very challenging. Some people may reach this state and some may become a peaceful observer of the images that arise during meditation. As observers we may feel detached and find comfort during this quite time.
Observing a landscape in our minds during meditation may help us detach from the physical world. We can get detached from the roughness of severe traffic during the day or the cold and impersonal look of concrete in buildings. We can also connect with nature and finding its comfort and beauty.
For people that practice cycling there is a type of inner landscape that is visualized as well. It is a landscape that arises when strong exertion is applied. It is the visualization of a zone where one must pedal to overcome the obstacles along the way in order to reach the top of an elevated terrain. During a cycling session a trainer could guide a group of people through flat roads, curves and inclined planes. This is done amongst other cues by adding resistance on the stationary bike, leaning to the sides and forward, and standing while pedaling.
The process to achieve an inner landscape in cycling is similar to the one in guided meditation. Both practices seek to overcome obstacles such as fear, insecurities and agitations during the day in order to reach a sense of wellbeing. Connecting with nature is an important part of the process to detach oneself from these physical constrains. During this process one may focus in some areas of the body and gradually shift the focus to the images in nature that may arise.
As we connect with nature, we ground ourselves to feel part of a greater picture and we can release our limitations to the feel of cool soil under our feet, to the sound of water falling, to the breeze on our face, to the warmth of lush vegetation around us, or to soothing view of the open sea. Whatever one chooses to experience as a personal landscape, it is the brief sense of freedom from the practical world that we may have the desire to come back when we meditate or cycle again.
© 2013, Rossana Montoya. All rights reserved.