Tag: Nature

Mindfulness in Nature

Mindfulness in Nature

Nature is one of the greatest portals out of the busy, conceptualized, thinking mind and into Presence. Meditating in nature has a restorative effect on the mind, helps our bodies self-regulate, and can raise awareness and lower stress. Join us for in-person practice in Clifton Park-Halfmoon Public Library’s Reading Garden with meditation teacher and nature photographer, Susan Meyer.

Registration through the library’s website is required for this program.

In case of inclement weather, this program will be postponed to September 3rd.

Poem: Being with Nature

Poem: Being with Nature

I woke up this morning to a fairly ambitious agenda and after settling into the day, got to work.

Eventually, I looked up from the computer screen and noticed the movement and the vivid blues of the river landscape outside the windows. The flowing river is the first thing I see when I wake up in the morning. Windows and mirrors throughout the house offer glimpses of the river as I move between rooms during the day. My desk in the corner of the sunroom provides a front-row view.

I never know what will come flowing down the river from one moment to the next. Sometimes it’s a poem, and all of a sudden writing it down takes precedence over everything else.

Being With Nature

This morning, sky and river are so blue:
Clouds and waves flowing as if
Carried by conveyor belts.
The sun shines in the sky,
Sprinkles down handfuls of sparkles
To dance on the water
With contagious laughter.

Right now, it makes no sense
To be indoors staring at a screen.
It is time for a break.

Look out a window. Give attention,
Receive something in return
Without trying. Let the mind rest.
Allow the heart and inner senses
To take over for a little while.

Follow the impulse to go outside
And caress the earth, one footstep
At a time, free from any destination
Other than true presence and relationship.

Become aware of the messengers—
Hawk, robin, loon—whoever appears.
Listen to the invitation.
How are you being asked to show up?
And can you say yes?

Just as we are restored and inspired
By the embrace of the natural world,
So, too, does Nature delight in the kiss
Of human eyes, ears, feet, tender touch.

The interplay of sunlight or water
On bare skin, wind in hair,
Footsteps on the earth,
Is reciprocal.

Have you sensed the merriment
Of wind playing with your hair
And how the notes change across
Moments and conditions and differ
From the songs of wind chimes
And willow trees?

Have you experienced the rhythm
Of flowers swaying in the breeze
And how the very same rhythm
Moves through you, beneath the surface?

Go outside. It is time to celebrate,
To whisper or dance or sing:
I am here, Love.


© 2022 Susan Meyer. All rights reserved. You are welcome to share this post or excerpts of it as long as you give proper credit to Susan Meyer and SusanTaraMeyer.com. Susan Meyer is a photographer, writer, and spiritual teacher who lives on the Hudson River in Upstate New York.

Let It Flow, Let It Go

Let It Flow, Let It Go

This morning, with temperatures barely out of the single digits, I felt called to the riverside. The river was beginning to freeze, and I was transfixed by the juxtaposition between parts that were frozen solid in place and parts that were still fluid and flowing. 

More than a week ago, I shipped my camera off for repairs. My husband is letting me borrow his camera for the time being. It took a few days before I picked it up because, well, it’s not my camera. But I can’t resist photographing the river as it begins to freeze, so I headed outside with the less familiar camera.

I must have stood at the river’s edge for a good half-hour photographing, filming, and observing the freezing river. A few minutes into the first video, I noticed that a long chain of ice plates, stretched as far as I could see, had stopped flowing. Several minutes later, it began flowing again. A little closer to shore, there was buildup of the delicate ice plates and a sound that’s music to my ears, similar to a crackling fire as the moving ice plates came in contact with stationary masses.

I happened to be there at just the right time and filmed it all. It was amazing and extraordinary.

However, when I transferred the video to my computer, my expectations were quickly deflated. It turns out I had the camera on autofocus instead of manual focus, and the autofocus completely ruined the videos. Every few seconds, you could hear the sound of the camera refocusing, and the focus kept blurring and shifting around. Like autocorrect, autofocus doesn’t always get it right and sometimes gets it horribly wrong.

When I complained to my husband, he quipped, “Didn’t you talk about this in a photography class?”

Not what I wanted to hear in that moment. although he was right. In more than one class, I stressed the importance of taking a moment to pause and check your camera settings. Instead of jumping right in and allowing emotional excitement, or in this case cold weather, to distract you from drawing on your knowledge base. 

Grrrrrrrrr. I did not pause to check the settings, and this was a basic one. It was another live-and-learn moment.

There are two things I’m quite certain I won’t do again, after learning the hard way in recent weeks:

  • Make a nature video on that camera with autofocus on
  • Begin a guided meditation on Zoom without first asking participants if they can hear me. 

But I digress.

Jack’s comment, though irritating at first, helped me to see the humor, stop blaming the camera, and name what was present: frustration and disappointment.

It’s kind of magical when you name your feelings. It puts some space around them so you’re not completely identified with or overcome by them. Instead, you can be in relationship with them.

The space allows another voice to come through. A voice that says: I will try again throughout the day or tomorrow morning. At least I don’t have to drive far for this. It’s right in front of my house. 

However, I noticed the uncomfortable, physical energy of disappointment was still present in my body.

That’s when I remembered what was going through my mind as I watched the freezing river flow. Right there in the moment, the sight brought to mind the importance of letting feelings flow. Let it flow, let it go were the exact words that came to mind.

I recalled how surprised I was when the long chain of ice plates came to a standstill. I hoped they would start moving again. When they did start moving several minutes later, I felt a sense of relief. I also recalled that it was more satisfying to witness the flowing parts of the river than the ones that were frozen solid and not moving.

Like emotions themselves, impressions you receive from nature can be data about your state of being. Like looking into a mirror. Outer nature reflects inner nature, as inner nature is drawn to certain details in outer nature.

I allowed my body to move as it wanted, to move the emotional energy along, like the ice parade flowing along the river. It seemed to help.

So no, I did not make a satisfying video this morning. They were all duds, thanks to autofocus being on. Maybe I’ll have another chance tomorrow morning. Maybe I won’t. (As the sun sets this evening, the river appears significantly more frozen than it was this morning, so I’m not feeling hopeful.) But nature revealed something useful to me this morning, for which I feel grateful. 

I was there at the moment the flow stopped and when it started again. I witnessed it and found meaning in it. The video didn’t come out as anticipated, but I received something of value from simply being there and observing it. 

Even if I hadn’t walked away with a reminder to let emotions flow rather than get stuck, simply being on the riverside taking in the remarkable sight and sound would have been enough. A moment of pausing and being present.

Another message I received from being outdoors this morning:

There is beauty in the world. Get away from your screens, and go outside. The beauty you seek is seeking you. Go find it.

And so I went back to the river’s edge and took a few more pictures with the unfamiliar camera. After first checking and adjusting the settings, of course.

Because: live and learn.


© 2022 Susan Meyer. All rights reserved. You are welcome to share this post or excerpts of it as long as you give proper credit to Susan Meyer and SusanTaraMeyer.com. Susan Meyer is a photographer, writer, and spiritual teacher who lives on the Hudson River in Upstate New York.

Mindfulness in Nature

Mindfulness in Nature

Nature is one of the greatest portals out of the busy, conceptualized, thinking mind and into Presence. Meditating in nature has a restorative effect on the mind, helps our bodies self-regulate, and can raise awareness and lower stress. Join us for in-person practice in Clifton Park-Halfmoon Public Library’s Reading Garden with meditation teacher and nature photographer, Susan Meyer.

Registration through the library’s website is required for this program.

In case of inclement weather, this program will be postponed to September 3rd.

Mindful Photography in Nature (Part 2)

Mindful Photography in Nature (Part 2)

Mindful nature photography is about much more than just seeing and creating pleasing images. It’s about how you relate to the present moment. Your camera becomes a tool to expand your awareness of the present moment. Mindful photography can enrich your life by cultivating: focus, presence, patience, beginner’s mind (seeing something as if for the first time), seeing beyond forms, and heart qualities such as caring, connection, and gratitude.

This program will take a contemplative, relaxed, present approach and will focus more on process than end result. (It’s not a “technique” class.). It will open you up to new ways of seeing and being present in the natural world with your camera. 

There are two parts to this program. The first will take place on Zoom (Wed., 8/18), and the second will take place in-person at Hudson Crossing Park (Fri., 8/20). The Zoom session will offer an understanding of mindful photography in nature, and the in-person session will consist of guided practices.

The instructor, Susan Meyer, is both a professionally trained and certified mindfulness meditation teacher and an award-winning nature photographer.

Registration is required, through the library’s website. The Zoom link will be emailed to you after you register.

Let's Stay Together!

Join my mailing list to receive the latest articles, updates, and offerings. Don't worry: I won't spam you or share your info with anyone!

You have Successfully Subscribed!