Morning Meditation

Morning meditation by the ocean. Do you meditate? I tried it so many times and so many ways I lost count – standing up, lying down, sitting, walking, eyes closed, eyes open, guided, self-directed, morning meditation, evening meditations – you name it. But for one reason or another, none of the methods worked for me and I decided that meditating just “isn’t my thing”.

And then one day I realized that I often meditate, and had been for years. In my own way. I never called it meditation or thought of it as such, but it was!

Reflections No 1 Minimalist wall art by Cattie Coyle Photography

What IS Meditation then?

From a few trusted sources:

“The goal of meditation is to go beyond the mind and experience our essential nature, which is described as peace, happiness, and bliss”.
Yoga International

“Buddhist meditation practices are techniques that encourage and develop concentration, clarity, emotional positivity, and a calm seeing of the true nature of things.”
The Buddhist Centre

“Meditation means turning your attention away from distracting thoughts and focusing on the present moment.”
Psychology Today

I had done all that simply by being alone in nature. By (and in) the ocean to be exact, since that’s always been my “happy place”.

Reflections No 2 Water art by Cattie Coyle Photography

When I consciously try to empty my mind and live in the present, to do lists start spinning in my head, I notice how uncomfortable a body part is, I have a million ideas for new images and projects, I remember I forgot something, and why is that car alarm going off right now?

BUT, when I’m standing on the shore, looking at waves, or the calm surface of the water, the rest of the world disappears. I live completely in that moment, enjoying it with all my senses. No distracting thoughts show up, I just take it all in and exist right there and then.

Morning Meditation No 2 by Cattie Coyle Photography

When I was a teenager, we lived across the street from the beach, and I used to love to get up really early and go for a swim before the wind kicked in and anyone else arrived. It was so serene and peaceful, just me and the birds and that cool refreshing water against my skin. It was the best way to wake up and start the day. I realize now that it was my morning meditation.

In recent years, I have been fortunate enough to live by the sea once again and have been able to resume my “live ocean meditation” practice. But during most of my adult life, I lived in big cities, way too far from the ocean. I took every chance I got to travel and visit seaside locations, but the days (weeks, months) when I wasn’t able to do so, I used images of the ocean to help me meditate. And it works! Just looking at a photo of water calms my mind, and I’m immediately transported to a day on the beach, or a calm summer evening. And that makes everything else fall to the side. No to-do list can compete with that!

If you’re struggling with your meditation practice, give my method a try. And let me know how it goes!

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Morning Meditation No 1 by Cattie Coyle PhotographyReflections No 3 by Cattie Coyle PhotographyMorning Meditation No 2 by Cattie Coyle Photography

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