True Nature Travels Blog

5dcaddc776f78ef39e41c2a35342277dFinding presence in every moment is a lifelong journey.  It is one that we hope to foster and encourage in all of our actions but in that fostering, we must also be prepared to notice with compassion the the moments where we are distracted or the times when we  struggle against obstacles or uncomfortable feelings and emotions.

When we step onto the path that only leads back to ourselves, we can often find ourselves wanting to arrive at our destination, when it is our journey that is full of the jewels that can enrich our lives.  The path to enlightenment is truly a path back to our own hearts and sometimes that path can feel more like a slow dripping faucet (drip…. drip….. drip…..) rather than a continuous rushing waterfall of love and bliss all the time.

“It is true that we are called to create a better world. But we are first of all called to a more immediate and exalted task: that of creating our own lives.”

– Thomas Merton

eae9be9ddfb7f34a12c7b081808c2c4bThere are so many paths, methods, teachings and teachers out there offering guidance and wisdom.  After years of practicing living a mindful life, daily, one comes to understand that there are a few very simple truths that are told in hundreds if not thousands of different ways.  And one of those truths is – If I have peace in myself then I will cultivate peace in my world.  And by proxy, if you are creating a more peaceful world for yourself, you are contributing to a more peaceful world for everyone for your energy and intentions ripple outwards with far reaching effects beyond your control.

The beauty of committing to live a more mindful life is that there is no better time to begin then right now.  We can begin right now with the breath and a short mantra.

Five Minute Mindfulness Meditation

(set a timer on your phone or clock)

– Find a comfortable seat on the floor or in a chair.  Close your eyes or softly rest your gaze on an object such as a flower or candle. Be sure you are sitting with your spine long and tall.  Feel settled into your sitting bones and an effortless life in the crown of your head towards the sky.

– Take 3-5 nice deep breaths in and out of the nose just allowing your body to relax.  Notice how you are feeling.  You might ask yourself – How am I feeling today?  How does my body feel? How does my mind feel? Just notice the answers that come up, don’t judge them.  Anything that you are feeling is ok.

– Begin noticing the breath even more deeply.  Try to let your inhales and your exhales be the same length as one another.  Perhaps a count of 4.  Inhale for 4, exhale for 4, inhale for 4, exhale for 4.

– Once you have established your breath, bring a the words –

Breathing in I feel peace in myself,

Breathing out I share peace with the world.

Breathing in I feel peace in myself,

Breathing out I share peace with the world.

Breathing in I feel peace in myself,

Breathing out I share peace with the world.

– Repeat this mantra and allow yourself to feel the peace you are breathing in and allow yourself to feel you are sharing that peace with the whole world as you are breathing out.  If thoughts arise in your mind such the list of things to do later today or what you have planned for this weekend  – just allow them to rise and fall with the breath and gently bring your attention back to the mantra.  It is completely normal and expected that thoughts will come up.

– When your timer goes off, try not to jump up immediately.  Allow the mantra to fade into your mind and let it go.  Take a few more deep breaths and again, just notice how you are feeling.  You may want to ask yourself the same questions as you asked at the beginning of the meditation – How am I feeling today?  How does my body feel? How does my mind feel? Just notice the answers that come up, don’t judge them.  Anything that you are feeling is ok.  Notice if you feel differently now than you did when you began.

– Slowly open your eyes and see a more peaceful world around you and give thanks for the peaceful space you are cultivating within you.

4e029022d7d5bac25b8172a2f0fb16a7True Nature Education is a True Nature is an Educational Travel Company which provides full service in the planning, support, and guiding of a diverse catalog of trips to Costa Rica each year with a focus on offering unique and transformational experiences for both our teachers leading retreats and the students taking them.  Check out our 2014 Calendar of retreats.

 

 

 

 

True Nature Travels Blog

 

Battling Stress with Yoga

Yoga.  The word alone conjures up all sorts of meanings and images.  I bet you are thinking of someone doing a crazy yoga asana or pose right now, like standing on their hands or putting their legs behind their head.  Yes, this is yoga, too, but in fact, the real reason humans have been practicing yoga for over 5,000 years simply reconnect with their innermost selves, or their True Nature.

We have a tendency to get caught up in looking outside ourselves for fulfillment, happiness, peace, etc.  Yet something we all know deep down is that true joy can only be found when we are completely content internally.  We get caught up in doing rather than just being.

There are many paths and definitions to yoga.  We will be exploring these here in our new blog series – The True Nature of Yoga.  One of our favorite definitions of yoga is…

True Nature Travels Blog

Mindfulness is an integral part of True Nature Education. We have found by subtly utilizing mindfulness in our programs our participants are able to have a more memorable, rewarding, and profound experience while traveling with us. Why is this? Because when we are mindful we are able to experience the moment more fully, and therefore can truly enjoy the fruits of our life. These “fruits” are especially rich and inspiring are especially rich and inspiring when traveling, on retreat, and learning new things, in a new place.

But what is mindfulness, exactly? By scientific definition, let’s take a look here and explore it’s meaning.

Mindfulness_Meditation_Infographic

True Nature Travels Blog

A note from Joshua–

In a time where our world is becoming more and more of a global community, what better way to become part of the bridge of support we are creating than by finding a way to give back to those in need.

As Thanksgiving approaches our united focus comes to that of sharing appreciation for all that we have as well as sharing with those that might not have as much.

The essence of Thanksgiving lies at the heart of True Nature Education. We planted the seeds of this grassroots company fresh off of moving into a small rural village in Costa Rica. So moved by the authentic openness, generosity, and hospitality of the local, simple-living Costa Ricans, we then vowed to implement a service component into all of our programs, from yoga retreats to corporate retreats to travel abroad programs.

The CREER Service Organization, TNE’s sister organization, continually strives to do in-depth research to understand the true needs of the people in the villages of Costa Rica which we visit. Here are the three areas of service which our volunteers take part in when joining us in Costa Rica.

True Nature Travels Blog

When giving orientations and presentations to first-timers, we always emphasize this as the number one key aspect to being safe in Costa Rica. There is so much life in the beautiful land of Pura Vida, Pura Life. With this, there are also many creatures (just to name a few….sloths, monkeys, lizards, alligators) and places to visit where you need to use caution. To do this, the simple teaching is to be aware.

There are many amazing volcanoes and mountains for the hiker, but be sure to plan accordingly. The terrain can be challenging so be sure that you don’t bite off more than you can chew. If you’re not in good shape, know that there are many 3K and 5K trails that are just as worthy of accomplishment. When you embark on your journey uphill, bring along an ample water supply as the water can be quite hot and humid. Stay in tune with your hydration level to avoid any mishaps. As you trek through rainforests, pay close attention to your map and compass; it’s easy to get lost, so be sure to remain in the moment and be attentive to your surroundings.

Costa Rica has some of Central America’s most poisonous snakes, including the fer-de-lance and the bushmaster. Be aware of each step you take as