An Anytime Grounding Practice
The mind has a tendency to drift off, but when you practice becoming aware of your surroundings you are automatically present with yourself and what's around you. This practice of grounding yourself in the actual moment of where you are can be used anywhere. In your office, sitting in traffic, or doing the dishes.
Find a spot near your home to sit for twenty minutes or so. Get comfortable. Turn off any electronics. If you have a map, hold your finger over where you think you are. If you have a compass, you can place it on your lap. Look out from where you sit and locate north, then east, then south, then west.
There are plenty of apps, star maps, and weather atlases that can guide you, but the goal is to store this information inside you. Close your eyes. Again, recall the four directions. Breathe deeply and lean into your senses. What do you hear, smell, and feel around you? From what direction? Where is the wind coming from? Can you hear traffic, a highway? Birds? People? Any vibration underfoot?
From where you are, imagine the place that you live: your town, city, valley, watershed. What are the major landmarks? The river, the mountain, the airport, the factory, the school, your home. The ocean. Bring them into your mind’s eye. Can you point to them now?
Now take a moment to remember that the space you inhabit has its own unique resonance and unfolding story, of which you are having an immediate experience. Extend your view of time. Orienting yourself is not just about you in this moment, but you in relation to an infinite intersection of moments. Maybe a river or a glacier once flowed over this very spot. The building that rises beside you and the highways that clamor in the distance may have existed for only a few generations.
Remember those who are indigenous to this area, whose ancestors have lived with these lands and waters since time immemorial and have developed technologies responsive to this ecosystem.