How to Be Mindful at the Beach

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Meditation for Real Life

“One of the reasons we love the seaside is that so many things invite us into the present moment: the sound of waves crashing on the shore, the flight of sea gulls, the moist, salty air and the feel of sand between our toes. By bringing attention to our moment-to-moment experience, the beach can be a wonderful place to practice mindfulness, and by doing so, enhance our joy and appreciation of the present.” — Mark Coleman, a mindfulness teacher and author of “Make Peace With Your Mind.”

As you arrive at the beach try to open up all of your senses: hearing, seeing, smelling, taste and touch. What calls for your attention? See if you can stay present without getting lost in thoughts or judgments.

Try lying down on the sand and letting your body relax. Feel the supportive quality of the earth as your body settles into the ground. Allow your muscles to release any tension as you let go of thoughts and simply come into the physical present.

Sit next to the water’s edge. Close your eyes and listen to the sound of the waves crashing on the shore. Let your attention expand to the farthest thing you can hear. Can you be present to the sounds without thinking about or visualizing them?

Take a mindful walk along the water’s edge, letting the cool water gently wash over your feet. Feel the various textures of the sand as the waves soak into it. Notice how the sand massages your toes and feet as you walk, inviting you into the present.

Each time you inhale, can you smell the salty, fragrant air? Notice how scent often evokes memories.

Take time to gaze out at the horizon and take in the vastness of the seascape. Look at the clouds, the expanse of water and the space all around you. Notice what happens when you take these vistas in.