Lin Wang Gordon 王琳
In the past decade, Lin has studied insight meditation (Vipassana) and Tibetan Dzogchen tradition under the guidance of Tsoknyi Rinpoche, Jonathan Foust, Mark Coleman, and Sebene Selassie. In stillness and silence, she discovers the transformative power of meditation to help live a life of flow, joy, grace and gratitude. She was enrolled in the Spirit Rock Meditation Center’s Community Dharma Leaders Program (CDL6).
In particular, she was moved by the power of nature meditation to connect with a deep sense of love, wonder, resilience, and belonging. She graduated from Mark Coleman’s Awake in the Wild Nature Meditation Teacher Training in 2017. She has also been learning to lead Ecodharma retreats from Johann Robbins and David Loy since 2018. She has taught at Kripalu, Rocky Mountain Ecodharma Retreat Center, and other retreat centers around the country. In New York, she co-hosts the Sacred Earth Sangha of the New York Insight Meditation Center.
Besides meditation, she was deeply influenced by group dreamwork and studied with Jeremy Taylor. Out in the world, she has been a digital marketer for tech and media industries, and has served on the Board of the New York Insight Meditation Center and the Rocky Mountain Ecodharma Retreat Center.
She holds a BA from Barnard College, and an MBA from New York University. She majored in art at the LaGuardia High School of Music and Arts.
Meditate in Nature
“If the sight of the blue skies fills you with joy, if a blade of grass springing up in the fields has power to move you, if the simple things of nature have a message that you understand, rejoice, for your soul is alive.”
– Eleonora Duse
When meditating in nature, rarely are our senses more alive. Whether it is smelling a ponderosa pine, or hearing a blue jay sing, our body and mind return to our ancient home and we feel a deep sense of relaxation and connection that often escape us in our modern life. We experience physically, emotionally, and energetically that we are not separate, from each other, from animals and other beings, and from the Earth. Our human-centric worldview dissolves, and we realize we are but a small part of a greater intelligence.
While many in the West have learned to meditate indoors, meditation lineages have a long history of practicing in forests and in wilderness. In silence and intimate immersion, we learn to cultivate a receptive and deep presence to our inner and outer worlds. It inspires me to offer nature meditation programs from half days in city parks, to hikes in the Hudson Valley, to weekend retreats. We will explore a wide range of nature meditation practices, some examples include:
- Foundational mindfulness practices: Mindfulness of breath, body, thoughts, and emotions
- Movement practices: Sensory awareness, tactical sensory, cultivating a beginner’s mind and curiosity
- Insight meditation practices: Contemplating impermanence, interconnections of four elements, exploration of “self,” loving kindness, spacious mind
- Partner practices: mirror walk, zen snapshots
- Tree meditation, fire meditation, sunrise, sunset, full moon, stargazing, etc.
Through these practices, we are cultivating curiosity, loving kindness, wisdom, compassion and equanimity. From focusing on a single leave to dissolving into the sky, nature practices may help you connect to a rich and vast inner and outer world.
“Action on behalf of life transforms. Because the relationship between self and the world is reciprocal, it is not a question of first getting enlightened or saved and then acting. As we work to heal the earth, the earth heals us.”
― Robin Wall Kimmerer, Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants
As I was spending more time meditating in nature, I began to learn more about climate crisis. It was overwhelming to learn about the devastation and destruction of life all around globe and all that is yet to come, in my lifetime and in future generations.
Grief, anxiety, anger, despair, love, compassion were all mixed in at each fact and realization that I came to learn. Yet I have been fortunate that this learning process has occurred mostly through a Buddhist perspective. Many teachers and thinkers have helped me stay grounded while absorbing the information, and transform grief, anxiety, anger, despair into love, courage, compassion, and equanimity.
Over the years, I began to see that facing climate crisis is no different than facing other challenges in our personal life. What we learn to face personal challenges can be used to face collective challenges and vice versa. I came to realize that the sources for the Earth’s destruction are the same sources for issues that plague our modern society. Climate crisis is rooted in a spiritual crisis. And as such, we need to engage with it as a spiritual transformation, personally and collectively. We need to transform our powerful emotions and care of the Earth into actions rooted in love and wisdom, held by compassion and equanimity. Through intimate and deep connection with our inner world, we can learn to engage with climate crisis with an open heart and make our engagement sustainable.
I am still walking on this journey and learning every day, and I would like to invite you to join me.