Mental Yoga #43: Find Your Center Out in Nature

My church-going friends know that “God is in the Trees” for me.  The place I feel closest to God (and, therefore, more centered) is out in Nature.  I have several places that I like to go to walk my dogs, mostly along the San Antonio River. Many of these spots also make great meditation destinations. Here is a list of my favorites:

1.Chris ParkI’ve written about this little City Jewel before.  The park was developed and dedicated by the late art patron and Pace Picante Sauce heiress, Linda Pace, to her son, Chris. The tiny, secluded little park is located on Camp Street south of downtown and filled with amazing plant life. It also has concrete benches inscribed with notes from Chris’ diary. The benches are perfect for sitting and communing.

2. King William River Walk– Another favorite spot for it’s beauty and seclusion is the King William segment of the San Antonio River Walk. Like Chris Park, it’s still one of the best kept secrets in our beautiful city. Smiley, Prissy (my dogs), Uncle Ernie and me usually cavort around the Steve’s Homestead and Pioneer Flour Mills area since there are nice stone bences and fences to sit on in the shade. Even when it was 115 degrees this summer, it was tranquil and cool in King William.

3.  Blue Star Art Complex– Honestly, I think the most beautiful part of the River Walk improvement project is the bridge that goes under Alamo Street and back towards King William. It’s currently the longest stretch on the river where the bridge is suspended into the water with nothing else around it. Under the bridge, there is a section where water comes out of little spouts in the wall and trickles through water plants. There are rocks to sit on and plenty of shade from the bridge. You can even cool your feet in the trickle.

4. San Antonio Botanical Gardens– The Botanical Gardens is one of the few places on my list that is not free, but it is well worth the $8 admission.

This 33-acre living museum, one can enjoy colorful seasonal floral displays, a serene native forest walk, exotic plant specimens from around the world, modernistic glass pyramids, and even an authentic log cabin. All these spots would make excellent meditation locations:

the Old Fashioned Perennial Garden, Rose Garden, Sacred Garden, Garden for the Blind, Kuamoto En (an authentic Japanese Garden), the futuristic Lucile Halsell Conservatory with its Aquatic Garden Pool and plants from around the world featured in the Exhibit Room, Desert Pavilion, Tropical Forest Room, Palm House and Fern Grotto. I even like sitting by the little cabins in the xeriscaping exhibit.

5.Hemisfair Plaza- Another great place, but I’m not sure for how much longer, is the area underneath the Tower of the Americas. I like the artwork on the side of the Henry B. Gonzalez Center that faces the Tower. There are fountains there and places to sit, although it’s not shady. And, I love to sit on benches and look at the fountains beneath the Tower. They are truly mesmerizing. In fact, I used one of them for my anti-anxiety session on Youtube.

Try these out and let me know what you think.

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