If you’re a nature lover, Auckland has some of the best outdoor places of any city in which to practise and enjoy your meditation. Nature’s silence and beauty lend themselves to quietening the mind and distancing ourselves from our everyday thoughts and activities, and there are some stunning places to explore. The purity, beauty, vastness and harmony we can enjoy meditating in these spectacular spots around Auckland can inspire us to rediscover our own natural balance and cultivate poise within ourselves.
With miles of beaches and cliffs looking out into the ocean, and almost 300 kms of forest trails in the close by Waitakeres, there are some very secluded spots to find your perfect place to sit, calm your body, clear your mind and bring to the fore the splendor and measureless expanse of your spiritual heart. Here are a few of the most inspiring places to meditate:
Head west through Titirangi out to Whatipu beach, our most southerly beach before the Manukau harbour. Take a light trail pack and head north through the seemingly endless dunes and swamps towards Karekare – you’ll hardly see a soul. Find a warm spot in the dunes and just sit – no phones or gadgets!
Just around the headland from the Whatipu carpark is a huge cave where the kauri loggers used to hold their dances – it’s signposted, well worth a visit and another great place to meditate.
A beautiful walk can be found off Piha Road just before heading down the big hill into Piha township and beach – look for the Te Ahu Ahu road on your left, on into Log Jam Rd then park up and wander down the track that hugs the cliff edge.
Great views of the ocean, the volcanic cliffs and Mercer Bay with its steep climb down to a very remote beach and a long sea cave carved out by aeons of tides. A track goes all the way down to the very beautiful KareKare beach, one of Auckland’s real treasures.
If you head on down into Piha, take a right at the bottom of the hill into Glen Esk Road and park at the end carpark. Follow the track signs to Kitekite Falls, a 25 minute walk through regenerating native forest.
There are lots of trails in this valley – if you’re adventurous and a little fit, take a light day pack and explore some of these and the rich history of the area. Once further up the track from the falls, you won’t encounter a soul!
Best known of the Waitakere Ranges tracks is the well-groomed, all-weather Montana Heritage Trail and Auckland Walks. Get a topographical map and explore some of the many trails that depart from these and lead you into the deeper ranges – you’ll need trail shoes with decent grip soles in the muddier winter months but there are some wonderful experiences to be had.
The Te Henga trail is another popular and accessible track that starts in the carpark opposite the Lake Wainamu walk parking bay, one km from the main Bethell’s beach carpark. You’ll have some great uphills to test your fitness and cardio, and you can walk all the way through to Muriwai, some 13 kms away, or out for a while then return. Great ocean views – we even saw a whale here once. Returning, there’s a signposted alternate sandy fork track down to the ocean and you wander back to the main beach and up the road to your car. There’s a great little caravan cafe by the main beach carpark over summer weekends.
The Sri Chinmoy Centre often has all year round weekend trips out west to introduce some of these wild places to nature lovers, meditators, fitness enthusiasts. If you’re interested in any of these free adventures do get in touch with us through our contact form or give Jogyata Dallas a call/text on 022 1887432.
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Sri Chinmoy has written about meditating in nature in a book entitled A Galaxy of Beauty’s Stars:
“The best way to appreciate nature’s beauty is to sit and meditate with nature. If you take a tree as nature, then sit at the foot of a tree and meditate. If you take the sun as an expression of nature, then look at the sun and meditate. If you feel the ocean or sea as nature, then sit in front of the water and meditate. While looking at the tree or the sun or the ocean, try to feel your oneness with it. Anything that you consider as nature or nature’s beauty, you should try to become one with.
Again, if you want a particular thing from nature, you have to go to that thing. If you want to have vastness, then just go out of the house and look at the sky and you will enter into vastness. If you want to have a very vast, pure consciousness, then stand in front of a river and meditate on the river. And if you want to get height in your life, then go to a mountain and meditate there. So whatever you want, you have to stand in front of that particular thing and invoke it. You have to invoke the spirit of nature or become one with the soul of nature. That is the best kind of identification.”