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Trees and the sky
Trees and the sky
Original Photo by Bella Plumaj
Wellness > Mental Health

Meditations in Routine and Ritual

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at MSU chapter.

There are meditative practices that I routinely engage in, so much so that they begin to feel like ritual. Meditation helps me feel more connected to myself and the spaces around me. 

“Upstream” by Mary Oliver is a collection of essays that explores the connections between nature, writing, and being. It’s a collection that deeply resonates with me as I recognize walking and writing as forms of meditation. When I engage in these practices, I begin within my body and expand outwards until I am everything and nothing. There is no distinction between where I end or the Earth begins. Time doesn’t disrupt these spaces. My awareness is dependent on myself and the environment that surrounds me. There is no ticking of a clock that guides my actions. The clock does not exist here. Only the beating of my heart, the rushing of a stream, and the rustling of leaves. 

When I walk under a canopy of leaves, there is an awareness of how small I am in the lush grandness of the Earth. That awareness brings me peace. I find myself in the grooved bark, the wind rippled water, and little bugs. I do not have to know my own name. The Earth echoes it for me. 

There is ritual in steeping dried leaves and petals into hot water. In the patience of waiting for the water in the kettle to boil before placing the mesh encased leaves in a cup. I circle rich spoonfuls of honey in mine. I breathe it in, and there is a sweetness and reassurance in its warmth. I don’t take the leaves out as I drink, and I find comfort in the bitterness too.

Bella is a fourth year student at Michigan State majoring in Apparel and Textiles with a cognate in English. She is the Social Media Director for Her Campus at MSU, celebrating and uplifting members through various platforms. Bella is also the Secretary for the Creative Writing Club at MSU. She is a lover of art, poetry, literature, film, music, and nature. As a writer and artist, understanding and analyzing art as a reflection of society and a mode for social change is something that fascinates them.