Geocaching Meditation

5 02 2009

I’m not a football fan, so I spent last Sunday afternoon on a 2-hour hike in Ahmanson Ranch in Agoura Hills about 13 miles west of where I live. I’ve hiked here often, and hiked this particular trail once before, so I when I felt the pull to find a place where I would be able to enjoy the solitude of the area and use the time to reflect, even do some healing of my soul, this was an easy pick.

The trail starts just north of a busy freeway, but is around a hill, so there’s no noise from it on the trail, and it winds quickly up a hill to afford nice views of the surrounding hills and spectacular homes on some of them.

Here’s a photo of one I got when I hiked through them a couple of weeks ago:


As I parked my car, and took out my camera, it occurred to me that I could make this hike a creative meditation, and study what I saw a bit with the photos I would take, each stop affording a new point of consideration and observation.

Right at the trailhead is a home with a fairly large stable for horses. I’m not a horse aficionado, and have never even ridden one, but they always strike me with their size and power, and with a peace that they have about them. There is a purity and honesty in their demeanor, and they inspire a peacefulness around them.


I like to find ways to construct photos with foreground and background. This gives it depth and perspective. This one also reminds me of life’s journey in that we have things we struggle through now (dead mustard), that are in the foreground, to get to the open spaces beyond.


This tree represents the old wounds in my life, now surrounded by the dead grasses of winter, but soon to be enveloped and grown over by the abundant new growth of spring. The tree is also set apart from the magnificent homes in the distance, as the old pain is disconnected from the wealth of possibilities in the future.


Finding places with spreading vistas is one of my greatest joys in hiking. The bigness of where we are brings to mind how small my problems are and how much there is to enjoy and see no matter what. Blessings: counted.



These two photos of the road I walked are not far apart, but one is light and one is in shadow. So often our lives take quickly back and forth between places of ease and joy and places of confusion and despair. It’s all the same road and one never knows what’s around the corner.


So often in our high desert terrain we see foliage like this: both the old dead plants and the new growth entwined in it and replacing it. The metaphor is profound, if you take time to look at it and think about it.


Well… what goes in, must come out, and this captures both elements in juxtaposition. Ha!


Of course, I always hear music. We are surrounded by it, even when the music is silence. The dead mustard sang in the wind as I walked today.

OK, I bought new hiking sticks! This is a great thing to celebrate. Now I have to USE them and get more exercise….


Until next week – cache on – and notice where you are…..

Addendum – 2/5/09
Oh, and here are the caches I found that day – no DNFs! – that made the meditation even better:
Happy Christmahanakwanza




11 responses

5 02 2009

Nicely done. I really liked your observation of the ‘singing’ vegatation. There aren’t too many areas to hike in Georgia like what you show (openess) to where we can see beyond the hill in front of us. But with that comes an abundant hidey places to meditate.

I do like hitting those little canyon hikes whenever I’m out your way.

5 02 2009

That first picture looks familiar ๐Ÿ˜‰

5 02 2009
Elin Carlson

Yes! Bill, I got that photo on a hike I took with Albackore….. you’ve been there.. ๐Ÿ˜‰

5 02 2009

But were there caches?? ๐Ÿ˜›

A find is great healing!


5 02 2009
Elin Carlson

OH, duh – Ben – there were a string of them and no DNFs! I got so wrapped up in the meditation that I forgot to list them – will emend asap! d’OH!

5 02 2009

These are some very beautiful pictures that you’ve posted here. Thanks for sharing. I’m glad that I happened across this blog tonight!

5 02 2009
Brian O'Connell

I went to a Dead Mustard concert up in Berkeley in the ’70s. They were awesome!

5 02 2009

Yoga (Application) which was based on the control of the body physically and implied that a perfect control over the body and the senses led to knowledge of the ultimate reality. A detailed anatomical knowledge of the human body was necessary to the advancement of yoga and therefore those practising yoga had to keep in touch with medical knowledge. (Romila Thapar, A History of India, volume one).

I suggest : Mind and brain are two distinct things. Brain is anatomical entity whereas mind is functional entity. Mind can be defined as the function of autonomic nervous system (ANS). It is claimed that mind can be brought under conscious control through the practice of meditation. But how? ANS is largely under hypothalamic control which is situated very close to optic chiasma (sixth chakra or ajna chakra). Protracted practice of concentration to meditate at this region brings functions of ANS say mind under oneโ€™s conscious control.

ANS is further divided into parasympathetic nervous system (PSNS) and sympathetic nervous system (SNS). On the basis of these facts I have discovered a mathematical relationship for spiritual quotient (S.Q.). Spiritual Quotient can be expressed mathematically as the ratio of Parasympathetic dominance to Sympathetic dominance. PSNS dominates during meditative calm and SNS dominates during stress. In this formula we assign numerical values to the physiological parameters activated or suppressed during autonomic mobilization and put in the formula to describe the state of mind of an individual and also infer his/her level of consciousness.

Meditation is the art of looking within and science of doing nothing. We donโ€™t use anything in meditation. We just try to concentrate to meditate at some point in human anatomy known as โ€˜chakraโ€™ in Indian System of Yoga. The current of mind is flowing outward through the senses and unconsciously. The mind comes at rest gradually through regular practice of meditation. Then comes self realization and enlightenment. Protracted practice of meditation under qualified guidance will help to manage all sort of psychological problems.

Emotional Quotient can also be expressed mathematically as the product of I.Q. and Wisdom Factor. E.Q. stands for Emotional Quotient. An intelligent person may not be wise. But a wise man will always be intelligent. An intelligent person having certain level of positive emotions can be said as wise. An intelligent person lacking wisdom will turn autocrat. A wise man will always be a democrat who respects others existence.

Some may raise doubt that how could be the Wisdom quantified? The answer is simple -if Mental Age of I.Q. can be quantified then Wisdom can also be quantified, of course, comparatively with more efforts. Wilhelm Stern had given the formula of I.Q.. It is, Mental Age/ Chronological Age x 100. Spiritual Quotient (S.Q.) leverages both E.Q. and I.Q.

Radha Soami Faith is a branch of Religion of Saints like Kabir, Nanak, Paltu, and others. Soamiji Maharaj is the founder of this Faith. You may call It like New Wine in Old Bottle.

Maslow has given Hierarchy of Needs. At the top of it is need for self-actualization or self-realization.

In our society we should learn To Live and Let Live and help to satisfy others need. When the lower order needs, physiological and sociological both, are satisfied then only a person think to satisfy need for self-realization in true sense. Else he/she may spend all his/her life to satisfy at the most the need for self-expression instead of self-realization.

It is, therefore, the duty of every responsible person, at the least, of our society to give serious thought over it.

For the satisfaction of need for self-realization i.e. establishment of harmony of individual consciousness with that of universal consciousness we need following three things:

1. Mater or Guru (A Self-Realized Soul)
2. Secret of Levels of Universal Consciousness
3. Method for traversing the path.

Anirudh Kumar Satsangi

7 02 2009
Elin Carlson

OK, I’m not exactly sure why this comment came to my blog, but it’s detailed and interesting, so I approved it. ๐Ÿ™‚

7 02 2009
Vince C

Nice ! I do that hike all the time. Try hiking all the way up to the top of the ridge, it overlooks the dump but has great views. I hiked up there during the Northridge fire saw the fire from there. Bring binoculars and check out the hawks. This property is owned and managed by the NPS, and a new trailhead is planned I believe…

4 03 2009
Geocaching Carnival - Issue #3 | The Geocacher

[…] presents Geocaching Meditation posted at Geocaching with EMC of Northridge, CA, saying, “Great article with pictures. I like […]

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