360: Nature Meditations with Ray Zott
Meditation does not have to be just sitting down and being still. There are other ways to meditate, including being out in and connecting with nature. Ray Zott (she/her/they) talks about how nature offers her a sustainable mediation practice and how she helps others meditate in nature too.
Ray is a yoga therapist whose greatest joy in their work is connecting people to nature. She has worked as a park ranger for 12 seasons in a variety of national parks and is currently also building out a retreat center in Costa Rica. In their work, Ray supports all kinds of folks through yoga therapy, nature, and boundary work.
In this episode, Ray shares more about how she discovered this unique niche for her yoga therapy work after her experience supporting her husband through his traumatic brain injury. They explain why connecting to and with nature can be the perfect meditation, especially for those who find it difficult to sit still, and offer ways to find connection to nature even if we live in cities or urban settings. Shannon and Ray also discuss the healing powers of nature, spiritual meanings we can find from being out in nature, and how we can turn to nature for lessons and guidance in difficult times.
[2:02] This podcast is made possible by OfferingTree and Pelvic Health Professionals.
[4:25] Shannon introduces her guest for this episode – Ray Zott.
[7:09] Ray share’s a little bit about her morning routine.
[8:24] What is the work that Ray does and who do they do it for?
[11:02] How did Ray’s work with being in nature and nature meditation start?
“I use nature and meditation as a way to practice. And that’s sustainable for me.” ~ Ray Zott
[14:01] What does meditation in nature look like?
[16:18] What are some guidelines Ray offers for meditating in nature?
[18:32] Shannon and Ray discuss where inspiration for their yoga practice and yoga therapy comes from.
[21:10] What are some ways we might find connection with nature if we live in a city or suburban area?
[26:37] Shannon pops in to share some of the struggles she is having with her WordPress website, and why she prefers OfferingTree.
[29:31] Shannon has recently been feeling an immense gratitude for her life right now, while also experiencing guilt about what is happening in Gaza. How does Ray deal with this?
[32:45] Shannon has been turning to nature to help her deal with a lot of grief.
[36:49] We can learn a lot from nature and we don’t have to know all the tree names or plant names.
[39:25] Shannon and Ray discuss finding spiritual meaning in nature.
“Wherever we are in the world, we can tap into nature.” ~ Ray Zott
[41:24] How else does the practice of connecting with nature impact Ray or the people she works with?
“All nature is sacred. All nature is holy, whether it’s the dandelion growing out of the crack in the sidewalk or the ornamental tree in the yard. It’s all so beautiful and important.” ~ Ray Zott
[47:02] Ray and Shannon contemplate whether part of the healing power of nature comes from how we experienced it in our childhoods.
[48:22] Check out Ray’s podcast on Apple Podcast and Spotify.
[50:58] Shannon shares her biggest takeaways from this conversation with Ray.
“The more we turn to nature, the more we will get clarity on our part and our roles and how we participate and how we heal our communities who are turning to us.” ~ Ray Zott
[56:25] Hang out online in real time with Shannon in Pelvic Health Professionals.