Friday, August 24, 2012

Mindful Hiking

Mindful Hiking
Great natural wonders attract our attention. With mindfulness, the nature we find around the corner can inspire a sense of wonder. The trick is to pay close attention to the specific colors, shapes, sounds, and positions in space of the plants, animals and even rocks that we see around us, as well as the postures and feelings in our own bodies.
The world is full of spectacular places, but unfortunately, air travel to get to those places contributes to climate change. Climate activist and founder Bill McKibben has said, "We're going to have to learn to stretch our minds in different ways and learn to really fall in love with our local places."
Mindfulness and loving-kindness are exactly what we need to "stretch" our minds and fall in love with our local places.

Today I did a mindful hike in our city park where there are salmon streams.  The salmon are coming upriver now from the oceans to span and I sat and watched them today for about 1/2 an hour.  Their struggle, their single-mindedness of focus is awe inspiring.

Check out your local community for hiking clubs.  Some cities now even offer a "mindful" walking club where some of the walk is in silence and then at the end of the club the members re-join at a local coffee shop or pub for a snack, refreshment and conversation.

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