The magnificent landscapes of the mountain parks, the warmth of the sun on your face, snow that sparkles like diamonds, the gentle sound of silence in the forest, and the dazzling fall colours. These are just some of the treats available in the outdoors. In the last several weeks, we have been experiencing magnificent fall weather here inAlberta. A walk in nature is one way to tap into the power of mindfulness to see clearly and to experience the changing seasons with a fresh and new perspective.
The process of developing a capacity for mindfulness is one of coming to your senses. You start by observing and concentrating on your breath, becoming aware of the sensations of breathing, and gradually widening your awareness of the experience of your activity through seeing, hearing, smelling and feeling (our senses) and our minds. As you become aware of the present moment and the accompanying sensations, you will see that your mind will not stay on the present moment and it may repeatedly jump back to the past and/or to the future. To come to your senses involves intentionally bringing the mind back to the present moment again and again. This process leads you to fully experience your seeing, hearing, thoughts and feelings and opening to relaxation and well-being that is available to you now- not tomorrow or ten minutes from now-right now.
Mindfulness is a capacity and skill that can be developed through training your mind. Meditation and gentle stretching are two effective ways to accomplish this. Over time, as you develop the capacity to experience your senses in the present moment, you will transform your relationship to the natural world and to really see it with a sense of calmness, wisdom, and clarity. Come to your senses through mindfulness – a way to find some balance and to enjoy the majesty and magnificence of the great outdoors.