The value of Hiking

Navajo Indian Prayer

“With beauty may I walk…with beauty before me may I walk… with beauty behind me may I walk… with beauty above me may I walk.. with beauty below me may I walk… with beauty around me may I walk…
In old age wondering on a trail of beauty…lively,  may I walk… In old age wandering on a trail of beauty… alive again, may I walk…
It is finished in beauty… it is finished in beauty…” 

Just like the navajo indians I have come to really appreciate the value of walking/hiking meditation… there is something easy and natural about it. Nature allows us an opportunity to connect with it and with ourselves…what is so special about hiking meditation.. it is simple to practice and will impact your whole life…Everything you need to balance the flow of your emotions.. your thoughts is found in the sequence of events, the stream of moments… on a trail… You can disconnect from the source of your stress and struggles… for me this happens the moment I set foot on a trail… I start by noticing the open blue sky.. feeling the wind… breathing the fresh air… this is my invitation to relax and open myself up… taking slow easy first steps I rid myself of tension and stress. I feel the earth.. the warmth of the ground.. the energy under my feet.. and I pay close attention to the stability of my foot and the pressure under my feet before pushing off.. I pay close attention and notice the natural curves and textures of the terain… the way the rocks are stacked and formed… stepping over roots and rocks… keeping my centre of gravity balanced.. filling my lungs with fresh air.. expanding my chest… keeping my shoulders back… I move with strength, grace and respect for my surroundings…I focus.. I am in the moment..

As I hike my eyes follow the terain and I become aware of the compelling aspects of the landscape around me…I focus my mind on the beautiful and mysterious… letting my mind know that nature has secrets to reveal to me and opening myself to them… I feel and follow the easy flow of my muscles… feeling my body move.. aware of how my body feels when I move forward and as it shifts  weight… I feel my heart beat and sometimes pound in my chest.. I breath deeply and appreciate that my body was designed as a vessel for excercise… my senses become alert in nature….

This knowledge raises my abilty to appreciate everything around me… I absorb the beauty of everything around me… soaking up the moments… I see the root of a trunk… follow it to the branch… see the leaves… I will stop and watch an eagle glide and float on the waves of the wind… I listen to the symphony of nature and try and follow each note to its source.. often in awe of the origin… there are relationship everywhere in nature and I allow myself to build relationships with them with each of my senses. You create your own invisible links while focussing on your surroundings by what you see..hear…smell…feel… I see the lines…shapes… patterns… each one telling a story of unseen influences.. a flood millions of years ago… eroding winds… once you focus on all around you it seems as if everything changes in front of your eyes….I would observe a tree and see it change with light.. the wind and all the little creatures that visit it… I will lay in a meadow or on top of a mountain and watch the sky change.. things come and go… the movement endless… this is where meditation is born…
We follow movement in our mind… without thought or analysis… and watch it come and go…. we empty our minds as we watch each momet pass and change…the change is effortless… this current.. continuous flow of change  becomes a cleansing force that washes away all the artificial in us and fills us with the substancial reality of impermanence..  nothing is permanent.  

This reminds us that the structure and form of our thouggts that rule our lives have no real weight other than what we give it…the peace from this soon becomes evident… barriers drop… we no longer feel seperate from our surroundings.. we soon enter this current and this leads us to new levels of understanding and awareness of who we are.

Its all about focus and balance.. allowing the moment to alter your thoughts and acceptance of who you are… accepting you for you…
 

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