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Practice Mindfulness in Nature

New to mindfulness? If no, skip the next paragraph.

If yes, read this description from Wikipedia.

" Mindfulness is the psychological process of purposely bringing one's attention to experiences occurring in the present moment without judgment, which one develops through the practice of meditation and through other training. Mindfulness derives from sati, a significant element of Buddhist traditions, and based on Zen, Vipassanā, and Tibetan meditation techniques. Though definitions and techniques of mindfulness are wide-ranging, Buddhist traditions explain what constitutes mindfulness such as how past, present and future moments arise and cease as momentary sense impressions and mental phenomena. Individuals who have contributed to the popularity of mindfulness in the modern Western context include Thích Nhất Hạnh, Herbert Benson, Jon Kabat-Zinn, and Richard J. Davidson.

Honor nature and practice mindfulness by enjoying a mindful moment with nature. You don't need to leave your phone behind, but for a while, turn it OFF. Go to a park, quiet beach or any outdoor space that's natural. Bring a bottle of water. Enjoy the soothing environment. Choose a place to stand or sit. Look around - really look. Listen to the birds, smell the flowers or grass, or gaze at the clouds in the sky. You don't need to sit or stand in one place. You can take a "Mindful Walk." Take a few slow, cleansing breathes and start walking through the nature area that you've selected. It can be your backyard. The weather can be sunny and mild, evening, raining or snowing. Dress for the weather so you will be comfortable. Be aware of your senses and impressions.

Walking meditation is my favorite mindful activity because I leave my stress and anxiety behind. I have to walk for a while for that to happen, but it doesn't take long. When you are walking, your focus can be on the feeling you have in your feet and legs and your breathing, or can be on what you see and hear around you. You can walk slowly or quickly - there are no rules to mindful walking except the focus on your body or the environment.

I mentioned earlier that you should turn off your phone. As there are no rules here, just guidance, I will admit that zen music or mindful apps on your phone can be useful. It's an individual choice. If you prefer to have some audio assistance, put on your ear buds and start enjoying the nature around you.


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