Monday, 14 November 2011

Mindful Walking

Wapley Hill, Herefordshire

Slowly, each step is placed with conciousness and awareness of its place upon the earth. I'm in a place where time has no immediate pull on the mind and it doesn't matter if the journey takes five minutes or half an hour. The trees barely move so why should I move with determination and eagerness? The earth makes no noise beneath me so why should I tread heavily? I am a visitor in the woods so why not become like the wood? Shape and form, texture and colour, smell and touch become my companions as I notice my form and presence amongst the dampness, the soft silent mist and the other beings who inhabit this landscape of conifers and ancient man-made earthworks. With an attentive mind to the presence of everything around me I notice the drops of water hanging on the ends of conifer leaves, the damp cobwebs on old tree roots, the fungi on delicate branches and on the decaying  branches and waste wood than scatter the newly cleared hillside. I am aware of the depth of the space around me and how the trees and undergrowth fill that space. I marvel at the brightness of the autumnal colours that brighten the misty darkness. Like Qigong, this is a way of walking that asks the body to be slow, to be present, to be aware of every movement and and to take notice of the way it is made. I don't expect to see or sense anything amazing, but I take pleasure in just observing the small, the detail, the present.

I leave with a sense of depth and fullness.

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