Thursday, June 11, 2009
Mindfulness in a Feather, Part of the Whole
Often when I am walking on Deer Island I am aware -- I don't know quite how to describe it -- I am aware of my surroundings "peripherally." It may take me a few minutes of walking to rid my mind of its thoughts, but I gradually settle in to being aware of the whole -- a combination of sounds, (jays squawking, hawks calling, pipits chattering, grass heads popping, twigs crunching), colors (browns of the trail, golds of the grasses, green of the leaves), or sensations (temperature of the air, how bright or overcast it is, the weight of my feet hitting the path, sweat trickling down my chest, hair blowing in the wind). I guess I could say that I mostly walk with a sense of feeling -- I feel someone moving through and around and about as a part of the whole. I guess that's very zen -- it can be very much a meditative state. Often animals or objects will appear and grab my attention. And for a very brief moment they and I am still part of the whole -- until my focus lingers too long on that animal or object. So I stop and take it in. And then I start moving again. Today the Island's gift to me was a hawk feather, on the ground in the woods, blowing back and forth in the breeze. How beautiful, how charming, how mindful.