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  • Writer's pictureSarah Skedsvold

Outdoor Mindfulness Practices

Outdoor Mindfulness is a Big Bucket

Outdoor Mindfulness is a big bucket that a number of practice live inside of. Generally speaking outdoor mindfulness is finding 1 moment of stillness as deeply into nature as is comfortable or available to you

It includes:

  • Guided Wilderness Walks

  • Wild Wandering

  • Sit Spot Practice, with or without Journaling

  • Tracking/Stalking/Lying in Wait

  • Hiking, Biking, Camping...

Guided Wilderness Walks

Guided Wilderness Walks are what I've been calling, up to this point, Forest Bathing. Forest Bathing is a very specific practice and what we do requires a bit more room for interpretation.

In this practice, I guide folks through a series of invitations (or activities), some moving and some not, all designed to encourage us all to experience all of our surroundings with all of our senses

We start with introductions and finish by enjoying tea and chatting

Wild Wandering

Wild Wandering is a completely self-guided practice. Take yourself or a group out and wander. It could be similar to a Guided Wilderness Walk or it could be something completely different.

The magic from Wild Wandering comes from an explorers mindset, be curious, and open to learn about your surroundings

Sit Spot Practice

Sit Spot Practice is just as it says, you sit and your observe, that's it. There is not requirement to clear your mind or think about anything in particular; you can choose the same spot over and over or find a new spot each time.

Sit Spot Practice can be added to a walk, or done on it's own. It can include journaling or refection practice if you want.

It is a powerful practice if you are looking for a practice that can create stillness, and allow you to become deeply familiar with both your surroundings and yourself

Tracking/Stalking/Lying in Wait

Consider this practice inline with ethical hunting. The heart of every ethical hunter holds a deep bond with conservation; conserving the land, the ecosystem, and the game population.

Every ethical hunter I know has cultivated an intimate relationship with their hunting grounds. They know every ridge line, every draw, every slough. They know the effects of moon cycles, wind, and precipitation on the game they are hunting and the ecosystem in general.

They weathered physical discomfort in order to understand and break through false limitations they held about themselves. They are a full participant in the circle of life and do not take that participation lightly

Hiking, Biking, Camping...

The most active practices include the outside activities that most folks think of when they think of "outdoor activities"

Oftentimes these are the gateways to the outdoors for folks, they are great active hobbies, the build community around the outdoors and they are a "great reason" to continually buy new gear

When we participate in these things, we notice we feel different when we leave, and through that noticing, we tend to dig into more intentional practices

Each one of those practices have some very important components in common

  • Intention to connect with ourselves or something greater

  • Awareness of our breath

  • Observing our surroundings

  • Allowing our feelings to emerge and move through without judgement

  • Entering into a partnership with nature

Things to remember

  • This is your practice, while I'm offering suggestions, there is no "right way" to practice

  • No one is thinking about you like you are thinking about you - it's okay to do silly or somber things in the woods, at most, a fellow wanderer in the woods or field or water may ask to be of service to you

  • Bring water, a change of socks and a t-shirt - really and truly, this advice successfully carried me through 20 years of military service

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