Mindfulness Trails - Nature and Spirit

Presented by

Dusty Footprints & Green Monkey Safari

=|= Back to Basics Approach =|=

A wilderness trail is a perfect way to experience full immersion in nature. By trekking through the wilds on foot every detail in one's surroundings come into focus. Every step and glance further into natural purity evokes an ancient yearning of a time when humanity wondered the wilds. There is an innate excitement in exploring new territories and observing the wildlife that calls it home.

By returning to foot and backpack the world becomes big once more, while the details of the overlooked become clear. An oddly familiar, yet exciting feeling sharpens all senses as hidden instincts emerge. Clarity of perception, of the environment and of self bring new outlooks and understanding. At the mercy of pure wilderness, our daily place and identity in the world become less of a concern, freeing up the mind to explore and body to breathe.

Such immersion in nature inspires tranquility and awe, while its power and design command respect. Though, when exposed to the wonders of the wilderness one's perceptions quickly change. Typical concerns and mental noise ends, while attention shifts to the bewildering splendor and truths of nature. The mind explores new thoughts, concerns, and curiosities as the unfamiliar wilderness unfolds with every step. As one progresses deeper into the wild, one’s typical concerns fade into much simpler ones. Of water, of strength, of safety, of exploration and of reaching your destination a step at a time. This back-to-basics mindset allows the whirl-winding mind to focus on the immediate, the internal and those that one share the experience with.

=|= The Old Garden - A Mindful Immersion =|=

- A Primordial Call to Nature -

[Our old home in nature and returning to it.]

For countless years in life's evolutionary timeline humans were, as many different organisms, bound to nature and it's laws. Though today, humans have created their own environments to exist within. Continually lessening the presence of nature and molding it to suit their needs. By doing this, one alienates a primordial instinct within. The instinct that drives one to explore the unknown corners the earth with bravery, curiosity, and relentless spirit. Though modern comforts have increased humanity's ability to survive, advance, and to be entertained, a hidden instinct within calls one back to the wilderness. Back to the tranquility and excitement of ancient places. Every step in the brilliance of wilderness is a blessing that satisfies the wild instinct of the inner explorer.

The magnificent beauty of nature reveals itself in simple, yet profound ways. From a cooling breeze to the warm rising sun. From scattered stones about one's feet to floating clouds of striking colors. From a muddied beast’s track to the awesome display of curious approaching elephant. This is the brilliance of nature.

- The Inhabitants of the Wild -

[The wildlife and their sacred role in nature and spirituality.]

Life in its very essence is beautiful, and its laws sacred. When immersed in nature one becomes aware of the myriads of life forms that humans share this breathtaking world with. All fauna and flora are valuable in their own right, and play a greater role in the ripples of life. No living thing is without purpose and is deserving of respect. It is these wild features, of great and peculiar animals, intricate and beautiful plants and awe-inspiring powers of the earth that intrigues and delights the spirit. It is the amazing spectacle of nature and its beings that inspire humanity to venerate it, to celebrate it, to study it and to love it for its wonders.

- Tranquility & Adventure -

[The peace and wonder, the encounter.]

The simple beauty and serene setting of the wilderness evoke tranquility within that is rarely found in the man-made world. While an encounter with a great animal inspires awe simply by showing off their impressive size, weaponry or powerful presence. This may stir up some adrenaline as curiosity draws them to us or us to them. Either way, this tranquility, and adrenaline serve as the lifeblood of the wilderness adventure. It is this essence of the wilderness which has us return time after time.

- Curiosity and Exploration -

[The will to find and know.]

For thousands of years, humans have walked the earth to all its corners, and to this day they still explore. There is natural inclination to discover the unknown, to know what is around the next bend and understand how it may impact one on an individual level. Questions arise naturally as curiosities of nature reveal themselves through exploration and discovery. The thrill of tracking down something big or the fascinating intricacies of something small will always inspire curiosity and the will to explore far more.

=|=Walking Mindfully - Look Up & Breathe=|=

- Situational Awareness -

[Look up, look around, be observant of the surroundings.]

Walking might seem simple enough, one foot and then the other, but in order to fully appreciate and ingrain the walk into memory, one's attention must be on more than just a sure step. Too often while walking all attention shifts downward to one's own footsteps, and the surroundings fade into the periphery of vision. Thus, one must be mindful, lift the chin and look around while walking and not just at where their feet are going next. Perhaps one notices something that the others do not, or one simply allows oneself to fully appreciate each scene.

Use all the senses when walking through the wild. Look around and let the detail inspire curiosity. Listen to the birdsong, the rustling leaves in the wind and the far off calls of wild animals. Smell the fragrances of the plants in deep clean breaths and the distinct scent of large creatures about. Feel the textures of the trees, of the grass and of the stone. Taste the bitterness of leaves and sweetness of its fruit. And, remember to be attentive to the mysterious intuitive sense.

- Personal Awareness -

[Look within, breathe and clear the mind.]

Bombarded by outside complexities and stresses of modern life, it is important to recollect oneself from time to time. To calm the mind and return to an inner peace all too often neglected. The importance of work, of family and of other responsibilities continually superimposes itself on personal well-being. It may be one's duty, aspiration or love that fuels this personal sacrifice and for that, one can be commended. However, these responsibilities may take their toll on one's being and if not managed in some fashion could possess the mind to a maddening extent. It is vital then, to be calm, to breathe deeply and to consciously return the mind to a sense of balance and peace. Be mindful as to the wondering of the mind and the consistency of breath. Keep it calm and clarity will prevail.

The quiet of the wilderness and times of rest will provide an opportunity for the mind to wonder. For it to explore places within. Naturally, it wonders to thoughts of habit, of work, of relationships and of underlying issues. These times of wild peace allow the opportunity to rest the mind, to reset and to explore new thoughts. Become lost in the wild and explore new inner places. We will guide you back.

- A Return to the Simple Pleasures -

[Be grateful, feel strong, laugh.]

It is no secret that the modern age of man brings with it an immense array of entertainment, distraction, and worries that can turn the world pale instead of colorful. Life may come to feel monotonous and draining as outside influences hamper one's ability to live fully. Though, with simple mindful awareness, vibrancy can be restored to one's perception. By shifting one's awareness to that of gratitude, personal power, and playfulness, the world becomes less serious for a moment. In this tranquil state a natural sense of appreciation of beauty, personality, and simple joy prevail.

=|= Power of a Troop =|=

- Allies -

[Individual power, collective power.]

Humans are social beings by nature and the well-being of an individual is heavily dependent upon their neighbors and companions. Individuality must be celebrated, and collective well-being propagated. In every human being, a wealth of personal experience, knowledge, and wisdom waits to be expressed. No two people are the same, and for that humanity must be eternally grateful. Since life always strives to diversify and elaborate, your individuality is its unique creature and worth expressing. Though, true human power shows itself when shared with others. When people unite, each person’s power increases tenfold and their personality becomes appreciated. In a world where the challenges and strife may be encountered, one's very survival may be dependent on those beside you.

- Responsibility -

[Mind the fire, your time on watch.]

When in the wilderness, one must be attentive to what is stirring in the unknown. No time is as important as when the sun sets and human sight dims. A natural inclination to seek shelter and comfort prevails the human psyche when this mysterious time comes. One's body and the mind seek rest as darkness envelopes the wild while an underlying sense of danger creeps below one's mind. Luckily, with correct tools, knowledge, and companions, this instead shifts to a beautiful and mysterious time. One where stars inspire wonder and the sounds of the wild excitement. A time to be savored in peace, rather than feared.


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