This summer I learned that mindful hiking, which can be considered a mindfulness exercise, is a pathway to Spirit and a reminder of how I am connected to everything, including Source. I wanted to share this experience.
There is something to be said about the stillness of the path. It brings me to being in the moment. It takes me to mindfulness where I know that the only thing that matters is this moment. While many may think I am referring to the spiritual path I am talking about my hiking path, though when I started thinking about it I realized they are one and the same.
While I am a member of a very popular spiritual community outside of Denver, when the weather is pleasant, on Sunday mornings I am not found there. Instead, I am hiking the beautiful trails within Colorado.
For the longest time I thought it was the fresh air, beautiful scenery, and exercise that drew me to the hills each Sunday morning. However, when "life" interfered with my ability to hike this summer, I realized that those experiences were vastly missed. In fact, I realized that I had been using those hiking-moments to center myself, practice mindfulness and connect with Source. It had become an alternative to praying in a church pew, and in many ways, much deeper.
When I am on the path, quietly I pray. I invite Source (God) into my life. I go to that place where I am in-awe of all that is. I smile. I giggle. I feel the sun warming my body, I see nature surround me, and I smell the sweetness of the hills. I hear the call of the wild and I know that I am a part of all that is around me, and more. Mindful hiking is indeed a spiritual experience and a Mindfulness exercise.
There is something very powerful about being in the moment, and in awe of all that is. It is an invitation to the Universe to reveal Its beauty. I become more sensitive and am able to perceive the subtleties around me. The colors become more vibrant, and there is a glimmer or radiance that illumines the scenery. It makes what some may regard as ordinary, extraordinary, and with each experience, I am more grateful for being.
When I am truly present, it seems as if nature has a way of waking up. With my senses alert, I am able to see the wonder in all that is around me. A chameleon may crawl out and catch my attention. Our eyes will meet, and we have a moment with each other, in that instant I know the two of us are connected. I feel it. I know it. There is a mutual curiosity between us. If I am lucky, I am able to capture a fraction of its essence with my camera and before we part, I whisper, "Thank you."
I've had these intimate moments with deer, mountain sheep, foxes, coyotes, dragonflies, butterflies and countless birds including hawks, eagles, and osprey. These encounters by themselves are profound, but when you add the beauty that Colorado brings the entire occurrence is a spiritual one.
Spirituality is my Religion
For me, mindful hiking has become a conduit to higher teachings. It is my way to experience God and recognize that I am connected to all that is. It is my way to inch closer to experience Oneness.
When I return from my excursions each Sunday, I set the intention of bringing my hiking lessons into my daily life. At times, I have moments when I am able to recognize the awe that is around me every day, though admittedly, I often find myself getting sidetracked with life, and the wonder slips away.
Our weather turned this week bringing an arctic blast to Colorado. Perhaps it is time to head back to my spiritual community, see some friends I have missed and resume to a different path to Spirit... until spring.
Enjoy this slideshow I've created about movements I've captured while being connected to Spirit.