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Tracking the Thread of Awareness in the Great Outdoors

Every once and awhile, often unpredictably, we feel some special affinity with the natural world. These moments come and go as they please, dropping in unexpectedly as we look out over the sea or observe some fascinating living creature.

When you see a magnificent view from the top of a mountain you stand there drinking in the beauty of the world, stunned into silent awe and total absorption. You are THERE, right there, all of you. After a few minutes, however, your brain starts in. Chatting away about this or that, thinking of something else, somewhere else. Work, shopping, whatever. Off it goes, daydreaming.

Did you like the feeling of being there, awestruck with the view, a child-like smile on your face, and butterflies in your tummy.?

If so, you've probably touched on the Thread of Awareness. Here are some great exercises to improve your connection to the Thread of Awareness in its natural habitat.

Suggestions for doing mind experiments outdoors.

Do the experiments in a nice place where you can blend them in with your daily exercise period.

After you learn the basics of a particular experiment and have some experience, the exercises have the greatest opportunity for success if you can, perhaps on holiday, leave your normal life behind and go to a place where you can do the exercises in wildness or at least in a park like setting.

Pick a place where you can do the same path or trail or road every day for awhile. Going over the same path is important for several reasons.

  • Each time you walk a trail you leave behind parts of yourself. Your exhaled breath becomes part of the vegetation, for example.

  • You get to know a place and any wildlife there, like birds, get to know you. This intimacy helps establish communications.

  • Some of the experiments deal with time and being in the same location or on the same path at different times.

  • You should, if possible, select a special place along the walk where you can return to be alone with wildness, to meditate, to do exercises. This should be as remote and beautiful as possible and "feel" special to you. A scenic overlook, perhaps, or a comfortable place near a waterfall. It should be at the far end of your round trip walk, perhaps a couple of kilometers from your home base; a place to walk to and back in the early morning.

Running means walking or jogging fast enough to get your heart and lungs going at the correct speed for your age. Many of these experiments are "linked" to the dynamics of walking or running. I'm an excellent swimmer but have never been able to achieve these experiences while swimming. I can't see anyone doing most of these experiments while concentrating on a ball or being chased across a field by a team of screaming people. But you never know.

TIME yourself. How long can you keep your brain there with you before it drifts off thinking about something else? This is a major concern; a key to success for all the exercises. Be there. Right there. Not off thinking about your traffic ticket, that idiot at work, or anything beyond where you are and what you are doing. If your brain wants to wander off, give it a direction that goes with the theme of the exercise.

You might be amazed at how quickly your brain escapes and how difficult it is to stay focused in the general vicinity of your body. This discovery will quickly give you a clear understanding that there are inner control systems that easily send "you" off track.

You can think about that while you exercise.

Be sure to read the 10 tips for getting the most from the exercises

Phase 1. Warmup exercises to build later experiences on.

Phase 2. Focus and tuning exercises.

Phase 3. Finding the Thread.

 

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