Mindful Hiking

Frost Valley YMCA
somewhere in the Catskills of New York

From Frost Valley Retreat

It was the perfect winter weekend for a retreat. The snow was fresh, the weather was crisp, the company was excellent….

Merrill, one of my fellow retreaters, leads these periodic Meditative Walks in the city, and she did the same for us at Frost Valley.

The idea of a meditative walk is to be truly present in your environment as you walk. Truly appreciative of what you can see, hear, smell, taste. Hardest of all, a meditative walk is a mostly silent walk.

It’s surprisingly hard to walk with a group of people and not speak, not succumb to the pressure to fill the “silence” with chatter but instead really listen to that silence. It’s a wonderful mental exercise, and surprisingly communal as an experience!

It gets you looking, too. Really looking at the play of light and shadow, and the surprising moments of color in the snow. Maybe it’s easier with a camera, though sometimes I think the camera gets me so focused on the details that I fail to see the forest for the trees, as it were. In any case, it’s a powerfully moving experience.

From Frost Valley Retreat


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