If you recently read my Pinnacle, Forest Bathing, or Rejuvenate posts, you may have noticed that a) I’ve started posting on the weekends and b) I’m designating those days as haiku “nature days”. I’m a big fan of nature, and a firm believer in its healing power as an antidote to stress And, traditionally Japanese haikus focus on nature themes.
Mother Nature has many magic potions up her sleeve. In this case, the haiku message is her power to help us develop the art of mindfulness – that is, immersing fully in the moment. When we walk in a nature area and pay mindful attention to all the beautiful details, our mind monkeys (worries about the future, regrets about the past) tend to fall away, at least for a little while. We start to understand the true power of now.
I like the points made by the Mind and Life Institute in this article: An Exploration of Nature, Mindfulness and Well-Being
A little exercise for you: Next time you go out for a nature break, observe yourself. I have gone for entire walks so wound up in my thoughts, I really do not see much at all. There is a big difference between “looking” and “seeing”. When you make a conscious effort to really see what’s on your path, mindfulness comes into play.
“Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature — the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter.” ~ Rachel Carson
“Fall has always been my favorite season. The time when everything bursts with its last beauty, as if nature had been saving up all year for the grand finale.” ~ Lauren DeStefano
“No spring nor summer beauty hath such grace as I have seen in one autumnal face.” ~ John Donne
“Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer’s day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time.” ~ John Lubbock