Howdy. Well my intended/hoped for hike today has to be postponed thanks to some very needed rain in my area. So in the interest of flexibility I am redirecting/refocusing my energies into a multitude (as is my nature) of other activities. But first, since I can’t be out participating in nature I will do the next best thing, talk about it.

A few years back I told my zen teacher that nature is my teacher and zendo (zen temple) and that I was going to hike the Appalachian trail (which I did -talk about bipolar huh). Regular sojourns in the great outdoors are still a very critical part of my wellness program.

Fortunately, we are very blessed here in Asheville to have multitudinous opportunities at our back doors. I often hike alone as it is very meditative for me and I can feel a stronger connection with the environment around me without the distraction of conversation. However that being said, hiking with conscious friends is also a very satisfying experience as well (may want to avoid someone in serious mania as a hiking partner) .

Life in all of it’s abundance and grandeur is extremely powerful for me. The sights, sounds and stillness have a very profound, heart opening/grounding effect which I cannot put into words (especially politically correct ones). I feel totally at peace and safe in the forest as if there is a loving, embracing entity with me, which actually I feel there is out there (and in me for that matter). I also see the beauty in death (i.e. beautifully sculpted dead tree trunks) and how it feeds new life, everything in perfect harmony. A constant cycle of birth and death with each dependent and interdependent upon the other.

It also reminds me that life is in constant change as with the seasons in the woods. Each season with its own evocative feel, all important to the wholeness of my being.

So my encouragement is to immerse, fling, push, cadjole yourself into the great outdoors in whatever way speaks to you and let those endorphins fly baby.

If I ever manage to figure out the camera I was just gifted I will hopefully post some pics but my techno challenges are another subject (oh to be 13 yrs old again).