How can we mindfully connect to the summer season? When we’re not fully present in the moment, it’s easy for beautiful natural experiences to just pass us by. This is a guide to getting more connected to perhaps Oregon’s most beautiful seasons, summer. Let’s explore what mindfulness is and a few ways to use it to fully enjoy this season.
Mindfulness is simply the practice of being here now. We can truly engage in mindfulness while doing anything, as it’s a state of mind. When we’re mindful, we’re connected to the present moment, aware of our bodies and minds, as well as our environments. Mindfulness is a state of focused and relaxed awareness that can add meaning and a sense of increased presence to your daily life. So, how can we connect to summer using these techniques?
Mindful walking. As you go on a walk in your favorite Portland neighborhood, try to see it with new eyes. In Zen practice, this is called “beginner’s mind.” Notice the sounds, smells, and sights of your neighborhood and try not to bring judgment to the walk. As thoughts arise, acknowledge them and then let them pass by. You’ll see your neighborhood with fresh eyes and feel rejuvenated.
Lying on the grass. Remember when we were kids and lying on the grass was the norm? As adults, we rarely take the time to simply lie around in the natural world. Take ten minutes and lie in the grass of your favorite park or yard. Notice the feeling of the grass underneath your body. Take in the sights, sounds, and smells of the park.
Simply listen. The birds are out and about. The leaves on the trees are rustling. The sounds and sights of summer are different from other seasons. Whenever you’re outside, make mindfulness an automatic mindset. Notice what your senses are experiencing and take in the experience.
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