Summary ꙳ Objectives
▹ Let's “open our eyes” to nature by exploring our surroundings without sight. Let's rediscover simple gratitude, thanking Nature for having us being part of it.
Type » Activity
Level » Foundation + Wellness
When? » Anytime
Where? » Outdoors
Time » ~ 15 minutes+
Themes & Skills
Sensory awareness ⋆ Slowing down ⋆ Feeling part of Nature ⋆ Gratitude
Something to sit on the ground, in a park, a garden, your yard (a little piece of tarp, a towel). Something preferably that allows you to sit as close as possible to the ground - avoid bringing a field stool if you can.
"Often the best place to begin is simply becoming aware of our existing relationships with nature. If you are breathing, you are in relationship with trees and plankton. If you are eating, you are in relationship with soils, untold millions of micro-organisms, with storms and underground aquifers, with plants and the sun, with animals and with the seasonal procession of the weather and all it brings." —Amos Clifford
The activity is straightforward: find a nice area where to sit on the ground - a spot of grass, in your yard, garden, in a park, the shade of a tree in the forest. Sit and look around.
Then, read that simple quote above and pause after each sentence. Close your eyes and let the words sink in for 5 minutes or more.
When reading about breathing: breathe deeply several times in a row, slowly.
The same activity happens with a larger group: sit in a circle. Have one of you read the quote, and practice breathing without seeing, just sensing.
Feel the sun, the breeze, the wind on your face. Listen to the sounds surrounding you in an immediate circle of space (within few yards). Let your ears travel further... Let your mind wander not focusing on your life (problems and chores), but rather on what directly surrounds you.
The minutes passed and the moderator of the circle called for an end. Open your eyes... Share what you saw in your mind, your favorite vision or thought. Listen to one another. Then close the activity thanking each other for being part of the moment.Naturalist Notes
When in the field, observing species hours on end, somehow you can't escape the feeling that we are part of the whole. Fieldwork is naturally grounding, slowing you down, soothing. And we love it!
A Little Handbook of Shinrin-yoku by M. Amos Clifford (2013)
Reconnecting with Nature TED Series » Be inspired to go out and rediscover the wonders of the natural world with these talks that will give you a deeper understanding of where the wild things grow.