Tag Archives: meditation

Sunday Morning Mindfulness

“If the doors of perception were cleansed, everything would appear to man as it is, infinite.”

~William Blake

Sunday mornings are always a good morning for hikes. This one was as well, but I was still a little tired from the 10 mile hike that I did late Friday so I knew I wouldn’t be doing a repeat! With that said, the Green Trail looked like the way to go. Three and a half miles was enough to get me in the proper frame of mind for the day!

Happy Hiking!!!

2017 Mileage:

10/15/17-3.5-288.12

Albany->Ward Pound Ridge

“When we are pushed and pulled in many different directions, we lose our sovereignty. We’re not free. Don’t allow yourself to be carried away anymore. Resist. Each mindful step is a step toward freedom. This kind of freedom is not political freedom. It’s freedom from the past, from the future, from our worries and our fears.”

-Thich Nhat Hanh

After an unexpected trip to Albany on Friday the 13th, I was left with a couple more hours of daylight than I was used to. Knowing this, I decided to go for a hike. The weather was beautiful and a nice cool breeze washed over the woods. Despite the fact that I had driven over four hours, I felt surprisingly good as I made my way on to the trail. My goal at first was to walk the original 5 1/2 miles of the Labyrinth but I hoped to do more.

Finishing the last couple of hundred yards of the first loop, I still felt good and knew that I would be able to do a few more miles. Instead of doing the Red Trail again, I broke off when it intersected with the RT and followed until it met up with the Yellow Trail. This brought me back to the car.

Truly an exercise in trying to find your inner peace!

Happy Hiking!!!

2017 Mileage:

10/13/17-10.2-284.62

 

R/G->R->RT->Y->Connector->R

“One of the riches the wilderness has to offer is a prolonged immersion in absolute silence.”

-Colin Fletcher 

When my alarm went off this morning I knew that time was against me. The forecast was for rain, and after ever so slowly crawling out of bed, I looked at the radar on my phone and just as I thought, things didn’t look good. So the battle in my brain began. Do I just forget about hiking for the day? Do I take the risk and get out before the rain starts? Do I listen to that pesky little voice that was telling me to go back to bed? Or do I ignore it and just head out the door.

Since I hadn’t hiked since Thursday, I grabbed my water bottles, shouldered my pack and made my way to the jeep. Yes, even though the odds were against me, I made my way to Ward Pound Ridge.

When I got to the reservation, it was still creepy dark. Knowing that I was going to have to wait about 20 minutes before I could get onto the trail, I looked at the weather again and saw that I had 105 minutes until the rain would start. Five minutes later, it said 115 minutes. Five minutes later it was down to 108 minutes. What was happening? At that point, I made the command decision to start hiking.

If you take a look at the title of this blog entry, it details the route I took today. When I got to the end, it was in the realm of possibility that I could do a few more miles if the rain wasn’t to close. I took out my phone and checked the forecast. Sure enough, I had ten minutes until the rain would start. But would it? Was it telling me the truth? Did I want to chance it? I decided to head back to my car.

Sure enough, ten minutes later it started rain, no, pour….

Happy Hiking!!!

2017 Mileage:

10/8/17-4.5-269.62

A Labyrinth…Of Sorts

 

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“With a labyrinth, you make a choice to go in – and once you’ve chosen, around and around you go. But you always find your way to the center.”
-Jeff Bridges

“A labyrinth is a symbolic journey . . . but it is a map we can really walk on, blurring the difference between map and world.”
-Rebecca Solnit

If you have read enough of my blog, you know that I hike for many reasons. Although the physical benefits are obvious, the ones that aren’t many times are the positive ones that you receive that are psychological in nature. After a good day, bad day or indifferent one, hiking offers the mental cleansing I need to keep moving forward, both literally and figuratively.

Recently I have been researching the Labyrinth as a form of walking meditation and I think I have found parallels to what I experience when I am out in the woods hiking, especially a trail that I discovered several weeks ago in Ward Pound Ridge Reservation.

The Labyrinth Society says  that:

“A labyrinth is a meandering path, often unicursal, with a singular path leading to a center. Labyrinths are an ancient archetype dating back 4,000 years or more, used symbolically, as a walking meditation, choreographed dance, or site of rituals and ceremony, among other things. Labyrinths are tools for personal, psychological and spiritual transformation, also thought to enhance right-brain activity. Labyrinths evoke metaphor, sacred geometry, spiritual pilgrimage, religious practice, mindfulness, environmental art, and community building. ”

When I read the definition above, I couldn’t help but think of The Red Trail at the Ward Pound Reservation. At about 5 1/2 miles, the trail offers a varied enough terrain to allow for the same benefits that have been found with traditional labyrinths. Flat earthen surfaces combined with multiple short rocky climbs allow the hiker to find solace in the journey that they are taking. The trail has enough twists and turns as you make your way around the park to keep things interesting.

The most beautiful thing about this trail is that built within the loop are several other trails or connector trails that can either lengthen or shorten your journey. A little more than half way through the hike is a nice set of rocks that although during the summer do not offer many views, will be absolutely magnificent in the fall and the winter. You can sit on these and reflect on where you have been and where you are going. It is also a great place to eat lunch if you choose to do so!

The differences in a traditional Labyrinth and what I have described above are obvious. With that said, you can use what you have at your disposal to help achieve the peace that you are either looking for or trying to maintain.

Happy Hiking!!!

 

A Respite On The Nose (11)

“Thoughts come clearly while one walks.”

-Thomas Mann

“Never trust a thought that didn’t come by walking.”

-Friedrich Nietzsche

As the week has progressed, the temperature and humidity in the Hudson Valley has risen into the 90’s. Being as hot and humid as it is supposed to be, I decided not only to keep today’s hike relatively short, but also something familiar. Soooo…..another trip to the Nose seemed to be in order.

When I started the hike at 5:50 am, the temperature was already over 70 and the dew point was equally as high. Needless to say, it wasn’t long before I was sweating buckets! Even at this early hour, the hiking wasn’t easy with the oppressive air sitting right on top of you. But once you get to the top, it makes it all worthwhile.

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A hazy morning on the Nose.

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Looking Northeast from the Nose.

Summer 2017 Mileage:

7/19/17-3.7-54.62

 

The Fahnestock Special (again and again)

“The mind can go in a thousand directions, but on this beautiful path, I walk in peace. With each step, the wind blows. With each step, a flower blooms.”

-Nhat Hanh
“Walk as if you are kissing the earth with your feet”
-Nhat Hanh
 

One of the best things about hiking this time of year is you get to see the woods come back to life literally right before your eyes after a long winter. If you are familiar with my blog, you know that I have a 2.7 mile hike in Fahnestock State Park that I enjoying doing when I don’t have much time but have the need to get out on the trail. In the last couple of weeks I have done this hike several times and the change I have witnessed is nothing short of remarkable!

This is why I hike!!!

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The Appalachian Trail

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When thru hikers go to cross route 301, they will see this sign.

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A waterfall after almost three inches of rain four days ago.

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Quite simply-a dandelion.

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Compare this to other pictures from the hike a couple of weeks ago. What a difference!!!!

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The AT headed back to Route 301.

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More of the AT.

 

Horn Hill Bike Path X2-Walking Meditation

“The mind can go in a thousand directions, but on this beautiful path, I walk in peace. With each step, the wind blows. With each step, a flower blooms.”

-Nhat Hanh
“Walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet.”
-Nhat Hanh
“Walk so that your footprints bear only the marks of peaceful joy and complete freedom. To do this you have to learn to let go. Let go of your sorrows, let go of your worries. That is the secret of walking meditation.”
-Nhat Hanh

 

Last summer I did a whole bunch of hikes from a book called, Circuit Hikes In Harriman by Don Weise. Today (4/11/17), I was going to do a pretty lengthy hike but when my daughter asked if she could go hiking again today (WOW!!), I decided to do this relatively easy loop in Harriman State Park.

Once again, the difference in what the woods look like from season to season is truly amazing. Five and a half miles later, I think that I got some pretty decent photos.

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The start of the Horn Hill Bike Path. Nice and flat!

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Canada Geese feeding a pond next to the trail.

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The same geese…

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Trees along the trail.

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The Appalachian Trail crosses this trail at two points during the hike.

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The AT headed south towards Georgia.

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Looking south behind us on the trail.

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As you hike along the bike path, the Ramapo Dunderberg Trail crosses its path. Here are some nice stone steps to help you on your way.

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Beechy Bottom Road