Tag Archives: walking as meditation

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.

 

The Calm Before the Storm

The A.T. calls me

Boots on the trail, walking

Lost in thought, my peace

The weather forecast here in the Hudson Valley of NY is not good for the next several days. They are saying we could get several inches of rain from late  tomorrow through Sunday. Knowing that I won’t be able to get out for a hike this weekend, I decided to take yet another trip to the Nose. As you know from previous posts, a hike to the Nose is never disappointing! Here is what it looks like in May.

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Bear Mt. from the Nose in May.

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Northwest from the Nose.

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Looking south towards the Timp.

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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

 

The World Awakens

One of the unique things about hiking and walking is you get to see the world in many different lights. Depending on the time of day that you venture out, you can, and probably will, have a drastically different experience than you would if you had decided to wait to head out, either later or even earlier in the day. On the days that I am not on one trail or another, I have several loops on the local roads that I like to walk to start my day. Because it has been so hot, I have spent just about the last week getting up and walking at 4:30 am.

Although I get up around the same to go to work during the school year, I can’t compare getting up to hike and getting up to go to work.  Not that I don’t love my job, because I do, but it is much easier  on the psyche getting up that early when you are doing something that is going to help your mind and body move forward on every level.

 

Now, the reason I mention this is because I have noticed that whether I am deep in the woods or on the road, each day starts remarkably the same way. On the trail, the woods are eerily silent and the only sound I hear, and quickly become in sync with, is my boots kicking up the earth as I explore my surroundings. As the sun makes its way over the hills and through the dense brush of the summer woods, you can start to hear the chipmunks and squirrels begin their daily routine of survival.

The same can be said of those living in the suburbs. At this time of year, all I hear when I start walking is the communal hum of air conditioners in the houses of those who are also beginning their daily routine of survival. Bleary eyed, or in some cases teary eyed, I see the people on my walk leaving the comforts of home, briefcase or bag in hand with looks of temporary despair as they start their daily journey to, where?

As the sun continues its relentless march upward and across the morning sky, the dew begins to dry on any exposed leaves and as a summer breeze moves in from the west, the trees silently stir. At this time of the morning, especially when I am on the trail, I’ll take a few minutes to just sit with my eyes closed and take it all in. The shift from the night slumber to awakening reality can be a real eye opener (no pun intended).

More and more life continues to stir and it is obvious to me that in both cases, each place has its routines that must be adhered to. Routines, that when looked at closely, follow a pattern that help determine whether, if followed, they are among the survivors that day.

Isn’t daily survival a short-term goal for everyone? Isn’t it important to start every day in peace so we can make the decisions going forward necessary to help maintain that peace? I am looking for peace at home, peace at work and just living life without the drama that seems to consume us. Think about how you can preserve your peace as well as those around you based on how you start your day.