Why Encountering Is The Key To Mindful Nature Walks in 2022

Why Encountering Is The Key To Mindful Nature Walks in 2022

Why Encountering Is The Key To Mindful Nature Walks in 2022

Whether it’s a gorgeous hike in the forest or a simple walk around the block, the great outdoors is the ultimate perspective giver. I’ve written about the benefits of mindful nature walking quite a few times before here at Emma Mills London, and I think encountering is the new key to better enjoying your mindful nature walks in 2022.

Curious to learn more? Here’s a simple approach to mindful walking you might enjoy. It’s perfect for those moments when you want to feel calmer and more mindful, but you also want to be active and moving about.

How To Enjoy Mindful Nature Walking

Part One:

  • Set out for a short nature walk with no agenda of getting fit, or getting somewhere in particular, instead, just feel yourself to be out and about and at large in the world.
  • As you stroll along feel the way your feet connect with the ground. 
  • As the walking continues notice the weight and position of your body as you move. 
  • Pay attention in a glad and fun way as you notice what the experience of walking is really like

Part Two:

  • If you happen to be walking in a park or near some trees do take a moment to pause and encounter the natural landscape.
  • You can think of encountering as a very relaxed and open way of being with nature. Whereas your usual thinking mind tends to analyse or judge, perhaps thinking about whether or not things are nice or working out what species or type of tree something is; the quiet self within often likes to just be with the tree. No overthinking, no deciding, just simple quiet togetherness.
  • In encountering you acknowledge the beingness of the tree, the simple fact that it is. And in the process your own beingness comes to the surface too. (Spoiler alert: our being, and the trees being are one and the same)
  • You can practice encountering while on your mindful nature walks, and you can also just as easily use it while meditating with a houseplant, your favourite pet, or even your partner.

And so, here we are. The next time you head out for a mindful walk in nature, why not practice encountering and see where it leads you. I’ve been teaching encountering as a way of meditating with houseplants for some years now and I was thrilled to find a fabulous short film on YouTube from a scientist who has taken up the art of encountering as part of his study of the natural world. 

You can watch it below on YouTube  

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