A colleague mentioned he had recently completed training in getting the absolute maximum from being “in” or “with” Nature. You can find out more about this at Ian Banyard’s website. He outlines a seven-day programme to improve our engagement with Nature to boost our well-being and overall health. I liked his writing style, which was straightforward and easy to digest.
This walk, at Cashel Forest Trust near Balmaha, Scotland and overlooking the eastern shore of Loch Lomond, is where my better half and I chose to do day three of Ian’s programme, which is about walking very, very slowly deliberately and mindfully. We took the blue route, which is well signposted in the car park. It’s down as a 30-minute walk; we took 90 minutes to complete it, quite deliberately, much to the surprise and confusion of the family dog!
As someone with a busy mind normally, I thought this exercise was going to be incredibly hard. It wasn’t, but I did have my camera to help me slow down and pay close attention to everything around me. The meditation knowledge over the last four years also helped me to consciously engage all my senses one at a time and to just accept the result without overthinking it.
The experience produced a wee nugget of learning or re-learning; namely, we spend so much time rushing through life that we frequently miss what is immediately in front of our noses, eyes, ears, skin, tastebuds and spirits. Slowing right down to a pace that is probably more in keeping with Nature’s gradual evolution does open us up to new ways of being. It’s almost as though you can start to hear deep messages resonating within your soul directly from Nature.
The 30-minute car drive home, in peaceful and comfortable silence, was in stark contrast to the edgy conversation between us on the way to Cashel.
Nature, psyche, and life appear to me like divinity unfolded – what more could I ask for?Carl Jung in, The Earth Has a Soul: C G Jung on Nature, Technology & Modern Life, M. Sabini, 2016, North Atlantic Books, Berkeley, California