Sense Exploring While Walking In Nature

Report of an experience of mindfully walking in nature with the intention of moving my attention through the different senses.
2020-05-17 – ⁠2022-08-12 in progress
⁠certainty: log ⁠importance: 3

Earlier today we went for a walk in nature around Adliswil. I don’t know if it’s because it was the first time in weeks that we go out not to get supplies and not for a run, but we had a fantastic morning.

We saw a fire salamander and a slowworm for the first time. We noticed plants that must have been there all the time but that we had never noticed before, like horsetails, yellow archangels, herb Robert, carpet bugle, red clover, guelder rose, field scabious, wintercresses, onobrychis, bird’s-foot trefoil and hawksbeard. And we also explored a somewhat hidden meadow that a friendly dad told us about in a previous hike.

The most special moment was when we were slowly walking alongside a prairie with the open blue open sky above us. I just stood there and I tried to still my body, my breathing and my mind the way I’ve been recently practicing during meditation. Then, for a few moments my mind stood still, completely absorbed in the wind and the dancing grass. I could almost feel the invisible wind caressing the grass. A few moments later my attention shifted to gravity and to the gentle but firm determination of every single leaf of grass trying to reach the sky. I could not see the gravity, but I could feel it in my body, and somehow, I was projecting the feeling to the grass in front of me. It was beautiful.

Further along the way, we passed a cluster of garden houses flanked by trees and, apparently, guarded by a group of five to ten different bird species. We just stood there for several minutes listening, waiting to hear more of the lower pitch bird whose songs we both preferred.

During the short hike I experimented with shifting my attention from one sense to another, and it was interesting because I could clearly notice how my perception of the world changed when, for example, I shifted from seeing to hearing. I would be somewhat aware that my eyes were taking in light, but it was as if the weren’t sending data to my consciousness, and all I could was hear.

Here are pictures of some of the things we saw:

A horsetail.
A horsetail.

radial.jpg

Two insects mating, or an insect with two heads?
Two insects mating, or an insect with two heads?

Sofa in front of a farm.
Sofa in front of a farm.

The prairie mentioned above.
The prairie mentioned above.

A guelder rose that looks like it has white soldiers protecting it.
A guelder rose that looks like it has white soldiers protecting it.

A slowworm.
A slowworm.

A fire salamander, with the tail tip missing.
A fire salamander, with the tail tip missing.