Yesterday was cool as began my freehike from our trailer into the hills above Olive Dell Ranch. Still, in a short time my body forgot the temperature as I walked “in the moment”. The worries of the “normal” world slipped quickly from my mind, caught up with the feeling of true life, the air that surrounded me as I exercised and breathed deeply, walking free in nature - the sounds of birds, new growth on the greening hillsides, streams and ponds formed by the recent rains teaming with life, the view of cities in the valley below, and the white snow on the San Bernardino Mountains rising from the valley.
I’ve written before about the spiritual sense I gain from freehiking. For me, it’s an important type of meditation, a way to learn my true nature – to know who I am.
An important concept in Eastern meditation is Samayika - being in the moment of continuous real-time. This act of being conscious of the continual renewal of the universe in general and one's own renewal as an individual living being in particular is the critical first step in the journey towards identification with one's true nature, called the Atman. It is also a method by which one can develop an attitude of harmony and respect towards other humans and Mother Nature. By being fully aware, alert and conscious of the constantly moving present, one will experience their true nature, Atman.
With the idea of meditation in mind consider these thoughts by other freehikers:
“My wife has begun practicing Zen meditation and the other night she was describing mindful living and mindful walking. She said it has to do with living in the moment and experiencing a walk in the moment feeling and lovingly appreciating each step and your surroundings as grounded to the earth you pass through the air. I jokingly said that sounds like naturism to me and she said you’re exactly right. You get it!! You've had it for years. You have what most people never realize as they are too stressed and distracted by other things in life to slow down and live the moment. When you're on your naked walks I know that's exactly what you do because you are so at peace when you return.” – Jay
“I have experienced being in the moment many times in my life. I started practicing Zen meditation a long time ago and I consider it to be one of the true gifts that I have received in my life. . . one of the things that I discovered when I resumed hiking naked, is the ease of sliding into that magical zone of existence while hiking naked. . . there is a strong link between naturism and the meditative practice of living in the moment. . . Being naked may be a powerful shortcut to that uncluttered state of mindfulness.” – FreewalkerMA
Do any of my readers also sense Atman when freehiking?