“When you walk, arrive with every step. That is walking meditation. There is nothing else to it.” — Thich Nhat Hanh
First, a bit about walking.
In early February, I bought myself a gift. It’s a small book, a thin volume titled How To Walk by Thich Nhat Hanh.
In How to Walk, Hanh gently instructs on how to appreciate life in each moment. The recipe is simple: With each step you take you enter the present moment. Feel your feet caress the earth with each step. Breathe and enjoy every step. Think of nothing but the step.
While practicing this, I realized that his recipe for walking mindfully explains why I find so much peace and joy while skiing.
For me, skiing mindfully is just like walking mindfully, but easier.
When skiing, the distractions are less. I don’t wear earbuds when skiing, so I’m not listening to music or podcasts.
My phone is buried deep inside my coat, the better to keep the battery alive and to keep me from checking it.
But most importantly, when skiing, I’ve committed to being on the mountain and skiing. Just skiing.
Just as with walking, skiing moves us through space and time.
With each turn, we enter the present. Feel your skis carving through the snow, floating through the powder or bouncing through the crud. Breathe. Feel the cold air on your face. And think of nothing but the turn.
Hanh defines joy as the result of harmony between one’s intentions and actions.
I’ve often described skiing as joyous.
Now I understand why.
How do you feel when skiing? What about skiing or snowboarding brings your joy? Please share!
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