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wisdom of dogs, Issue #011 -- Year of mindfulness
May 09, 2021

Birding as Meditation

For me bird watching -- or birding -- is the ultimate mindfulness practice. My apologies to those of you who can monitor your breathing and think no other thoughts for 30 minutes or more. That ain’t me babe.

It works for me

But birding keeps me focused in the here and now. It keeps me where I am, doing what I am doing, and only that.

I don’t worry about email, or getting the oil changed in my car. I’m not planning dinner or Sandy’s next blog post.

I look for birds.

I listen to the sounds from the trees.

I watch where I step. This last point is especially important when looking for a bird high up in a tree through your binoculars. You need a better angle. You need to take a step or two backwards. Pro tip: look away from the bird and check the ground behind you before you step.

It is better to survey the terrain with your eyes than your butt. Which is exactly what happens if you don’t know there is tree root behind you. Next thing you know, you have lost sight of the bird and mud is soaking through your pants.

Mindfulness Practice

My point is that mindfulness is absolutely required if you are birding. You have to stay quiet and listen. Watch for rustling leaves, a darting shadow. Notice things like that motionless hawk at the top of snag. He is so well camouflaged, you won’t see him if you aren’t giving this space your full attention.

You need to be mindful of where you step, alert for snakes, tree roots, and fire ants. Always be mindful of fire ants.

Birding is one of the few ways I can be fully in the moment. I keep my focus on one goal: find and identify birds. With all my attention.

Someday I will do that in the rest of my life. Someday. Happy Tail Wags,

Suzanne inspiration-and-entertainment-blog.html

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